Exposure therapy works if you are willing for a battle. The basic idea of it is that you let all those things you have been running from, come on, and not run from them. I know. Frightening. But wait. It is not as bad as it may sound. You don't do all this in one go. I am suggesting you run outside the house and go to some place with huge crowds. Far from it. We start off small. For a housebound person, the garden would be a good starting place. Your house is only a few feet away from you. The trick? We all know those bad feelings will come on. So for day 1 we stay out for five minutes. Not a big ask at all. No matter how bad we feel. We stay in that garden. Anxiety is just a mixture of bad feelings brought on by signals of danger we have sent to the brain. Danger that doesn't really exist. But to the anxious person the danger is real. What we feel by way of symptoms is our body protecting us from that danger. If you do go out to the garden it is a good thing to take in as much as possible. Have a good look around. Ask yourself where the danger is in that garden? With your house only a few feet away. We learn to relax in the garden. We learn to feel safe there. We build up the time we spend in the garden. Then we are ready for the next step. I would suggest a small walk in the local area. You will be faced with the same fears. Walk doesn't have to be that far to begin with. Stay where you can see your house the first few times. Take everything in around you. Ask yourself is there any real danger here? So you build things up over time. You challenge yourself over time. To go that bit further each time. To not run away. Your body will get used to the new feelings as times goes on. The more it gets used to them, the weaker they will become.
One thing I want to explain for a moment is the relationship between everything we go through. We may feel a certain way. Be it down or angry. This in turn puts a thought in our head. The thought brings about a reaction. The reaction brings about the symptoms we feel. You see how it is all tied up together. If you could change the thought or the reaction the rest would change by itself. I always tell people to keep a journal as they work through this. Of progress they have made. Of feelings they may experience. Thoughts that might come into the head. Just so you can sit down in a month or two and read back over this. You may see where certain changes have to be made. You may see some thought you had and know if you had of thought a different way, things may have went better for you.
It is all about learning. It does take time. Never rush things. People who rush things set themselves up for a harder fall. Set backs do happen. Expect a few. Learn how to move past them. Reward yourself for progress made. Never get frustrated with yourself if you can't manage something. Just keep on pushing and try until you do get it right. Always remember that no matter how bad things may seem, there is always a road back. Just believe in yourself. This is something you can do. Something you once done no problems at all. You have just forget how to use those skills. They are still there. You simply have to learn to use them all over again. We start at the bottom and work our way back up.