Agoraphobia help

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hi everyone, unfortunately I've had another relapse with my anxiety and depression and have developed agoraphobia (no panic attacks though) just very anxious about going out.

ive been dealing with it by not avoiding going out and telling myself it will get easier the more I do face it, however, I've had a seed of doubt put in my head that what I'm doing won't make it easier over time so I'm after some reassurance really that it will go as long as I persist in pushing through, can anyone give me some advise please.

Thanks Neil 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I was exactly the same and I really have to push myself to go out. You will feel anxious and almost accept that as normal but after you go out you feel proud of yourself. Just do baby steps and build it up. Exercise helped me. Are you on beta blockers too?
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Beckylili, it's only started over last couple of weeks, always been frightened of getting agoraphobia so it's a nightmare for me but I've accepted that it's here, I guess it's not true agoraphobia as I'm not frightened of getting a panic attack just the anxiety and trying to control it.

      Ive been on Brintellix as an anti depressant for nearly a year and feel it's just not working for me so my psych has put me on quietiapine 150mg so far as well, am hoping it kicks in soon. Thinking of going on in escitilipram as reviews on net are good but not so good on this forum so apprehensive but willing to give it a try.

      Has pushing through helped you? 

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Aspinan,

    I totally agree with Beckylili! I too suffer with agoraphobia after suffering panic attacks. I get so anxious to go out and it causes me to have derealization, which to me is one of the worst symptoms of anxiety. It wasn't until recently that I started to feel better. Currently I am taking zoloft which helps, but it wasn't until I started forcing myself to go out and do things no matter how I felt, things started getting better. Baby steps just like Becky said, and soon enough it will get easier and easier to where you don't even think about it anymore! Hang in there, it will get better. Are you taking Citalopram?

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ace! Not on Citalopram but wanting to go onto escitalopram, but fearful of side effects. Going to be seeing new psych as usual one has left the practice. I'm asking for a meds review as old psych was useless in my mind, I asked to go on quietiapine but he refused and said he'd switch my anti depressant to escitalopram so I got myself ready for a change then the psych changed his mind and put me on quietiapine but on a low dose and would only increase it every two weeks when all literature says stepping up to 200mg which is the therapeutic dose for anxiety and depression, over 4 days is advised! 

      I can take Clonazepam 0.5mg twice a day as needed which I take when I'm fed up with the anxiety or it gets really bad. 

      Anyhow I feel reassured with your reply.

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    • Posted

      Yes sometimes I feel like the doctors are useless as well! It's hard to find a good one that actually understands anxiety and what we are going through. I've tried a bunch of SSRI's and have found Zoloft to be ok. I'm in the process of upping my dose right now and the psychiatrist told me to take Clonazapam as needed as well. I told her I was nervous that I would get addicted to the Clonazapam but she reassured me that only using it for 6 weeks just to get over the side effects of upping my dose, is perfectly fine and I will not get addicted. Benzos help so much. I recommend using them while getting on your new meds, just to get over the side effects. Benzos, in my opinion, help with making us feel normal and help break the anxiety/depression cycle if used short term.

      Medication definitely helps when you find the right one. It's just hard during the waiting period.

      My advice would be start your new medication, use the Clonazapam during the initial start up until the meds kick in, and push yourself little by little going out. If you know you're going to go out of the house that day, try taking your Clonazapam before you do. This will help break the cycle of the anxiety you get when you need to go out. Slowly you will feel more comfortable going out and will not need the Clonazapam

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    • Posted

      Ive been on clonazapam for over a year, it's only since my relapse around 6 weeks ago that I've been taking them but tend to only take 1 a day at 0.5mg, I've had the odd day where I've not needed one and haven't found myself craving them or feeling I'm addicted, I've heard they are quite safe and my psych and care coordinator is happy for me to continue to take as and when needed.

      Im quite happy pushing myself as far as I'm comfortable, I've been doing ok driving my daughter around, going shopping etc it was just I got this seed of doubt in my mind that even if I push myself it may not go so I got myself into a right state over it (daft as it sounds), I'm not really the baby steps type I'm more "just get on with it" in fact the further I go the more comfortable I tend to feel as I find I'm able to control the anxiety, is this ok also?? 

       

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    • Posted

      Good for you if you can push yourself but just make sure you then do something relaxing like meditation. Yoga has been my saviour too. Magnesium by drs best is amazing and a product called NAC .

      Do any of you get bad twitches with citalopram as driving me nuts?

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    • Posted

      Ive got a book about mindfullness I'm going to make a start on it. 

      Never heard of Magnesium, does it work for anxiety? I'll look up NAC.

      Thanks Becky!

       

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  • Posted

    I feel like I say this a lot on this forum - are you seeing a counsellor or therapist? Don't bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away. It will get worse. It may go away this time but chances are it will come back. In one way or another. You need tools to deal with anxiety in whatever form, long term. Especially if you have suffered in the past.

    I spent 10 years going through bouts of anxiety before I fell to pieces about a year ago. I almost lost my job, my relationship, interest in anything I cared about. It has been a long process to just get on the track to recovery. I've had 6 of the toughest months of my life. The only thing that makes the pit of my stomach go in circles now is the fact that I didn't get help ealier, when it wasn't so bad, and save my family, friends and partner the agony, pain and stress of seeing me destroy myself and waste my potential for so many years. That is a life noone should settle for.

    Find a professional you trust and like and seek help. No shame in that..

    Good luck!

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