I'm Locked in My Own World

@ShawnBoB (215)
United States
September 20, 2007 1:35pm CST
I was trying to talk before about Anxiety and how I felt. After talking a while on another site a friend referred me to this page which honestly describes how I am. It's just hard talking to a doctor about it, because they try and make me go look for a job so I can further pay for treatment. Only reason I can really say this is remotely close is because of the few years I have been dealing with this. I rarely leave my room... so I have been stuck back to my room for almost close to 2-3 years maybe 4. I've done lost track of time and sometimes I hate feeling this way. It's just really difficult to get help about it. When I do go out... if it's a crowded or huge place... I have been known to start ticking which is also really embarrassing. I always look over my shoulder or pay close attention to other peoples eyes cause sometimes I feel like everyone is talking about me or watching me. Anyway here's the link below... copy & paste http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoraphobia Let me remind you. This problem has kept me from finding a job because of how nervous I get when trying to fill out a application or going to a interview. Also my fiance has already left me because I never left the home or would get into a rage sometimes. Now I am just afraid to go back in the world, her presence sometimes made it easier for me to not worry about everyone else focus my attention on her. Now that she's gone... it's getting worst. I done went to a local 'mental health clinic' which did not help. Anyone else know of anything I can do?
2 people like this
9 responses
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
20 Sep 07
I know all about it. I was agoraphobic when I was 20. I didn't leave my apartment for a year - not event to get the mail. I actually was content to stay in because going out was awful. I did seek treatment after a while because I knew I couldn't go on the way I was but it was tough. The way I overcame this very hard to understand BUT VERY REAL problem is to do things in tiny steps. You say you have been in your room. Well, now you need to take a step outside the room. Take two steps. Whatever makes you a little uncomfortable. And feel it. Don't avoid the feeling of wanting to run real fast back to your room. Breathe deeply and stay out for five minutes even if your legs are shaking and you feel weak. Then slowly go back. Next day, do it again. You will see each day, you feel less anxious about it. Once you overcome that, go a little further. Set little goals. When I started, I went just outside my apartment. Then I went to a store down the street and just walked in. I stayed at the front and hated every second of it. Eventually I could go in there and go anywhere but to the back. Next I went to a tiny restaurant with my then fiance (I never did anything alone at this point). I got as far as sitting down the first time. Next time, I was able to sort of have a cup of tea. Next time, I kind of could eat a little. This is something we have to beat. I thought I was safe in my apartment. But I wasn't any safer than in a crowd. I just felt safer. I did get therapy and they were supportive but they expected too much too soon. I had to go at my own pace. In a crowd (which I still hate) remember that no one cares and no one is looking at you. Why would they? I always thought all eyes were on me and people would know I was anxious. Well, the truth is, no one gave two sh*ts what I was doing and how I was feeling. I was in my own world of anxiety. Xanax was given to me eventually and what a world of difference that made. I was able to control the panic attacks and to get out more. I know people say it is addictive and whatever but it saved me! I was able to focus on doing my daily "homework" which was getting out and forcing myself to feel the anxiety and see that it won't kill me. It never did and I am 43 now. These days they prescribe SSRIs (antidepressants) for anxiety because they apparently work on anxiety very well. I know that sounds scary but if it helps you to get back to the real world, isn't it worth trying? Just so you know, I have since flown about 100 times, once to another country. I have been on a 7 day cruise. I have worked in wrestling traveling to huge arenas filled with people (Still wasn't thrilled with that and still am not but I do it). I have been successful in my career choice (writing) and I have gotten married to my then fiance who I lived with in the apartment and had two kids who are now 21 and 17. I have been on the 60th floor of a building and I have ridden the rides at Disney Land. I am not cured. I still am anxious and some places still make me nervous. I went to see a Garth Brooks and there were 50,000 people there. If I hadn't wanted to see him so badly, I would have taken off. Even during the concert, every now and then I felt myself welling up with anxiety. What if I couldn't get out of there? What if I had a panic attack and everyone looked at me? What of I passed out and the EMTs came and the whole crowed was staring at me? What is there is a fire and everyone tries to get out at once. Will I be trampled? Yeah, All that was going through my head as Garth was singing. But I stayed and enjoyed the concert and got out and here I am! That was several years ago when I was more anxious. Now, I am doing really well but still fight with the racing heart at times in places I am uncomfortable. I no longer fear anxiety. I fight it. How DARE it try to ruin my life? I won't let it. The key to fighting this is NOT being afraid of it. Thumb your nose at anxiety. Know you are stronger than it and, every time you have a little victory, celebrate. You're a step closer! Definitely talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in anxiety disorders if you can. They can explain what is happening and why and give you lots of tips and pointers to stop the anxiety from taking over you. Read as much as you can about this disorder but only read facts, not forums where everyone is suffering from the same thing. Those are scary. Good books can really help you understand this and to practice certain things that will calm you and make you ready to tackle this anxiety. Breathe deep and slow. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself you are fine and that your brain is just trained to be scared but there is nothing to be scared of. Distract yourself with a book or newspaper while you are out of your room. Anything to divert your brain from focusing on the anxiety and onto something else works. I wore a rubber band on my wrist. When I got REALLY anxious, I would snap it. That little bit of pain stopped my brain from building up the anxiety and sort of brought me back to reality. It really worked! If you ever want to talk to someone, please write me here. I want to help. I know how hard this is and I know what I went through to get where I am. I want everyone to beat agoraphobia and to be able to live a free, whole life. You CAN too.
2 people like this
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
21 Sep 07
Thanks for that information. I am mainly confined to one room, but I am not afraid to leave my certain safety zones to goto my other safe zones :-P... but maybe I will try something to help keep my mind off of everything else around me so I don't get so nervous no more.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
21 Sep 07
Yep I had safe zones too. But if you just try to go to the "scary" places and feel the anxiety for a short while, you will build up a resistance to the fear eventually. You have to stop and think about what you are afraid of in the places that are "unsafe". I never really thought about that but, when I went into a store, there was nothing that was going to happen to me and no one was going to harm me yet my brain thought otherwise. I had to teach my brain that it was wrong. It's hard and don't let ANYONE tell you to just go out there and do it. You can't. You know it. There is a therapy called flooding where a therapist will take you to the scariest place for you and leave you there. The idea is that you will panic but after a while you will see you won't die and all will be well. I don't recommend it. It's torture you don't need. Go slow and check out Lucinda Bassett's books and info. She really knows about this because she had it. Good luck. In a year this will be a memory if you work on it every day. :)
@ctrymuziklvr (11060)
• United States
21 Sep 07
I am very much like you but did find the help in the mental health field. The doctor telling you to get a job wasn't so you could pay him it's because it is what you need. I have spent years not leaving my apartment unless I absolutely had to and it was horrible. Now I work 2 days a week 4 hours a day and it's great. I have a feeling you didn't give the mental health clinic time to make it work for you. I don't know what I would do without my therapist and psychiatrist. If you don't work and have these problems you can get financial help. I don't pay for a thing including medications. You need to start really looking into this for your own sake. Good luck!
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
21 Sep 07
I dis-agree with you on the reason the therapist told me to get a job. Because I also talked to her about suppressed memories from a car accident I was in on year 2000. The reason she ended up telling me to look for a job was because the 'special deep message therapy' cost a good bit. I tried getting help for free right now with no job and now I already have a $180 doctors bill I have to pay... we'll makes that $190 something if I can't pay it by October 3 or 10. I was told I would only be billed $50 for that, but when the bill came it was for the amounts above.
@tkohler (15)
20 Sep 07
Xanax works for me!! (Alprzolam is the generic name) I just take small doses throughout the day. 0.25 for each pill. This allows me to think and stay awake without side effects. You truly need to see a doctor that will give you some meds. If you are against that, please try taking Vitamin B. It not only helps anxiety, it also helps with a hangover if taken before you go to bed... : ). Do not take the vitamin or anything for that matter on an empty stomach. You will puke!! No question about that!! Hope this helps!
1 person likes this
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
20 Sep 07
Thanks for that information. I will be seeing a doctor who will listen hopefully soon. As for the Vitamin B, I already have been taken daily Vitamins that have a substantial amount of different nutrients/vitamins in them.
@tkohler (15)
20 Sep 07
Just an FYI regarding the Vitamin B -- My GP makes me take a Pre-Natal vitamin due to an immune deficiency. I take the 'B' in addition to that. It really helps!!!
1 person likes this
@shebee28 (230)
• United States
28 Sep 07
I have had anxiety and panic attacks for about 13 years, it started when i was 17, you really can't depend on another person to get u through, you just need to take baby step on starting to go out, I know how you feel i have felt it all, trust me. You might want to get into some kind of support group online. There are alot of people with this same condition, if you need to talk about things maybe i can help.
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
29 Sep 07
Thanks for that info... and hope you have been able to work through your problems. I honestly hope I don't have to deal with it all for more years then I already have and will look into support groups online. Most people here are saying tuff it out and talking really won't help. Thanks for the offer though I may take you up on it sometime.
@dpurchas (91)
• United States
21 Sep 07
You know - I have heard of this and I feel for you! I have anxiety, but not to the level you have. I also get nervous in crowds and tend to not try to do anything new because of a fear of rejection or that someone is watching to see what I do and judging me. I think having someone close that you can talk to would help. If you are feeling anxious - having a friend to help hype you up about yourself might help. I would definitely search out some of the self help stuff online if you don't want to seek a doctor.
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
21 Sep 07
Thanks for that. As I have learned that my anxiety has pushed me away from people and also my friends away from me. Now I am trying to make new friends... can't really tell how it's going but I'm trying atleast.
@Zhukov (106)
• Norway
20 Sep 07
I never heard about this before, but only thing that helps is taking the hard way, going out more and do what you hate, i dont think doctors and sharing problems to others works in the long run.
@ShawnBoB (215)
• United States
20 Sep 07
Easier to say that then to do it. Trust me I already had that advice and attempted it. With no luck, I think I am going to try and see my old family doctor. No sharing feeling doesn't help cause it gets me nervous and shaking just to share. Even to try and share and talk about it online.
@dmm1932 (46)
• United States
13 Dec 07
Hey ShawnBob! I am new to this site and was reading your post. I have been suffering with anxiety and panic attakcs for about 8 years. I have never been confined at home, but have been pretty close. I am currently on Zoloft, which helps alot. I have also been seeing a psychologist to learn to cope. I was wondering how you are doing with your anxiety. I know when you're going through it, it seems like you're the only person on the planet with this problem. Believe me, you're not. There have been times, in the past, that I wanted to drive straight into the concrete wall on the freeway, just to not deal with it anymore. Thankfully, I do not feel that way anymore. I also have the Lucinda Bassett series on anxiety and depression. It has helped me alot. I am still working on overcoming my irrational fears, but am doing much better. Hopefully you are too! It is definitely a battle, but one that can be won. I am confident that one day, I can be rid of my anxiety completely and just live my life. Just know that you are not alone in this!! There are lots of us here with you.
• United States
21 Sep 07
My cousin had that problem, and she has had to go to the hospital so many times for her anxiety.