Author Topic: How to deal with cabin fever?  (Read 2234 times)

[Buddie]

How to deal with cabin fever?
« on: February 24, 2010, 07:57:22 am »
I bet there are others in this forum who rarely (if ever) can leave the house because of panic, anxiety etc. I'm one of them. Still, I consider myself lucky, cause I can usually go out DAILY for short walks with my dogs. And about once a week I go to a nearby supermarket with my boyfriend, or maybe visit my sister (my bf drives me there). But I know, it's not much and not even close to enough when it comes to avoiding cabin fever.

My flat is also quite small (well have 2 rooms  :yippee:) which doesnt help. In a bigger flat or house it would be just a little bit easier I think. And this winter time is worst, don't really feel like going to sit on my balcony when it's -20 celcius outside  :o

Sometimes I have changed the places of my furniture, put new curtains to the windows, but it just helps for a short time (and sometimes actually increases anxiety cause things arent how i'm used to....) TV and internet are of course good ways to "get out" and i use them a lot. Sometimes just watch TV so much, it starts to annoy me. I also read a lot, mostly when going to bed at night, it often helps with anxiety and racing thoughts. Sometimes when it's too quiet I turn on the radio, it also helps a little.

How do u other homebounds cope with this? I'm quite worried it will become more and more difficult for me to go out as I taper more. Also fear the anxiety getting worse (and it's bad already!)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 08:25:26 am »
Hi Wanta,

I'm off the benzos but remember the year and a half I spent in my garage.  I would never go anywhere except maybe a short drive or trip to the doctor. 

I think you are doing exactly what I and others here did/do when we can't handle venturing out into "the real world".  We all come up with little things just as you have done.  Having little things I liked to do and could handle helped me feel more "normal".  I used to come up with projects and then do them at my own pace and when I felt up to it. 

Conversations with people who didn't judge me negatively also helped.  But the problem with this one was finding people who wouldn't judge me - that ruled out most people I knew.  The forum was a big part of my effort to get well.  People here on the forum understand and usually don't judge.

I also went back to my childhood and tried to rediscover things I liked to do back then.

It's the little things that help bring us back whether it is finding things to do or "self-talking" your way back (reprogramming your self).  By themselves, the little things don't have a profound effect.  But the effects are cumulative and if you add up all the little things we do see results... :)

Best of luck and happy healing,
[...]

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 08:38:47 am »
Thank you [...], it's nice to know that others have been in this not so pleasant situation too. I forgot to mention in my first message that I also try to socialize as much as I can. Since when alone, anxious thoughts so easily become a vicious circle, and when thoughts turned inwards while alone in your flat it certainly is one big peak in cabin fever.

The problem in socializing is of course the fact that I cant just go visit a friend when I feel like it. So I'm at the mercy of my friends when it comes to getting together, just have to ask them for a visit and hope they have the time and the will to do so. And sometimes even if I want to socialize, I find myself feeling so exhausted that I have to call the visit off in the last minute. It can be very frustrating. And also, like [...] said, its hard to find people with whom u can feel understood and comfortable when so ill. Im lucky to have a few.

Sometimes i get very anxious when people come over to visit, especially if many at the same time. Lots of people in a small place usually means noise, which can sometimes be almost impossible to tolerate.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 03:10:51 pm »
Sorry you're house-bound, but so glad/relieved to hear there are others like my friend Larry who are stuck inside. We/I read so many posts of people who still can get out to do anything, even something small like checking the mail or walking or shopping or whatever. They are sooooooooo lucky and blessed. Outside of a couple trips to the hospital this year 9results were all good, just w/d sx), Larry hasn't left the house, or even stood in the front/back doorway since last year, and he wasn't able to get out much for a couple months before that. He can't even get food or drink for himself as he feels so horrible with the w/d sx. I know its tough on him. Most days he does fairly well to make it to the couch and forces himself to get to the couch on the horrible days. He doesn't want to be stuck laying in bed and unable to get up, despite not wanting to get out of bed. I don't post much here, but read everyday, and most times read posts to him (he's not sitting up well enough to be on PC). I've been here 24/7 all year (can't imagine the cobwebs and dust that are forming at my house - lol). He does better with someone here, and when I have to go somewhere he does call friends/family and sometimes his Mom comes over and gives me a break.

Usually we keep the curtains open (day and evening), as well as the front door (have solid glass screen door) to let in as much light as possible and to give him a view, even if its just the front yard and driveway. This time of year we have to run the furnace a bit warmer to compensate, but it beats sitting in a dark room and he prefers it that way. You can only watch so much TV and sometimes he doesn't even turn it on...preferring to enjoy the quiet. Sometimes the noise is just too much for him, especially after a bad night.

I've seen some improvements...moments, sometimes hours where he's jovial, wants to clean up, asks for a good meal not just a little snack. He does pay for those as they bloat him, but he can only take feeling hungry so long before he wants something heartier. I just give him smaller portions, he can always have more if he wants it. He's not seeing it though. Its not enough....as well you all know....its not getting better fast enough and the 'good' moments don't last long enough. He still has more days than not where he wonders if this will every get better and if his life will ever be better than what it is now. Days where he thinks he can't take anymore, but what's the alternative I ask him? This is it, just have to ride it out. It will get better in its own time, not yours.

Will probably post this elsewhere too (maybe on one of my other posts) so it shows some kind of progression. He was tapering, unsuccessfully off 4mg Klonopin, got to 3mg then had to go back up. the doc had him go c/t using phenobarbitol in hospital. We've reduced that from 90mg every 4 hrs to 30mg 5 times a day. He/we know its adding to his misery, so we're diligently reducing at a safe rate (comfortable for him) of 30 mg a week with the last reduction 2 days ago. So far so good. The pheno is wrecking his sleep and mind with its hallucinagenic effects so he's eager to get off it, though sometimes he wonders if taking it wouldn't help. I'm here to correct that odd thought. He can't start to fully recover until he's not taking it anymore and we get it out of his system completely.

Hope you all manage to get out soon and have a good flow of visitors to get you through in the meantime.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 12:38:52 am »
Hi [...], I am pretty much housebound too. I have a two story, three bedroom, two bath house. Sometimes it helps to clean it...... when I can find the energy and motivation to do it. I also have a lot of fibro-type pain and that makes it hard to do too much. Unfortunately I don't have a dog. I am pretty sure that would help. Playing on the Wii helps.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 04:29:46 pm »
I am pretty much in the same situation with cabin fever. I find when I am alone, I tend to go inside too much and the vicious circle of anxiety begins. Luckily there are days when i am able to go out, then when home alone again the cycle of anxiety begins, which hinders me from being able to go out again. I find that only going out can help me, but havenīt been able to find a way to overcome cabin fever myself. I also have a small apartment *choke*

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 04:52:18 pm »
Hey [...],
its good to know that im not alone in this situation. Currently i am able to walk my dog around my neighbourhood, but i never go far (no more than about 0,5km from my doorstep in one direction). Sometimes im able to go to shops with my boyfriend (he drives), but this is quite rare. Actually just came home from a mall that is about 7km from my home and it was a tough thing to do! When im in a car i feel really bad, and when i get out of a car im really unstable and "shaky" etc. Also felt nauseaus in the car. And all the people there in the shops  :o , it was really crowded! I forced myself trough one big shop feeling like im gonna collapse any second. But i was there and it always helps the cabin fever a little bit.

Hugs and a lots of strength to u [...]  :)

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2010, 02:19:47 pm »
[...], do you have anyone who checks up on you? If I miss church, I have a friend who will call me or come over to see if I'm OK. I have a few people that I sit with during church who know what I'm going through. That helps a lot too.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2010, 03:09:48 pm »
[...], do you have anyone who checks up on you? If I miss church, I have a friend who will call me or come over to see if I'm OK. I have a few people that I sit with during church who know what I'm going through. That helps a lot too.

I have my boyfriend who lives just 0.5km away and he is with me alot. Couldnt do this without him.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to deal with cabin fever?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 10:49:56 pm »
[...], do you have anyone who checks up on you? If I miss church, I have a friend who will call me or come over to see if I'm OK. I have a few people that I sit with during church who know what I'm going through. That helps a lot too.

I have my boyfriend who lives just 0.5km away and he is with me alot. Couldnt do this without him.

Good. I'm glad you have someone. How are you doing?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.