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Author Topic: Does this sound like agoraphobia?  (Read 189 times)

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Offline DahliaDollface

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Does this sound like agoraphobia?
« on: August 24, 2014, 09:47:45 PM »
Hi, so normally I post on the Health Anxiety board because most of my anxiety stems from fear of sudden death from a heart arrhythmia. But it has been suggested to me recently that some of my most troubling and scary symptoms might be due to agoraphobia and I'm trying to put my mind at ease and figure out if that's the case.

For about a year now when I go out in public, almost always a store, I get the feeling like I'm paralyzed, going to collapse/faint and have a seizure (not that I've ever had one to know what that feels like) all at the same time. I'll feel really off balance and like I'm walking through water and just plain terrified. Usually I have to stop wherever I am and concentrate on staying alive. (at least that what it feels like) Sometimes it happens the moment I walk into a store and doesn't go away until I'm back in my car and sometimes I get almost get all the way through a shopping trip before it'll hit me.

It also happens when I'm driving alone on the interstate but not nearly as often as it does when I'm in a store somewhere. If I drive with my wife in the car it doesn't happen.

Part of me really and truly believes that these are symptoms of an impending fatal arrhythmic event but my wife has pointed out that these feelings don't happen at home. I do have symptoms at home but not like the ones I experience outside of the house.

My therapist doesn't want to diagnose me with agoraphobia for some reason even though I routinely cancel appointments and skip group therapy because I'm afraid of something happening if I leave the house but I really am curious that this is part of my illness. Does this sound like agoraphobia to those of you who suffer from it?
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Offline LuLu82

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Re: Does this sound like agoraphobia?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 10:27:51 PM »
this sounds like exactly what I experience.
I have panic disorder with  some agoraphobia stuff and a lot of the symptoms happen in stores,groceries or anywhere that is far away from my car or home.
the walking feeling off balance, feeling like I will faint is my biggest symptom.
You should probably rule out anything physical to be sure first.
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Offline lmcc87

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Re: Does this sound like agoraphobia?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 07:55:37 AM »
This is pretty much what I get. I have stopped going to certain groups etc due to them being "too far away from home". I'm now waiting to see a psychiatrist which is just 3 minute walk from my house lol! All the symptoms you are experiencing I get and I know how hard it is to talk yourself around and rationalise it in your head. If it's your heart you are worried about just tell yourself that your not sick you will not get a heart attack or anything similar out of the blue, it's usually a long time coming and it happens to people with hypertension or history of heart disease. Once I rule out something I find another symptom and I need to tell myself that it's impossible to have all these symptoms. As for the sensations you get in the grocery store etc I can totally relate, it's almost touching on claustrophobic more so than agoraphobic well for me it does anyway. Like if I'm in a queue or waiting I get those dizzy and off balance feelings. Maybe because I feel I'm under pressure. sometimes it just comes out of nowhere!
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Offline DahliaDollface

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Re: Does this sound like agoraphobia?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 09:06:39 AM »
I have had a cardiac work-up because I wanted any heart conditions that cause sudden death to be ruled out. I was told that I have Mitral Valve Prolapse and that's what causes my palpitations so, I've been checked out medically and have been told that everything is OK (not that I really believe that, doctors are wrong all the time) other than the MVP.

I'm glad there are other people who have that faint feeling as their main symptom. I've talked to many other people who say they never feel that way and that can be discouraging when you're really scared and trying to listen to the professionals that tell you everything you're experiencing is anxiety related.

Usually I can get through the feelings if I stop what I'm doing. Since I'm not worried about having a heart attack or heart failure but rather dying from an arrhythmia it's hard to reassure myself in the moment sometimes because I know death from these conditions have no warning and that's what scares me the most.

I'm also terrified (contradictorily) that if something happens to me in public that people will pay attention to me and make a fuss while also worrying that I won't get any kind of medical attention. Weird, right? 
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Online Rob783

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Re: Does this sound like agoraphobia?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 12:13:24 PM »
It sounds like agoraphobia to me.  I have a lot of the same symptoms (faintness, dizziness, wobbly).  From what I've read on the subject some of it may be due to hyperventilation. We're simply anxious and take short shallow breaths.
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