How to get help?

Hello everyone I'm Axxx (nickname given to me cause I play guitar or axe) I am 48 years old and haven't left my house in many years. I did go to the hospital over a week ago from feeling so run down but would only go by ambulance. They said I was physically fine but I had anxiety. Yet they didn't give me any medication. I'm trying to find out how can you get help when your mind won't let you leave home? Thanks

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  • Hey Axxx, My anxiety got rocking, excuse the pun, as a child and led to approx. 35 years of severe anxiety and panic attacks to include a several periods of agoraphobia. I'm 49 now. There were brief periods of relief but it consumed/controlled my mind and I always mention that i generally sought relief through drugs and alcohol. I have been clean and sober for some years now but even during past years of sober periods anxiety still consumed me. It no longer does today nor do I take meds and I wanted to disclose that too. I am cool with meds and therapy but i just don't feel comfortable giving advise in these areas. What i can do is throw a bunch of my personal experiences, pitfalls and successes out there and maybe something will help. As a child I had a brief period of agoraphobia but i think one episode, and my last, might be the most helpful. At the time I was an NCO in the Reserve Armed Forces and gainfully employed with an orthopedic company-my anxiety was starting to enter the severe stage. Panic attacks were beginning to consume me and i started avoiding my professional obligations. One day I woke up and could not leave my home. My heart was pounding, I was soaked with sweat, shaking and panic overwhelmed my mind. I would walk towards my door and I felt like my hands were going to shake right off my arms. I was beaten! Light agoraphobia had been growing for months. (Shopping for food at nearby gas station and going only to work when I couldn't get out of it). But now I was a hostage in my own home-of my own mind. I canceled work for several days while i paced my home or lay in the fetal position in bed crying when i wasn't. I know one thing for sure, you cannot hide from your own mind. One of my friends says "wherever you go there you are" short and sweet. So, I was sitting in my living room crying and I knew if i did not do something very quick my life was about to get seriously worse. I stood up in absolute fury, charged my front door and slammed it open so hard it cracked my entire wall-my landlords entire wall-lol. I knew I couldn't stop now so i stormed across the property and straight to my car. Driving was a huge part of my anxiety and i had been in panic all the way to work recently-pulling over several times each way just to breath. I DON"T RECOMMEND THIS PART-lol. I put my car into 1st then 2nd then 3rd... gear and the gas full throttle and i raced towards the freeway-they scared my the most especially bridges. I got on the freeway still furious and battling back against that monster renting space in my head. I got in the fast lane until i was doing 100 mph and then i exhaled a deep breath and let off the throttle and headed for the off ramp. I was partially in charge again and pulled over to take a minute to rest. I realized (believed-convinced myself-reprogramming) if i could do a 100 successfully i could do 35 mph to work or groceries etc and started mentally walking myself through what i had just accomplished instead of how afraid i was just 15 minutes before. I guess you could say i beat back my fear and felt the victory. Although I still had anxiety, it was much better and that was the last full episode with (non drug induced) agoraphobia. I don't expect you to do what i did, that would be silly, but i thought you might pull some pieces of inspiration out of my experience. If i did that, maybe you could take one step outside? Maybe you could try some simple, slow, patient and positive steps to start your own growing journey. Pick a warm sunny day and decide that your ONLY going to open your door, step under the door frame, close your eyes and turn your face to the sun and feel the beautiful warmth of mother nature-feel the pleasant breeze. Stand there as long as your comfortable and shut the door SLOWLY/softly not fast or hard when your done (so you have pleasant memories the next time). When your ready do the same but step 1 foot out. Do that for as long as you want to repeat it. Then 2 feet out and repeat that as long as it takes to become natural feeling and mostly stress free. Although i told you that crazy story i do realize that if i do it and cause myself excessive fear than i will probably run backwards. Maybe it will take a few weeks maybe a few months but your moving in the right direction. If its too much thats OK too-I don't expect others to think like, act like or live like me. I hope you are willing try because there is an absolute beautiful world on the other side of anxiety and agoraphobia. I never thought the beautiful peace that runs through my body and mind was possible for a guy like me-but it is. I'll close with a couple quotes the first i forget the author. "we don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are" And "It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live" Marcus Aurelius. Good luck my friend and if you ever feel like nobody believes in you, that just means you need to believe in yourself twice as much. Best wishes, Russ

  • Thank you very much Russ ..that was an inspirational story and the quotes ...and the funny parts was great lol... i have no problem getting out in my yard and doing things or just sitting outside doing anything..It the leaving my property i have a problem with..Thank you so much for your reply

  • Hi AxxxD,

    If you look at Russ's example, you can logically apply it to leaving your property and have a method of slowly moving off of your property a tiny bit at a time. It's the same idea of desensitizing yourself from the world just waiting for you right on the other side of your property. Do you see how it could work? I had to do the same thing with speaking in public or in front of a group. It's all done the same way...in baby steps until we're comfortable and then we take the next baby step forward.

    I hope you give this a try and have great success, though very slow success!

  • Thank you ver5y much SueSz .yes i could see how that would work.,such as in me playing guitar you got to start off slowly til you learn part of a song and then move on to the next step..i want to get back to the way i used to be..Thank you

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