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Old 06-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default Agoraphobia

This is somewhat new to me and its eating me alive.

My mother wanted to go to a nami meeting tonight and part of me wanted to go but there's this dreaded fear I have of being out in public places and seeing people I don't want to see. Being in uncomfortable situations. Pretty much anyone I know I don't want to see.

I don't want anything to remind me of my last manic episode.

I made a fool out of myself all over town.

This is all in my mind regardless of who knows me or not I just try to avoid going to the city.

I don't know how to get over this.. I want to move to a whole new place and start a new life.

Its sad because I've lived here my whole life and never felt like this.
The shame and guilt is just too much for me to take in.

Anyone else struggle with this?
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

Sometimes. Usually when depressed. But there was also a time following a big public mixed meltdown (in a small town we had just moved to) that I hid in my apartment for 3 days before I went outside at all. Too mortified. I hear ya. It would be good to try to get out a bit though -- starting small of course -- out to get the mail, take out the garbage, short trips, maybe the library or something? What would you think of that?
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

I remember after my first hospitalization I refused to go to a certain part of our area. Once my husband forced me, and it was my luck that I spotted a man I knew from work. I don't know if he saw me, but I hid behind my husband.

Some years later, I developed a full blown case of agoraphobia. I couldn't go anywhere. I didn't even want to leave my house, or ideally not even my bedroom except to eat and go to the bathroom. I definitely couldn't go to the grocery store without having a panic attack, abandoning my shopping cart, and speeding home. When my husband took me, I would often either force him to cut the errand short or let me run to the car for safety. He was determined to push me. He'd force me to the movies, and I'd run to the car after 10 minutes. He'd then leave, too.

Eventually my agoraphobia eased and mostly disappeared. Exposure helped, but also cognitive behavioral therapy strategies. Yes, for me, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was extremely valuable. I had a great psychologist at the time. Really, it was the therapy that made the biggest difference.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

Yes, I’ve experienced it and it’s awful. In addition to the anxiety I experience a lot of issues with my gut when anxious.
With therapy (including exposure therapy) it’s slowly improving.
What I’ve noticed is that if I don’t force myself to go out one day then it’s harder to do it the next day. So I go out every day.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

I've left my apartment only 3 times this year. The last time was in April. I need to renew my driver's license soon, and it's a lot harder than it should be to work up the courage to go.

Exposure therapy does work, I've gotten over my agoraphobia in the past this way. But I had a few people in my life who got me started, and I don't have that now.

Christopher, if you have someone who you can confide in, and who will go out with you as often as you need for brief outings to get you started...well, I highly recommend that.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

I have a mild form of agoraphobia. Mostly busy indoor spaces, full of people but also anything that involves strangers in close quarters, like buses or subways. I somewhat got used to buses and subways but shopping malls and restaurants are still terrible places to be in. I also get sensory overload. I just feel like screaming and running away.
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Old 06-13-2018, 03:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

I have some agoraphobia, but it's been getting better. The only place I could go alone to is my hairdresser. Everywhere else my husband has to be in the local vicinity. It used to be he had to be right next to me, but there are a couple of places where he isn't. I'm always afraid someone will expose me as a fraud when I'm just trying to get better.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Agoraphobia

I strongly encourage you to attend a NAMI support group. 10 years ago I was a wreck, an absolutely mess of anxiety and depression. I was delusional, and reeling from losses (deaths) I had experienced in my life.

For some reason I made myself attend a NAMI Connection group. When I gave my first check-in I was pretty amazed at how much weight lifted from my shoulders, just saying the words and being heard and validated.

I kept attending various NAMI groups and truly found amazing support in them. The groups are called "Connection" groups for a reason...people really do connect.

Last week I went to a NAMI volunteer dinner and sat with true friends. Wow, I thought...I'm so glad I went to that first support group, because look how much it helped my life.

Give it a try.
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