No progress with agoraphobia.

Posted , 7 users are following.

I have had anxiety for years and could only leave the house with my hubby but when I did I was absolutely fine with it, if I had a panic attack I would get over it and never dwell on it.

Then about 10 weeks ago for no reason my anxiety went through the roof, it was honestly 24/7 symptoms.

A few weeks later I started to feel I couldn't leave the house, I still feel like that now despite making a continued daily effort to do it, so far I manage to go but feel awful the whole time especially in shops etc.

I am in utter despair because usually it would improve by now but it hasn't one bit, it's not always panic attacks either, it's feeling unsteady and off balance, I am so miserable and depression has hit hard.

Last year we had a lovely spring and summer taking the kids out, now I wont be able to do it and it's destroying me, I am so beaten down that I can't function.

I am 3 sessions into online CBT so it's early days with that, I have tried meditation and every technique I can find but seen not even the tiniest bit of improvement.

My cpn has spent two weeks promising to get the consultant to come and see me at home but nothing comes of it, she was supposed to text me Tuesday but didn't.

I am on diazepam which is not helping so of course they are talking about other meds now, I hate the idea but I am desperate so if the cpn does ever arrange the consultant to see me that will be a start.

Thing is though with meds is there really one that can help with agoraphobia? Panic is one thing but can any med stop constant fear and feeling unsteady or am I pinning my hopes on something that wont help in that respect anyway?

I don't know what to try anymore, I honestly thought that with continued exposure I would see an improvement by now if only a tiny one but if anything it's getting worse sad

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi lovely lady....

    I am so sorry that you are suffering so much.....I know how awful it is ..I suffered from it for many years......

    I was working then and one early evening on my walk home ....a gentleman approached me with a small bottle...he said " SMELL THIS " whatever it was, it made me feel very strange...and I was suddenly scared.....after that I had to walk everywhere ...where there was either a fence.....wall.....or hedge to hold onto.....crossing a road was an absolute nightmare.,..!!!!

    I was like that for many years......then I woke up one morning and thought....NOTHING HAS EVER..EVER HAPPENED TO ME YET...AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL.......

    IT took me a long time.....but day by. Day it got a little better....

    The second time I suffered with it again.....was when I had a very...very serious alcohol abuse problem......I have recovered from that also....and I am fine once again......

    Keep your chin up ....take tiny baby steps everyday....if you are unable to one day........then just start again....and again and will get there lovely....never give up hope.....hugs to you xxxxxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi and thank you, I am so sorry you had to suffer this too, it really is the most awful thing I have ever gone through.

      I just cannot get to the stage of feeling even the slightest improvemment and the unsteadiness is the worst part, 4 weeks ago my dose of diazepam was increased by 2mg so I am now taking 9mg in the morning and feel this is making my unsteadiness worse.

      Sadly because it's so addictive I can't just drop that 2mg so I have ordered a pill cutter and intend to reduce it slowly, at least that way I will know what is anxiety and what is not and that way I can deal with it as anxiety and not anxiety plus a side effect if that makes sense xx

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you are suffering so much. You sound like how i was only couple months ago. There is a light at the end I was put on see tramline 50mg and just started cbt, I'm so much better than I was. I get my down days and don't like being alone at home for some strange reason? But in general I'm soo much better.

    Are you on any mens? Or ever been?

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    • Posted

      I'm currently on Diazepam, I have been for 17 years and the dose was increased 4 weeks ago, big mistake, I really think it's making the unsteadiness worse so am going to slowly reduce it again.

      My cpn is supposed to have text me to tell me when the consultant can visit at home to discuss options about other meds but she never gets back to me, I will try to call her again today.

      There has to be something that can help, it's just getting that appointment in place to start though.

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  • Posted

     meds work for me.  They say combination of meds and cbt counseling have higher rate of success with anxiety, think about it this way, do think a diabetic likes to have shoot up insulin?  Medications are very helpful, regardless of other commentors in these discussions. I would rather suffer the consequences of side effects, than not have a life!
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    • Posted

      Although I am scared of meds I do appreciate that they have a place and can be useful, I am worried that the wont help with the agoraphobia but this is something I need to discuss with the consultant who will obviously have experience and know which med to try initially.

      Sadly getting that appointment is proving difficult but I will call again today, meds are not what I wanted but something needs to change and if it takes some form of medication to help then I would rather that than live like this, just need to push a bit to get that actual appointment to happen, my GP is reluctant to prescribe anything as she wants input from a consultant due to my bad experiences of meds in the past.

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  • Posted

    You have the right idea on reducing the diazepam. That is probably the reason for the unsteadiness---you might have just gotten to too high a dose. You will need to reduce VERY slowly because you have been on it so long. You might need a year or more to get off the medication entirely, which may be a good idea in the long run. Diazepam and other benzos are most effective for agoraphobia when used occasionally in combination with the CBT. There are times that you might need to be on them for a few weeks, months--but to be on them continuously can be bad in the long run as you have to keep upping the dose to get the effect.

    Do NOT worry about the agoraphobia right now. What you feel today is NOT set in stone. One thing I am certain about this condition as a long time sufferer is that it changes like the wind. One day you could go ten miles from your house and the next day you can't get down the block. Take each day as it comes.

    That said, you MUST TRY every day, no matter how bad you feel, to at least do something you think you can't do. Try to go out every day. if it's only one block, so be it, but GO and walk that block. Keep challenging it, and you will see over time that it can get better. It will not be overnight. It will be baby steps, but remember that if you take enough baby steps you can get anywhere you want to go, its just going to take longer, that's all.


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    • Posted

      Thank you, i am certain that the diazepam is causing the unsteadiness, i know i need to reduce it very slowly though, i am thinking 0.5mg every 2-4 weeks, it will take a long time but it's not a race and i need to stay safe as i do it.

      It does change like the wind but has been permanently awful lately, i went out today, felt awful but was pleased that i did it and now i am back to feeling like i can't go out ever again.

      I will continue to try every day though because i know it's the only way forward, even though at the moment i don't feel like it's going anywhere, eventually something has to give and it can only do that if i keep trying, it wont if i give up.

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    • Posted

      There are lots of tricks to help you get through this. We all have our favourites but here are some: get someone to buy you a shopping trolley. It's something to hold on to and steady yourself. Same with a walking stick – it doesn't matter if you're embarrassed for a few weeks. Sing to yourself – it helps with the spacey feeling, makes you feel more real. Describe what you see around you (this is my favourite). In your head or quietly out loud say "now I'm going past the bakers, ooh look at that fat woman, is that a number 19 bus? What a lot of litter" etc etc and really concentrate on the details of your surroundings (this is a distraction technique). That one works in the supermarket too, which I used to struggle with, I used to count tins of baked beans and so on. If you feel better with someone, find a companion. Chat to them constantly about anything (distraction again). Carry water. Sip it when you feel unsure of yourself. Ditto mints. When you feel spacey or can't be sure where the ground is, say to yourself "this is panic, I'm fine really, silly old brain" and so on.

      These are just ideas, you can find things that work for you. They all worked for me eventually, I did get there (though I still can't go in lifts and find theatres etc a challenge). Good luck. It's hard work.

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  • Posted

    I am sorry you are going through this. I have had anxieties and panic attacks myself and my meds are keeping them down 

    I uderstand you are scared of meds but you should try them and see if they work

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