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So, my anxiety still sneaks up on me, but I'm having better days. I still can't bring myself to leave the house and go into any stores by myself though. I'm afraid I'll have an attack, or something else, while I'm out. So I wait until I have someone here and then I'm totally fine. I can drive and walk around stores and everything without a problem. But when I'm alone, I start to feel the dizzy head again, threat feels like it's closing up, and I'll swear something bad is about to happen to me. I also have a fear of being left alone at night. When it's bedtime.

If you e ever suffered with this, and gotten over it, how did you do it?!?! Lol 😆 I know that everything I've read says to just face your fears. Well, I'm having a really hard time with that. I can drive to my son's school and wait in the line to pick him up, but that's because I absolutely have to and I don't get out. It's just right around the corner. But I need to get back to a place where I can go off by myself again and cope without someone always being with me. HELP!

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11 Replies

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  • Hi Mama1204, I was agoraphobic for about 6 years unable to drive or even step outside. Having even my psychologist who was willing to walk with me, didn't convince me that I could do it. There's was a turning around for me which came from within. Being disgusted and angry of life passing me by as well as accepting that nothing would happen to me. (that was difficult to accept)

    I needed to be in control. I needed to drive. I needed to walk into the store by myself. I could no longer fear the "what ifs". I started out by going through drive throughs to get my prescriptions. The having someone at home that knew I'd be going out alone made me comfortable enough to drive to my favorite store. It felt sooo good and so liberating to be out that I completely forgot my fears and had an hour going up and down the isles before leaving.

    From there it was running into the grocery store for an item or two (or a lottery ticket :) ) Small steps became bigger in time. Now I don't think twice about getting out alone. For me it's because I'm in control as to how long I stay out and when I come home. I'm the best judge of that.

    Whatever works for you Mama, is what is best as long as you don't stay stuck in a rut and keep moving forward. I wish you well in finding that motivation and security. It's a great feeling!

  • You give me so much hope! Thank you! I can go to drive thrus, but I find that I still have a mini attack. I'm fighting!

  • Mama1204, there's an old saying by the American philosopher Norman Vincent Peale "Do what you fear and the death of fear is assured" and it's good advice but I think you need a greater understanding of how anxiety works before you feel free to roam the great outdoors without a care again.

    Agrophobia is just one symptom of anxiety disorder which can take many forms. Dizziness and the feeling of impending doom are other common symptoms too. Somehow you have sensitised your nervous system with too much stress and worry in the past - and now the stress and worry of you agrophobia, dizziness and bad feelings are continuing to keep your nerves sensitised because the condition feeds on fear.

    First let me tell you for absolute certain that nothing awful is going to happen to you and no matter how dizzy you feel you are not going to collapse. With anxiety disorder even the most unsteady of legs will still take you where you want to go. That's because all these symptoms are not for real as in the sense of an organic or physical illness, they are merely artificial symptoms caused by blips and short circuits in your over sensitised nerves. It's only your fear of the symptoms that gives them the power to make your life a misery, if you can stop fearing them they will eventually cease to exist, starved of the fuel your fear gives them.

    And oh yes you can stop fearing them and the first step towards this is to accept them. If you feel impending doom, dizzy or fear when going out, then stop fighting the fear, accept it, and get on and practice doing those things any way. You can you know. After all you know very well that all these symptoms horrible though they may be are only jangled nerves and they cannot hurt you physically and they cannot make you lose your mind.You are being intimidated by a thought only, a glitch in your over stressed nervous system.

    So go ahead and do all the things you need to do and when you feel the bad feelings come then simply accept them, let your muscles loosen up, feel your muscles going limp and let the bad feelings come. And as they come don't fight them which only causes more tension, let the bad feelings do their worse (which is nothing life threatening at all) and just accept them without adding more fear to the first flash of fear. Now that you have the measure of these fake symptoms then treat them with the contempt they deserve, like all bullies if you stand up to them they will eventually go away.

    Mama1204, if you can practice acceptance of the bad feelings for a while, whatever they may be, and stop frightening yourself to death over mere blips in your jangled nerves then eventually your nervous system will recover from being over sensitive and all these exagerated fears will recede. Butvit will take practice and persistance on your part but you have within you the power to do it and before long you will join all those other brave souls on the Yellow Brick Road to recovery.

  • I loved this post so much. I have been fighting, and I've gotten so much better. This is my last hurdle..

  • You have had 2 amazing replies there is nothing I can add as they both said it so brilliantly

    All I recommend with their advice is you look at Dr Claire Weekes work Her books are still in print and there is lots on you tube about her

    She is the reason I got well

    You will get there as you are determined and you aren't just sitting back feeling sorry for yourself or looking for a miracle cure

    Just take it small steps get out your car at the school stand by the car at first then go a little further each day until you get to the gate

    I know you can do it I wish you all the luck in the world ❤

  • Thank you 🤗

  • Cat33 is right, the acceptance method I have described was worked out many years ag0 by Claire Weekes who as a young doctor experienced anxiety disorder herself. She worked out Acceptance and healed herself and she then wrote a short easy to read book about the method called 'Self help with your nerves' in the uk and 'Hope and help with your nerves in the U.S. These books can be bought either newvor used from Amazon. You will recognise yourself in its pages. Her second book 'Release from nervous suffering' deals more specifically with agrophobia but the first book should be read first should you decide to read them (she subsequently wrote many more books but the two I have mentioned are the ones to help you most). If you decide to read DrcWeekes book(s) you will find them lifechanging.

  • I second this! I also downloaded her audio so i can play in when i drive - it's like having a dear old aunt sitting next to me in the passenger seat - got me through many an anxious wait at the interminable traffic lights!!

  • I've read parts of her books on kindle. For some reason, Amazon will only give me a preview. I've also started reading ''Dare'', but I loved how Claire Weekes really hits the nail on the head. Thank you again for all of your advice! It really does help and I take every bit of it to heart!

  • DARE is great too and he references Claire Weekes a lot ❤

  • Thanks Jeff for reinforcing my reply

    I think your replies to Mama 1204 are brilliant and such a big help

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