Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Agoraphobia Help Network

I like this guys thinking.

Finding a Purpose Greater than Your Fear

"I wish my life could go back to the way it was before I started having panic attacks. "I hear this statement more often than I'd like. Too many people who are trying to recover from agoraphobia make not having a panic attack their main goal. Sadly, this focus will not help you get free from agoraphobia. As a recovered agoraphobic, I completely understand why people fear panic attacks and don't want to have them. However, the fear of panic attacks is not sufficient motivation for recovery. It is just motivation for avoiding places and situations that trigger panic – and avoidance behavior, ironically, is a symptom of agoraphobia. I want to encourage you to do more than just stop the fear.

Even if you did everything in this book to successfully counter panic attacks, you would not find true freedom. You would meet your goal of returning to life before agoraphobia, but think hard for a minute, is that the life you really want?If you are like most of us, you were living a compromised lifestyle before you developed agoraphobia. Although we may not have experienced full blown panic attacks or been confined to our homes, many of us willingly confined our lives to some degree in order to feel safe. Though we might have functioned in our roles at home, work, or school, we were probably not living our lives to the fullest or maximizing our potential as human beings. We were limiting ourselves at some level, avoiding changes or challenges that we thought might cause fear.Your life after agoraphobia doesn't have to be the same as it was before. It can be better. As one who has been through agoraphobia and come out on the other side, I cannot emphasize this point enough. If you develop agoraphobia you are likely to possess vast potential. You are likely to be highly intelligent, creative, imaginative, sensitive, and analytical. You probably have a powerful imagination, high ideals, and the drive to achieve them. However, these qualities cannot find expression when you live a safe or tightly controlled life in an effort to keep a lid on your fears. Your recovery from agoraphobia is a golden opportunity to quit playing it safe.

It represents your opportunity to break free and achieve your fullest potential. But focusing on not having a panic attack won't get you there. It will just keep you worried about how to stop the next panic attack. You need a more powerful motivation for recovery and for living your life.Overcoming agoraphobia takes consistent hard work. It takes persistence in the face of discouragement. It takes believing that success if possible, even when you see no reason to believe. Overcoming agoraphobia demands courage, and courage demands a reason.You can achieve true freedom from agoraphobia and in life when you find a strong reason for it - a purpose that makes fear seem irrelevant. You can achieve true freedom when you develop a burning desire to do something that moves your focus away from the inward world of containing panic symptoms to doing something to make a difference in the world around you. As long as you are motivated by fear, whether it is fear of the next panic attack, rejection, failure, going crazy, or death, you will be more likely to experience more panic attacks than when you are motivated by a sense of purpose. Not only will purpose place your focus on something positive, but there is something about purposeful action that naturally dissolves fear. Like a firefighter entering a burning building to save a child or an Olympic athlete focused on winning a medal, fear goes away when your mind and body are absorbed in meaningful action. Put simply, a lifestyle of action is incompatible with a lifestyle of fear.A lifestyle of meaningful action begins with discovering a deep sense of purpose in life to motivate you.

When you find it you will discover, as I did, that your purpose in life will be greater than your fears. It will be greater than the fear of having a panic attack, greater than the fear of failing or being rejected, greater than the fear that you are going crazy, and greater even than the fear of death.

Click here for his website


Jenna's Panic & Agoraphobia Help said...

You are inspiring! Thank you for sharing your faith that there is a better life out there for anyone with agoraphobia. You are so right - life can be so much better than we can even imagine.
I love your strength and insight.
Thanks for sharing with us!

Jenna Panic and Agoraphobia Help said...

Hi again - just looked at your bio and had to say - I love Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash & Juno too!
LOL Good to get to know you!

Lynn said...

Thanks Jenna thats really nice of you to say. I hope you are on facebook and add me there. Hopefully we can chat more. x x

Margaret said...

Thank you for this post. I have been suffering from agoraphobia for the last few years, and at this stage, I am so fearful of leaving the house. When I do, it's almost physically painful, although I don't know how that's possible. But I feel it. I have been reading some of the advice at which helps to explain the link between fear and phobias. I'm hoping someday I'll get better. But it's difficult right now.

Lynn said...

Margaret keep your chin up. Its totally possible to beat this completely. I feel i did and sadly allowed relapse to happen. But already i know i am on the road back to 'normal life' and i never thought that was possible. I will be adding more information over the next few months on different techniques that may help you. Stick with it x

mental health girl said...

This is absolutely brilliant xx

RenataL said...

This really made something click in my head. I have had agoraphobia for about 3 years now and it was so bad at one point that i couldn't even use the word or read about it without having a major panic attack. I have overcome this fear and its makes me so happy to find something so inspiring. These words will make an impact in my life, thank you.

g r said...

Come check out!