Any tips for overcoming agoraphobia?

I've been struggling with it for over a year now and haven't had a job since last January cuz I can't leave the house without feeling like I'm dying. It's getting quite miserable cuz I had to move since I could no longer pay to live alone, and I'm taking time off from college cuz I couldn't make it too class. Now I don't have any friends around to see, and can't make new ones cuz I never leave the house. I need tips on how to beat this to improve my quality of life.


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8 Replies

  • First as always you need to get a counselor who is familiar. I've heard that exposure therapy works but you have to have a trusted person with you when you go out. Once upon a time I had panic attacks in every grocery store, I didn't feel safe at work, I just needed to be home but I was a single mother and I had to do it terrified or not. That's kind of like the sink or swim method and it was awful but it worked. Barring that I strongly suggest you get a counselor.

  • Kinikia is right. Exposure therapy does work. I did it for many months with an anxiety counselor and like you I was afraid but it forced me to face those situations head on and after repeated exposures I felt more comfortable and realized nothing bad ever happened. Find a counselor and build an exposure hierarchy. Start with something easy and then gradually increase the challenge. Build up small wins one at a time. Good luck

  • Hi Sarah762, I agree with kinikia95 in that you do need to find a therapist you trust and is available to your needs. There are therapists who specialize in agoraphobia. I stayed in the house for 5 years. The therapists came to me. They offered to walk outside with me, but I was afraid. They offered to sit in the car while I drove, I was afraid. And so I continued therapy from my home, by phone several times a week. I had developed a trust in my therapist as well as the fact that she put aside time for me whenever I would call. She never charged me for my co-pay just accepted what the insurance gave her. I would not be where I am today, without having her not give up on me.

    My advice is to not let it go on a day longer than you have to. It only gets harder. Do not have people come to you, it just feeds into the fear of getting out. Help yourself by taking steps in getting outside around your home, going a little further each time.

    If you drive, take the car around the block several times, venturing a little further each time. Going through a "drive thru" will allow you to feel an accomplishment without having to get out of your car. Once you accomplish that, try going to the post office where you go in to drop off mail and then back to your car. Small steps will lead to larger ones until you feel comfortable enough to get back in control. I wish you much success. I made a lot of mistakes. Hopefully, we can help you get through this. Good Luck

  • I've never heard of this phobia but I couldn't imagine how horrible it must feel :/

    It's all going to be okay

    You're not going to die I promise at least not anytime soon

    We're all destined for great things including you ! ❤

  • Sarah762 I am feeling the same way. Been going for a now and it sucks. I cant sleep, eat, not working or going to college anymore because I'm afraid. I'm always in the house and rather sleep. This feeling suck, you're not alone. Hope you feel better soon.

  • I'm sorry to hear that. I was really bad about eating when this first started too. Hard to eat when you feel horrid. But because of that I ended up losing 25lbs and I'm now 15lbs underweight. So please try to force yourself to eat. Cuz gaining the weight back is very hard. I know it's hard but you really gotta try to get all your nutrients and calories in a day. Cuz malnourishment can make you feel even worse than you already would.

  • I developed some agoraphobia. It makes you feel like something will happen if you leave the house right? I go outside and I feel so tense smh my body tenses up and its winter time so outside looks so depressing and cloudy. It makes me feel so depressed. The world is so dangerous and scary and I developed a fear. I just want to be normal again, I'm constantly checking my pulse. I can't even look people in the eye and have a convo. I have detached myself from the world. I dont hang out with my friends anymore, I used to be take drives now I fear health issues while driving now, I can't sleep, I went to bed at 4am woke up at 7 now its 10:40 n I been tossing and turning obsessing over anxiety smh. I MAY sometimes go out to get food and head RIGHT back home. Life would be so much better if I just didn't have these intrusive thoughts in my mind. Anything I feel I think it's something major. Smh I never was a homebody now I'm scared of the world out there and feel safer in my home. Smh

  • That's exactly how I feel. I been to the doctor like 5 times and there's nothing wrong with me and finally he gave me some medicine for it. So I had to keep telling myself that everything is going to be okay and relax. Can't sleep at night, or eat. But it's getting better and I hope it get better for you as well.

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