Is my Anxiety mutating to Agrophobia?

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I had one severe panic attack due to high levels of stress due to college that resulted in me being constantly anxious of another attack. I feel constant dread and like I'm going to slip of the edge into insanity. These days I find myself anxious about getting into cars as I get attacks there and I also feel anxious about being outside or going to malls or places far from home.

Is it possible that this anxiety disorder is developing into agrophobia?

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  • Posted

    if you are in constant dread you will not get better.  Remember it is not REALITY it is your mind playing tricks,   Keep talking to yourself and saying this is
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    • Posted

      not insanity, just feels like it.   Do deep breathing and affirmations by talking to your brain and convincing it that alll is ok.  If you feel a panic coming on breath into your cupped hands for a minute, start singing, try and laugh at something, jump up and down to release the adrenalin, just say to yourself - Im in charge of this xx
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    • Posted

      Sometimes I get anxious over seemingly nothing. Or sometimes because of the slightest changes. Like one of my parents going out of the house for example.
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    • Posted

      IM not good at mindfulness but its supposed to be excellent if you can do it.  I have to be doing something energetic, like table tennis and tap dancing, exercise raises the happinesss hormone, try if you can to do something that raises your heartbeat
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  • Posted

    Anxiety does not mutate. It progresses. It is very usual for anxiety to steer one into agoraphobia, sociophobia, OCD and may progress to psychosis in severe cases.

    You can handle this in a thousand ways. Whatever you do, what it eventually boils down to, among other things,  is managing to get yourself through facing situations and places where you feel resistance, progressively, until your brain stops reacting to it as a threat.

    Alternatively you need to figure out what the root cause is, what situation/s gave rise to your anxiety and try to work through this. Simplifying your life, organising yourself better, resting well and treating yourself gently are needed for a while. Good sleep habits and healthy diet are a must. Light exercise is helpful.

    If you feel you are unable to take control of this, it will be much kinder to your body and mind (both of which get exhausted with constant tension and anxiety pounding) to get some help in the form of therapy or psychiatric support to help you get to where you need to be, faster.

    You do not 'go insane' from anxiety, but you do wear yourself out a lot.

    All the best. x

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for your reply. What I'm doing to deal with it is by informing myself as much as possible and looking at techniques people use like exposure as well as calming techniques.

      You said that I need to find the root cause of this and try to work through it, can you please elaborate? I think what caused my anxiety is the fact that I recently graduated from College and the reality of finding a job and the future really hit me in the face. Also I slept very little due to months of preparing for my big end of year Presentation. So I felt dizzy a lot and started going to Doctor who says there's nothing wrong but I kept panicking and was afraid of going out due to dizziness. I think it just escalated from there.

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    • Posted

      Take one day at a time, nobody knows what the future will bring, and many many people worry so much about things that might happen which never do and then look back and think why on Earth did I worry about that and waste so much time getting upset.   You can make your future, its in your own hands, just be in charge and carefully think through what sort of work would make you happy and go for it.
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    • Posted

      Yes you are describing the spiralling pretty accurately. But this is effect, not cause. Something in your background was making you feel insecure and overwhelmed on a deeper level. Existential concerns? Low self-worth? Low self-esteem? etc.. Psychotherapy or psychoanalysis may help you figure out why your mind wants you to freeze or run away. Your suubconscious issues. Meanwhile you are right to explore all routes.

      One starting point is as I mentioned above, treating yourself as if you are recovering from flu. Rest well, be gentle on yourself, light easy to digest food, no overloading the brain, doing things that help you unwind...etc. Do push yourself to test your limits but gently. You cannot run a marathon after flu smile Keep it light. And organize youurself as best as you can so as to not feel overwhelmed. Simplify. This is all for some relief. I do hope you feel better soon. x

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  • Posted

    Mine started at 14 and developed into full blown agoraphobia.  Really bad for a lot of years.  Since we're talking about the 60's and 70's, there where no meds for this at all, except Valium which I would not take becuse you were always somewhere off-planet.  Afraid to drive alone, be alone, go out to crowded places...a real nightmare of a life.

    Lots of work with therapists to learn some really good breathing techniques and an understanding that this was both a physical chemical imbalance problem as well as a psychological problem.  Today, drugs like Cymbalta and Effexor can be very effective.  These are SSRI and SNRI-class medications.  Ther right one for you is a matter of trial and error.

    Caution: Many people will advise against these drugs due to personal experiences or what other people say on the Internet.  Make your own decision!  Yes, they are powerful meds and you typically titrate up with your doc to the level that gives you the relief you seek (ex: Cymbalta.  Start at 30mg and progess to 60, 90 or 120).  I take 60mg a day...for years.  And yes, they are very hard to withdraw from.  Have to titrate down very slowly or the withdrawal symptoms are really bad.  BUT...they do the job.  By that I mean: When I start feeling the anxiety coming on, the meds will let that feeling go only so far and no further.  Kind of puts a limit on what your body is allowed to do, how far to go.  Combine that with breathing and relaxation techniuqes and it works.  For me, I've been on these meds for decades and haven't had one anxiety attack in as long as I can remember (I'm 69).

    The chemical part of this is all adrenaline.  We don't even know what triggers the fear in the back of our heads...all we get first is that burst of adrenaline that generates ALL the anxiety/panic symptoms.  It's like we're adrenaline junkies!!!  The bad thing is that the chemical as released causes all those feelings.  The good thing is that now we KNOW what's causing the feelings and can overcome a lot of it with our minds.  Think..."Hey, I just got an adrenaline shot.  I know what that is.  I'm ready to handle the feelings.  I also know that adrenaline is a short-acting chemical.  If I just sit and stay calm, it will pass in 10-15 minutes...guaranteed.  So, I'll sit here and breathe, concentrating on something other than my feelings.  I'm in control."  I did that a lot...for many years.  Now it's automatic everytime I feel that adrenaline kick in for no apparent reason.  It's like I feel it and discard it...doesn't even bother me anymore.  PS: This excludes rollercoasters and horror movies where you intentionally WANT to feel an adrenaline shot!!!

    In 1999 I had a HUGE psychological breakthrough.  Had to fly from Newark to Dallas ALONE (!!!) for a four day business trip.  Anxiety level really high but controlled by the meds.  As soon as I walked into the terminal by myself, I realized that this was the place I was meant to be, doing the job I was meant to do.  In an instant, all anxiety left me and I had a wonderful trip on the plane (forgot how much I loved to fly) and four great days in Dallas.  Got the job and commuted between NJ and TX for almost a year.  Flying back and forth every three weeks; having a cute long-stay hotel room, going out to dinner with new friends... Amazing how your life can change when you give it a chance.

    So...  Ditch the dread.  Not worth it.  Combine meds with behavioral modification therapy to learn (and diligently practice) some breathing techniques.  Stretch out your life...don't compress it into a tiny self-inflicted ball.  Challenge yourself to go father and do better.  Change your mindset from fear to joy  You'll be amazed!!!

    Note:  After a divorce in 2009, I fell in love with a lady on the Intrnet who lived in Taos, NM.  So at 3am one morning, I left my house , drove to the Philly airport and flew 2,000 miles to meet her.  Love at first sight.  We've been married for 7 years.  And I was a full-blown agoraphobic at age 30.

    There is a life for you out there.  Solve the chenical and behavioral problems and you've got the same shot at happiness that I had.  Worked for me.

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    • Posted

      I love this. Thank you for sharing. I am also happy with how medication helped put a limit on my brain's exaggerated responses. I was on Effexor for 12 years in total (but only the last 8 were properly conducted). And through the process I learned how to manage an occasional normal burst of adrenaline without going into overdrive. I have been medication free for 4 years BUT I daresay I still did not consider venturing out on a plane alone!!! You have just given me inspiration. Time to stretch the limit a bit more. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

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