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TiredOTired 08-26-2008 11:15 AM

I have a fear of leaving my home. I don't like being around others. Is that what agoraphobia is or is it more generalized anxiety disorder? I slightly hyperventilate all day at work. Whenever the phone rings, I get a pain in my chest (by the way-I am the office's receptionist) and whenever we have clients in the office, I feel like I can't wait for them to leave. When I am driving in my car-I feel anger towards any car that comes near my lane of traffic. I had a couple of traumatic things happen to me, and know where this comes from. I have sought treatment, and am doing better as I no longer have full blown panic attacks. (I used to have them so bad, that I would have to call the paramedics because I was passing out.) How am I supposed to function like this? I am hoping someone else can help shed some light.

dmize23235 08-26-2008 12:52 PM

Re: Agoraphobia?
are you on any meds?...i have anxiety and i don't really like to be around a lot of people say like a best buy or grocery store....lexapro has helped me a lot but i still have those jumpy feelings in crowds...

TiredOTired 08-26-2008 03:44 PM

Re: Agoraphobia?
Yes, I am on cymbalta. I just started though. I have also tried others in the past. (Quite a list, actually.) I have considered myself claustrophobic in the past, although now I just can't stand to be in public at all and I don't like leaving home. AT ALL. If I had my way, I would live on a large piece of land with no one else around. Crowds, even small ones freak me out. Also there is some safe feeling about being in my own home-like no one can get me. (LOL-that sounded hilarious to even type!) If someone were to bump into me in the store-I might actually lose it. That is messed up, no?:(

REDD998 08-26-2008 04:01 PM

Re: Agoraphobia?
Sounds like me as Im not a people person.I have had Agoraphobia but that usually happens when I stop working out and start looking bad or fat.I hate grocery shopping and malls and do the best to avoid them.One medicine that has helped me greatly is Inderal which reduces the physical signs of Anxiety.I don't rely on the AD's because they make it worse for me.Agoraphobia is one ofg the worst things that I have ever felt.For me diet and exercise is the main key then if I need them my meds.

violet312s 08-26-2008 11:12 PM

Re: Agoraphobia?
I know exactly how you feel. Diagnosed with "Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia". The agoraphobia bit comes with increased avoidance of certain activities or locations because you know you'll feel anxious. Eventually your brain associates a whole host of locations/activities with anxiety so your world starts to get very, very small.

Right after I started on Lexapro my world got so small I couldn't walk around the outside of my house without extreme anxiety. I had to have several doors open so I could get back to my "safe zone".

Once the Lexapro kicked in (3+ weeks...not advocating any particular medication therapy) things got better but ONLY in conjunction with cognitive-behavior therapy. Without therapy you're still operating without a toolbox to combat this.

I was able to get back to work, shopping, driving, interacting, etc. in three months. Only 6 weeks of active therapy...oh those side effects are horrid.

I still have a long way to go, but I have most of my life back...more importantly I have the world back.

dmize23235 08-27-2008 06:39 AM

Re: Agoraphobia?
well, i finally went to best buy for the first time in weeks.(if you knew me, you would know that me not going to best buy in weeks is a BIG deal)i went there yesterday to get the new slipknot CD. well let's just say it was not easy....the crowd there made me feel like the walls were closing in.....typical social anxiety.....but at least i did make it there....i just didn't stay long......SOCIAL ANXIETY SUCKS!!!!!!

violet312s 08-29-2008 09:17 PM

Re: Agoraphobia?
I'm smiling here. :) Best Buy also put me into fits. Walked in and immediately wanted to walk out. Then I told myself I had to do this. Walked over half the store and bought a DVD I didn't really need. Over the next few weeks I was able to explore the whole store.

For me it was the fact that Best Buy doesn't have carts. Carts=Crutch

Agoraphobia is horrible, but it can be beat by doing the same thing over and over and over again until it becomes boring and reverts to being natural again. The process will wear you out with getting tired from repeated anxiety attacks but it does work. It really does.

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