Monday, 28 January 2008

Agoraphobia Confirmed

I had been living with my panic attacks for a couple of years by now. For a while i was able to live a some what normal life. As i mentioned before, i kept up working for a while and although i eventually quit everything else in my life was pretty much the same. I still saw my friends regularly. I would visit my family most days and my social life was as busy as ever. I never missed a Saturday night clubbing with friends. But i noticed the changes starting to take place.

When i was going out clubbing i would need alcohol before hand as the negative thoughts would already have kicked in. What if i panic in the nightclub? What if i can't get a taxi home quick enough? What if i panic in the taxi? So i would have a few vodka's for dutch courage and continue my night as normal. It seemed to be the build up to the night out that made me most anxious but once i actually arrived at the club i would be fine and would enjoy the rest of my night without a care in the world (the alcohol must have taken effect by then).

When i was out about about doing other things like shopping or visiting friends i realised i had this feeling inside me that i would really just rather be at home. I didn't understand WHY i felt this but i was aware of it, so i decided to tell my doctor.

I don't know if that was a mistake or not, but the day i told the doctor was the day that my life changed the most. After explaining how i had been and the feeling of wanting to be at home my doctor said 'It sounds like you have Agoraphobia'. I had heard about agoraphobia before. I was sure this was a condition which made people scared to leave their homes. I didn't realise that there are different types of agoraphobia or that people can have different symptoms. So i left the doctors feeling extremely worried.

That night i had to walk home. I was walking along and feeling ok when suddenly i started to think about what the doctor had told me. 'Well if i have agoraphobia i should be a nervous wreck right now'. 'I should be freaking out'. 'I'm not indoors so i shouldn't be handling this situation'.
Cue panic attack! Once again it was horrific. I was looking around and everything seemed huge and scary. The sky, the houses. I grabbed onto a fence and this time was literally paralysed with fear. My legs wouldnt move. I managed to phone my boyfriend and he came and prized me off the fence. From that day on i was full blown, never leaving the house, agoraphobic.


IHateBadService said...

:( This sounds positively horrendous...but the expression you used made me smile - you being "prized" off the fence. I know that place so well, the one I need to be prized away from...I'm very grateful for your blog, as it could have been me who wrote it - I find it almost impossible to blog about my phobia though. I think it's just too blimmin' frustrating for me. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It will mean a lot to a lot of peole, many of whom won't comment. ;p

sweetmonster said...

This is really helpful. I really thought that I was just crazy and that I was the only one feeling this way. I also noticed that I began to need alcohol when I went out with my friends. I just couldn't relax without a glass. And shopping too. I mean I love fashion, but I just didn't want to go out anymore to get them. I just wanted to stay home.

Eighty MPH Mom said...

This is interesting...I found your blog when I did a search for agoraphobia vs not wanting to leave home.

A friend of mine the other day said that she think I am Agoraphobic. I said no...then she asked when was the last time I went out other than something I HAD to do. I couldn't come up with anything, but then again, nothing fun has been presented to me either.

I just like being home. I dread going out shopping or doing other errands. I don't really get panicky, but I do hurry so I can come back home.

I have no idea if I have this or not, but I also don't see the harm in liking your home! Thanks for your post, I hope you are doing okay now.