Author Topic: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )  (Read 315 times)

[Buddie]

Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« on: September 04, 2019, 02:48:37 pm »
I've finally discovered a few things that help manage anxiety, headache, general disorientation and so forth.  But, these things aren't at all mobile. Plus, I generally just feel less stressed in my place, my sanctuary. So I generally find going out of my place is unneeded and very difficult besides.

Trouble is, my father is thirty miles away in a rest home, and I can't bring myself to drive that far away. (Too concerned for managing the things mentioned above, plus the real potential for something like uncalled for roadrage could arise too, I fear).

And, my new-to-me condominium association is holding a large, complimentary get together soon, and everyone is expected to attend, but I know I won't.  Too many chances to make a very bad first impression there.  So, not attending it looks like just more so-called antisocial behavior on my part. This is really not me. Does it sound like I have agorhaphobia? 

EDIT -

One other important element that I tend to experience : I tend to say things in reverse meaning. For instance, I answer the phone in the morning with "good evening " without meaning to... things that usually just raise the brow of the listener.  I dislike that enough to avoid going out for that reason alone.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:09:58 pm by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 03:07:15 pm »
Hello !

I don't know if it's agoraphobia, but I suffered / i'm suffering the same than you.

It hit me really hard a month ago. I wasn't able to buy groceries without panicking, going out was a huge challenge for me. Here is what I did to overcome it :

- Forcing me to go out at least 1h per day. When I felt safe just going around my house, I went further, and further. Sometimes I just stupidly walk in a circle around my block.
- Telling myself that even if I have a panic attack, it's ok. There are plenty of people outside that can help. You can write on a paper what is your situation and give to someone if you panic, so you won't have to explain and can focus on your breath.
- Always go out with a bottle of water and snacks.
- Pick the moment of the day where there are less people on the street since noise can be overwhelming.
- If you are panicking, DO NOT GO HOME. You have to wait until it passes. Then you came come back.

I started this therapy just after I realized I had something similar to agoraphobia. What is important is to push yourself out before this phobia becomes overwhelming, so it won't have time to rewire the way you are feeling about going out.

Needless to say, it's not easy and you will feel stress a lot on the beggining. But seeing your improvment will also makes you realize that you still have power during your withdrawal and boost your dopamine (or whatever chemical that gives you satisfaction, I'm not a doctor so not sure which one is it).

If it can ease your anxiety, know that 1 month ago I could barely go across the street.

Now I can go anywhere in my neightborhood, taking my time to pick groceries in the local market, even do some running. Without having a SINGLE ANXIETY. It strikes sometimes but I know nothing bad will happen now that I had a lot of successfull going outs. And even if something happens, it will just be a panic attack. Nothing deadly !

I'm working now on going in the city and it has been more and more easier. Still a challenge but I can relax a bit and yesterday I even enjoyed the subway (wtf, I thought it would be impossible !).

Don't hesitate to go out with someone on the beggining if you can, but don't rely on this person to go out either.

It will pass I promise, just don't let yourself drown into this scary phobia too long, be proactive :)

Edit to your edit :
I also tend to say reverse things. I don't care, I find it funny, except when I'm codriving and say left to the driver when I meant right xD
It doesn't mean you are crazy, I had it for most of my life. It's just that my thoughts are going faster than my tongue, and it messes with my words sometimes ^^
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:17:33 pm by [Buddie] »
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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 05:31:35 pm »
I have been trying some of your suggestions in places where it really doesn't count against my reputation that much (going to the doctor and suffering through all of the skepticism)  That's a lot closer of a drive, but still come close to knocking people off the road.  Going for brief walks.

But, there really hasn't been enough improvement in areas of behavior out in public using these mini test adventures to be certain that I won't end up really embarrassing myself during these much more dangerous situations - situations likely to damage my reputation horribly.

I'll continue the drills though.

But, you are saying then that you think I do suffer from Agoraphobia?

If so, I'll mention it to my provider 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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 05:47:45 pm »
Yes, agoraphobia is almost to be expected. I never had any trouble going out except during this time.  If you didn't have it before, I highly doubt you'll have it once your CNS is somewhat healed.

It goes away slowly, like everything else, you may mention it to the doc but in your shoes I wouldn't accept any medication for it.  Good call on the road rage, by the way.  :thumbsup:
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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 10:44:04 pm »
Yes, agoraphobia is almost to be expected. I never had any trouble going out except during this time.  If you didn't have it before, I highly doubt you'll have it once your CNS is somewhat healed.

It goes away slowly, like everything else, you may mention it to the doc but in your shoes I wouldn't accept any medication for it.  Good call on the road rage, by the way.  :thumbsup:

Okay. Thank you. I'll mention it to my provider then.

I need to somehow project both the image that I am a mature adult and maintain strength enough to help care for my 85+ year old parents, one of which is parylisized.

I really need to pull it together. I'm in my mid fifties, am a veteran that some people in my immediate community actually look to me for helping them, it looks like. I cannot afford to be seen as off, odd, the least bit immature or worse - dangerous.

Standing there quivering, eyes twitching and me stuttering under the pressure of public appearances simply won't do.
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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 11:30:29 pm »
A lot of what you’re feeling is very difficult, maybe impossible to control at this time.  Quivering, stuttering and twitching are physical manifestations of anxiety.  The anxiety comes from the sensitivity of the nervous system.  There is little one can do to suppress those reactions until time heals the nervous system, and it will do that.

Until then, my advice is to hunker down as best you can. I’d try to give myself permission to let go of whatever stress and responsibilities you are able to delegate to others right now. 

It sounds like you’re an ultra-responsible person, and being one of those myself, I know it’s hard to let go of feelings of responsibility.  I get it. But any kind of stress, even good stuff, reads as ‘danger’ to the nervous system and triggers a fight or flight response.

That being said, stress doesn’t slow recovery, just makes it more symptomatic.

Certainly you can go ahead and do all the things you feel like you must do, and maybe accepting that you’re going to have amped-up symptoms (and knowing why) is enough.
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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 03:10:23 pm »
...  The anxiety comes from the sensitivity of the nervous system.  There is little one can do to suppress those reactions until time heals the nervous system, and it will do that...

For all I know the CNS has already healed with regard to PAWS, but for the following reasons I just cannot feel it - maybe.

My trouble is it is starting to look like something went horribly wrong during or just after major thyroidectomy surgery 2008. It was about that time that I started having what was thought to be nighttime panic attacks. (Mistakenly treated with Lorazepam -- explained in a moment) 

Looking back now, it's more like there was significant damage during the thyroid surgery to the platysma muscle, because recently a blood vessel of some sort was herniated and seen pulsing at the surface there on my neck.

So, anyway, those panic attacks turned out to be a case of sleep apnea, actually.  But, it is starting to look as though the Sleep Apnea was mysteriously brought about by the damages to that neck muscle. (Somehow loosening the neck tissues such that my tongue more easily rests against the back of the throat) And, I cannot use a CPAP because the damage to the throat somehow causes me to swallow the pressurized CPAP air. So I instead use a simple jaw-thrust device that basically rarely works well enough. Bottom line: always trouble getting refreshing sleep - and starved for oxygen - which has got to be hard on the brain.

But I do (or did) have PAWS though. I was locked up in County hospital for it in fact.  Too much messing around with Lorazepam for many years (and not taking it correctly) rather than seeking out a proper treatment for the unknown Sleep Apnea (well, because, I didn't know I had sleep apnea).

Plus, not having any thyroid means trying to replace the hormone.  But, that constantly ends up a rollercoaster ride as I am so frequently out of normal range it is stupifying. Probably somehow related to fiber intake, but I do everything to separate the fiber diet from taking the hormone. It's still very hard to keep my TSH stable and somewhere inside normal range (0.5 to 5.0)... Been off like 0.06 and also 45.0.  I just don't understand it.

Anyway, I may never feel the healing because there are just so many things that feel like PAWS that I just cannot detect when the healing is over, if it ever is.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 03:51:33 pm by [Buddie] »
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: Agoraphobia possibly? (Can't leave my safety net )
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 03:43:36 pm »
A lot of what you’re feeling is very difficult, maybe impossible to control at this time.  Quivering, stuttering and twitching are physical manifestations of anxiety.  The anxiety comes from the sensitivity of the nervous system.  There is little one can do to suppress those reactions until time heals the nervous system, and it will do that.

Until then, my advice is to hunker down as best you can. I’d try to give myself permission to let go of whatever stress and responsibilities you are able to delegate to others right now. 

It sounds like you’re an ultra-responsible person, and being one of those myself, I know it’s hard to let go of feelings of responsibility.  I get it. But any kind of stress, even good stuff, reads as ‘danger’ to the nervous system and triggers a fight or flight response.

That being said, stress doesn’t slow recovery, just makes it more symptomatic.

Certainly you can go ahead and do all the things you feel like you must do, and maybe accepting that you’re going to have amped-up symptoms (and knowing why) is enough.

Hi [...], when did you experience agoraphobia? Was it while tapering or after? I am 10 months out and have it bad, I had it before I went on benzos, but had only been suffering a few weeks and went on them. My nervous system is soo sensitive, If I get excited about things it even leads to panic sometimes, very fight or flighty. I wasn't like this before taking benzos. It just seems like a long time to be suffering from it, I really thought it would have left by now. I am starting to challenge myself but my issue is that I feel physical pain in my gut when I feel intense feelings.

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.