I'm not an agoraphobia sufferer but I do have acute anxiety which causes extreme concerns with my health. I am terrified to be alone so I too have a safe person, my husband. Unfortunately he works outside of the home so he leaves for 9 hours M-F and I'm pretty much alone until my 8 yr old son comes home from school at 3pm. This causes me great distress. Anyway, back to your problem. Have you heard of exposure therapy? You might want to look into it and look for a therapist or psychologist in your area who knows about and has had success with it. I have read good things about it!
i have had agoraphobia on and off for 8 years, but its only this year i realized it was agoraphobia, i have a safe person which is my mum, when i'm with her i can do anything or if i'm with my best friend, when i'm alone i get very nervous and sometimes panic.
its really easy to become dependent on aperson because you feel safe with them, try going for a short walk or even a few steps on your own, remind your self you are safe, i started going for walks on my own, at first i could only manage to the end of the road but now on a good day i can walk into town.
i'm seeing a psychologist right now which as helped me alot, you could even try going to the shops with your wife and getting her to wait at the door so you can pratice being by yourselfbut also knowing your wife is close by,
I had a "safe person" for two years (my best friend) until I moved away...and I haven't had one for a year now. He was the only person, I felt could understand what I was going through, since he also had some of the same problems. My therapist told me I needed to just take small steps out into the world alone. It is very hard for me, since I have been agoraphobic for a while now, but I also have no choice, since I have no "safe person" anymore. I basically plan what I need from whatever store....go straight for it....get it paid for....and out the door. In the least amount of time as possible. I don't even remember what its like to actually shop around.
It is very easy to become dependant on your "safe person"....but as far as I'm concerned.....if it makes your life even a tiny bit less stressful....then what is the harm? I only wish I still had mine, so I could hang around longer in a store to see what's new.
I think the next step for you is to do things 'by yourself' but have your 'safe person' within reach of contact incase you really can't take it. I did this with my mom when I tried going back to the gym. The first time she didn't stay but I could still contact her and only lasted 15 minutes before I felt like I couldn't breathe. Next time she sat in her car outside and I lasted 10 more minutes than last time! Each time I started lasting longer and now I don't even think about the anxiety attacks.
You should try to do something like I have done where you have the safe person close enough if you really need them but try to last as long as you can without them because it will pay off! After a little over a month of doing stuff like this I was able to practice soccer alone for 4 hours by myself completely (without a thought of an anxiety attack at all).
Trust me it will help if you kind of make yourself do things just because you have to realize it is irrational that just because you are alone you will instantly die\pass out or whatever your fear behind it is. I realize it is hard to and that is why you have to slowly get yourself doing things until you don't even think about it. Good luck!
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. All of them were helpful. When I look at my problems rationally they seem almost silly. If I can do something with my wife the bottom line is I can do it. As far as thinking my anxiety is caused by an undiagnosed medical problem is probably untrue. I have battled anxiety for so many years if I had any of the things I thought I did I probably would have died years ago. A doctor gave me good advice once that almost all disease you have 24/7. For instance if you have cancer or a heart problem it doesn't come and go you have it all the time.
I read recently that family history almost always determines longevity. Sure there are rare diseases but are usually just that rare. Of coarse abuses such as illicit drug use, smoking, alcoholism and things like not wearing a seatbelt can lower life expectantly greatly. Chances are if your parents and grandparents did not have an early disease you will not either. If your parents or grandparents died at an early age of say heart disease or cancer of coarse you should test often to catch it early. My Mother recently passed of heart disease at the age of 72. My father is healthy at age 73. My Moms parents lived into there 80ís. On my Dadís side his father died in WW1 but his mother lived into her 90ís. Considering I took almost every medical test possible starting in my twenties it see almost silly.
ďIĒ handled this problem wrong for such a long time. For the past six years I used medication alone. It worked in a way I was able to work. What I did not mention when I worked these past couple jobs I complained and thought I was better then them. This time I plan on once I can drive outside my one-mile bubble to be involved in very aggressive therapy. I heard about many good things about cognitive behavioral therapy yet never tried it and really want to try it.
I need to copy and save my posts. When I get out of this agoraphobia I need to remember it so I never slide back into it.
Tough talk in my safe home. Lets hope I walk my talk tomorrow and there after.