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Unread 10-12-2017, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

I've been totally cooped up in the house for over a month (a good way of keeping the mileage down on the car, if nothing else). I realize it's an illogical fear & I've been trying to use my DBT skills to fight it, but it's lingering. A few days ago I made an appointment to go out to lunch with a friend tomorrow, feeling this would be a good opportunity to break the cycle. The closer I get to the lunch with this friend, the more anxious I get. I know from past experiences, breaking the cycle takes place a step at a time. Taking that first step is extremely anxiety provoking, though. I'll take a few klonopin before going ( & hope I don't fall asleep face first in my chili), but I'm afraid that might not be enough. Again I have DBT skills & phamaceutical aids, but I'm still on the verge of having a panic attack. I'm just afraid I'll have a panic attack in the restaurant.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

I'm about to head out in public this morning (in less than an hour) for the first time in weeks. I'm going with my wife but I'm still anxious. Plus I didn't get any sleep last night whatsoever which doesn't help things at all. I don't blame you for being nervous but if it helps, try to remember that soon enough it will all be over and you'll be looking back on it. That helps me when I'm dreading something that's coming up. Also, like you said, it's a step at a time, and it gets easier over time but only by doing it, which is the unfortunate part, so it's to be expected that the first bit will be a little rough. Also, give yourself some credit for taking that first step because it's a big deal.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

Agoraphobia is a real struggle for me too. I was offered dbt skills but I feared I wouldn't be able to leave my flat to go there so I missed out . I missed my doctors appointment because of anxiety and now I have no meds left .
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Unread 10-12-2017, 11:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

I had agoraphobia for several years. One day, I had nobody to get a medication that was ready to be picked up and I took it one baby step at a time and went to pick it up. I was very anxious the whole time. This started me taking baby steps and I eventually got over it. I hope you find healing and resolution. Sending big hugs.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 12:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

i have recovered from agoraphobia 5 times now, but life is cruel, and each time it's harder and harder to make myself go out into a world i'm barely able to manage on a good day.

i have found that a strict schedule with people i trust is the most helpful external support. i did go thru a terrible DBT group and ended up traumatized, so maybe you were lucky to miss that group.

i find that rehearsing what i will do if i panic helps reduce the anticipation, and taking an emergency phone with me (tho i've never used it) is reassuring. for me, the strangest thing was that after the 3rd 'recovery', instead of chemical terror i experienced that 'freeze' syndrome, where i would go to the door and just stand there until i realized i wasn't going out, no matter what i thought.

that has been the hardest 'symptom' to fight, because it's not there. so, i get someone to go with me, or take the para-transit, or make special arrangements for some one to get me out of the door. once out, i do OK generally. if something goes wrong with my plans, i do tend to panic again. but i have 'rehearsed' (in real time in real panic) what to say to people to help them understand what helps me. someplace quiet and alone, someone to walk with me to the bus, etc. generally i find people very accommodating, i don't know if they actually understand, but their help is much appreciated.

the bottom line, for me, was realizing that this is just a brain chemistry disorder, a chemical dump from some traumatized glands, and nothing to feed catastrophic fantasies to. best wishes, and Freedom for All~!


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Unread 10-12-2017, 08:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

My agoraphobia has been on the back burner this year because I was locked up in the hospital for over two months, then locked in this nursing home for 5 months.

But I'm feeling it a little more just recently because I'm supposed to be going to doctors appointments this coming week. I do not want to go unless I understand how I'm going to get there and back, and a host of other worries. This is all chained together by free floating anxiety and rebound anxiety from when I was coming off benzos. I didn't leave my apartment for anything at all for over a whole 12 months in 2014-2015. I didn't go out for the mail or anything at all. My friend would visit every few weeks and bring my mail in, etc. I was fine. I felt comfortable. But the telemed companies stopped giving me refills of meds so I finally had to go to the horrible clinic. I hope everyone is free. I'm still locked up lol.
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Unread 10-13-2017, 06:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

It sounds like a few of you have had bouts of agoraphobia that last longer than mine generally do, I'm usually out of commission for a month, to a few months. I probably shouldn't complain. I'm especially sorry to hear of your situation, Angelique. Being cooped up for periods as long as you have sounds both emotionally painful & logistically difficult (getting the things you need from outside the apartment). I hope your current anxiety doesn't develop into full-blown agoraphobia this time. Take care.
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Unread 10-13-2017, 12:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Agoraphobia - Breaking the Cycle

I got out of the house today. I went to lunch with a friend (close acquaintance) & he shared the fact that he'd just come from an appointment with his therapist. He knows I have problems isolating, so the fact that he shared with me was both generous & put me at ease. This friend is someone I know from AA (I've been in recovery for years). I haven't been to a meeting in almost two months because I was anxious about being around people; prior to that I was going to 6-7 meetings a week. I'm going to try to get to a meeting tonight, although it sounds fairly intimidating. Thanks to you folks I was reminded of my DBT skills & now feel able to take "baby steps" out of this prison of my own making.
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