Patient Comments: Agoraphobia - Treatments

Question:

How do you treat or manage your agoraphobia? Do you take medication? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Milkey_Way1970, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

For twelve years I suffered from agoraphobia brought on from the death of a loved one and postpartum depression. I sought doctors and therapy for my disorder and suffered ridicule at the hands of family and friends. Thanks to my psychotherapist and his methods of mindful behavior and exposure therapy I am able to leave my home to go outside. Yes, I still struggle with agoraphobia and have many days when I find it hard to deal with the outside world, but I am making strides.

Comment from: kimmyjo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I'm trapped in my agoraphobia because of practicing avoidance behaviors for over 30 years. Once a behavior is learned it's so very difficult to unlearn. Avoidance is an automated response at this point. I know I'm ok when I try to go by myself places, but my brain tells me to stop and go back home. So it's a battle between me knowing I'm ok, and my brain creating physical symptoms to convince me otherwise. I can't take anti-depressants. They increase the anxiety. I hatefully take 2 Xanax a day.

Comment from: They said , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

Managing my agoraphobia is difficult. It's different and difficult. I take a small dose of fluoxetine - Prozac to help. I am very afraid to stop. I've been on medications since 14. I'm 34. Very afraid to stop, it's such a low dose, but I have panic issues. I can't drive. I never got over the fear. Prisoners in our own minds.

Comment from: Bunny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I had my first panic attack at age 14 and as I got older it got worse, so at age 35 it was diagnosed as agoraphobia and panic disorder. I have been under a psychiatrist care for 28 years. I take 3 types of medicines every day. I am much better but I do need medication every day. I still get panic attacks but I try to deal with them. I have a husband and 2 sons, both my sons have a predisposition towards my condition. My older son was on medication for at least 6 months and was able to be fine without it.

Comment from: Helper, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I was diagnosed with agoraphobia in 1978. I had no idea what was happening. One day was fine; the next day was full of panic. I felt as if I couldn't breathe. My heart was pounding. I couldn't leave the house. I had five children, a very ill mother I was caring for and a very demanding husband. The doctor said it was too much stress. I divorced the husband ... big help! My blood pressure went down, too. Thirty-three years later, I still fight to stay mobile. Sometimes it is very had to function. This is how I handle my life with agoraphobia: I am child of God and the stronger my faith, the better I do. I have to put loved ones before the panic attacks. The more I give this to God and ask for His help, the more I receive from the Lord. I do have fun and go on with my day. I pray anyone who has agoraphobia will really trust their faith and also take mediation. The medicine does help to dull the intense panic. Also, I just let go of lesser, unimportant things. I hope and pray that you have loved ones that understand. Most of mind do, some don't. I can't help that. I didn't choose to have this awful mess just like a cancer person doesn't choose to have cancer. Fill your mind with other things. Be with family and go to beautiful places. Be a little (I say little) selfish, but push yourself to work though the panic attack. You do have to make a decision and do it! You can do it!

Comment from: Elena, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

As a recovered agoraphobic, I feel it is my responsibility to share what I have learned and what led to my total recovery. Agoraphobia is the ultimate in separation anxiety. It is not so much the fear of open spaces but the fear of separating from home/mother. Once you pinpoint the reasons underlying the separation anxiety and why you feel safe only at home the panic and fear fall away. In my case I had a lot of unconscious anger (albeit repressed) toward my mother and wished her dead as a child. That in turn led to separation anxiety as a child and it returned as a young adult in the form of agoraphobia. Easy to see why one would feel safe at home as then one can make sure mother is still there and O.K. After all as children we need our mothers and we are afraid that our thoughts and feelings are all powerful. Once this is faced and embraced agoraphobia disappears. I had an excellent psychotherapist and will forever be grateful for the education I received as a result. Hope this message is helpful.

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What Are Phobias? Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Other Fears See Slideshow