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have agrophobia and want to get outof it can anybody give me any suggestions

By February 6, 2010 - 1:32pm
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i have been a agrophobic now for 3 years brought on by anxiety i really want so much to get back into society but freak when i get to front door the anxiety part has improved greatly but just cant seem to get over the going out bit i was on the depo jab for 17 years and stopped having it just over a week ago and was told that i could have a hormone imbalance but im not sure what to think

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I want to encourage you to find a psychiatrist. Your GP certainly cares about you and means well, but a psychiatrist spends her or his entire day working with people who are dealing with things like this. They are more well-versed in therapies and medications and they will be a bigger help to you.

It's very important that you get better treatment, for your sake and for your toddler's sake. Taking care of a toddler is enough to stress any human, and when you are battling panic attacks and agoraphobia it's even more difficult.

What zip code do you live in, Anon? Can we help you find a psychiatrist in your area? It is good you already have a doctor and medications for now, because it often takes two to three months to get in to a psychiatrist. But it is very worth it when you sit in their office and you feel that they UNDERSTAND.

Do you feel like y ou would be able to get to a psychiatrist's office? Would your mom help you get there if needed?

Here is an online forum where people write back and forth about dealing with agoraphobia. Have you found this site? It might make you feel that you are not alone, that there are many people out there dealing with this:


Also, back to the possible hormonal connection. I think that you should see a gynecologist who deals with hormones all the time and who can possibly help you with what happened here. Do you have an OB/GYN? Do you like him or her?

March 4, 2010 - 10:07am

i have a toddler whos abit of a handfull and likes to stress me out till early hours of the morning , it takes me 2 seconds to from calm to screaming and takes hours for me to calm down so cbt is gettin hard to do in the right frame of mind. the doctor i see is a gp and they shot me from one to the other all the time , i go there in full panic mode , shaking cryin eveything and im in there max 10 mins and they shot antidepressants at me and send me on my way , i get on with my doctor(S) but i just feel like they dont have time for me and im treading water and gettin no were so i have to turn to the internet for help and advice . i walk 3 metres to my car and i drive a block and a half or 2 blocks to my mams and nanas house were i feel safe , if i need to go to the cornor shop i can drice past it 5 or 6 times b4 i will go in to make sure they isnt a que as if i have to wait the panic sets in . i cant wlk to my daughters school which is 5 mins away from my house as i start to panic summits gonne happen to me on the way like a panic attack or pass out

March 3, 2010 - 12:46pm

Stress head,

I'm glad you're doing CBT online. How is that going for you? That's a really positive step and it absolutely can help you.

You will get your old self back, but it may take a little time. Don't go off your meds by yourself -- keep working with your doctor.

What kind of doctor are you seeing? A regular doctor or a psychiatrist? Do you like him or her? Do you feel like they want to help you make progress?

You're not stuck, Anon. You just are putting one foot in front of the other and that is hard sometimes. I am glad that it helps you to come here and write to us. We want to be here for you.

Can you walk outside your house? For instance, can you walk down the driveway or around the block?

March 3, 2010 - 11:41am

my inplant started to give me none stop periods for months and panick attacks started with it , my 1st i passed out for 3 hours and never told anyone then i got them every week for about a month then they started everyday , got so bad i was admitted into hospital with bruised chest, back and stomach muscles , they put me on citalapram , then floxatine (which made me 50 times worse) diazipam i stopped the lot after 2months as they were giving me a panic attacks in my sleep . they sent me to cbt, which worked abit , i slowly got over them when i had implant taken out they stopped , i did research and the implant is linked to anxiety attacks . i was fine for 6 to 7 months and i had a few and they put me on some more antidepressants 3 differant types evryone i had bad symptoms to . this bout of anxiety started november 2009 out of the blue , i havent been in a shop or been able to take my daughter to school since then i have to rely on family and deliverys, i try not to avoid things but i have to leave as i feel the urge that im gonna get diarhea or pass out and i get all the normal anxirty symptoms of sweats racing heart , shakes , headaches, i also have ibs so that dosnt help . in january i had to hand my daughter over to my mam as i had a mini breakdown i didnt do anything didnt go anywere never left the house for 3 weeks the thought of it scared me half to death . im now on diazipam , escatalapram , tablets for ibs , and dopermoid for sickness . been on these for nearly 4 weeks now and no sign of improving , i feel better not on them to be honest, now when i get a attack of anxiety attacks , my whole body is in pain like painfull pins and needles and even in my gums , i get sickness and shakin . im also doin cbt online that the doctor advised me , i want the old me bk i was always busy and full of life and now i cant even handle goin to the shop . any help or advice whould be fantastic . another thing my mother was on seroxat which mad her suicidel and she attempted this several times and was sectioned , the doctors put me on this same tablet at the begining of the year and i had to be taken off it because i kept havin really hot flushes and passing out . it just seems nothing works and im stuck

March 2, 2010 - 3:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

i have the same thing it got that bad i cant take my daughter to school which is at the back of my house . i had the contraceptive implant in my arm and it started to stop working and i developed panic attacks , i had implant removed and the stopped and now there back with vengence , anxiety mostly , i can no longer go into shops , school, i dont socialise , i dont have people over to my house , the furthest i can go is my mothers house as i no im safe there . i feel fine when im driving but if i have to stop at traffic lights i begin to panic ! doctors keep puttin me on anti depressants but they makeme worse and i dont like feelin not normal and out of control . im sure i just have a hormone inbalance but doctors dont really listern to me , and help and advice would be greatfully recieved as im on 24 and have a 4 year old and im normaly a outgoing person allways having a laugh and out and about i want the old me back

March 1, 2010 - 2:33pm
(reply to Anonymous)


I"m very sorry that you're dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. I have dealt with them too, and I know how bad they can make you feel.

Anon, your doctors are probably trying you on anti-depressants because several of those medicines also help with anxiety. You may have not yet found the right one for you. But there IS a possibility that they will help.

Are you sure that the panic attacks and the contraceptive are linked? Are you back on any birth control at all? What makes you very sure that this is hormone-related?

How long ago did the panic attacks begin? How long has it been since you could go out of the house?

Do you remember what meds you have tried? How long did you take them?

Have you considered or tried counseling or therapy? Therapy can give us tools to deal with our anxiety. We can learn to talk ourselves down, to see the rational side through the anxiety. It doesn't always help, but it helps a great deal of the time.

Please tell us a little more about your situation so that we can possibly help. There ARE things that can help you, Anon. Don't give up.

March 2, 2010 - 9:04am
HERWriter Guide

Dear Rottie

Thanks so much for your question.

Agoraphobia can be a very isolating and debilitating condition. Empowher describes this condition as "an irrational fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape could be difficult or impossible. People with agoraphobia often will not leave the house. It often occurs in association with panic disorder . In this case, the affected people may fear that help will not be available in certain places in case a panic attack occurs.

The exact cause is unknown. Most people develop agoraphobia after having panic attacks. Afraid of having another attack, an agoraphobic avoids places and situations that have triggered an attack. Factors that may contribute to the development of this phobia include:

◦Changes in brain chemistry or activity
◦Having a nervous system that reacts excessively, even to normal stimuli
◦Increased awareness of physical changes (such as increased heart rate)
◦Distorted thinking, which may start a cycle of fear

Symptoms include:

◦Fear of being in a crowd, shopping, standing in line, or similar activities
◦Fear of riding in a car, bus, or train
◦Creation of a safe zone
◦Feelings of anxiety when outside the safe zone
◦Fear of being alone
◦Avoidance of situations that might cause a panic attack
◦Restriction of activities outside the home
◦Feeling of being safer with a trusted friend
◦Lack of interest in normal activities
◦Becoming homebound

Agoraphobia is commonly associated with the following:

◦Panic disorder
◦Eating disorders ( anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa )
◦Alcohol or drug abuse

Feared situations may trigger a panic attack. Attacks start quickly and peak in about 10 minutes. A panic attack usually includes four or more of the following:

◦Intense fear
◦Rapid heartbeat
◦Pounding or racing feeling in the chest
◦Shortness of breath
◦Chest pain
◦Dizziness or lightheadedness
◦Hot flashes or chills
◦Numbness or tingling
◦Feeling of loss of control or "going crazy"
◦Fear of having a heart attack or dying

Treatments may include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
This therapy combines:

◦Cognitive therapy to change troublesome thought patterns
◦Behavioral therapy to help learn how you can alter your actions

This therapy helps you learn to:

◦Identify and change anxious thoughts
◦Use relaxation techniques to decrease feelings of anxiety
◦Control breathing by taking slower, deeper breaths
◦Cope with physical changes associated with anxiety
◦Confront feared situations

Commonly used drugs include:

◦Benzodiazepines or other anti-anxiety medicines

Note: Benzodiazepines may cause dependence. This means that withdrawal symptoms occur once the medication is stopped.

Lifestyle Changes
Avoid caffeine and nicotine because they can increase anxiety.

Agoraphobia often develops as a response to panic attacks. Instead of avoiding places where you have had a panic attack, it is better to seek medical care. Early treatment for panic attacks can help prevent agoraphobia.

For even more information, click here for our Agoraphobia page : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/agoraphobia#definition

Please also take a look at this post that may also help you : http://www.empowher.com/community/ask/how-can-i-becomenormalagain-out-anxiety-and-fear

If you do have a hormonal balance due to coming off Depo a week ago, it may have nothing to do with the agoraphobia that you've had for three years but it's wise to check into this.

I think it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about therapies that can help you and you have taken some great first steps in getting help. Please take the next step and call your doctor.

Will up update us when you can?

February 6, 2010 - 5:03pm
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