View Full Version : Wanting to be of help
05-17-2007, 08:32 AM
I have just reconnected with an old friend who is suffering from agoraphobia. We live about 4 hours apart so I cannot be there in person day in day out. I really want to learn how to be supportive of my friend. It seems that she is slowly improving, so that is encouraging for her sake. But I really want to be there for her in whatever way she needs!
Thanks so much! :)
05-18-2007, 04:20 PM
It is very kind to hear that you're supportive of your friend getting help! It can be very hard for people who know agoraphobics, I have lost many friends due to my illness.
Just call her and let her know you are there to talk, and you believe that she can do it! Sometimes that's the best thing an agoraphobic can hear, that someone believes in them when they don't believe in themselves.
Now, I'm no psychologist, but for me it helps to know that there isn't pressure. Pressure seems to make an agoraphobic cave into their fears even worse, or at least with me it does, but everyone is different.
Give her reassurance that you will be there for her, but don't sacrafice any of yourself in order to make her feel better, if that makes sense. Sometimes setting boundaries helps, so if she asks you to come visit her four hours away because she has no friends, and you can't do it, just simply tell her so.
This is effective because it may help trigger a response in her to want to keep trying. I know with me it does.
I hope this was a little helpful.
05-18-2007, 04:55 PM
Your response helps alot. And I understand what you are trying to say. I have told her that I feel this is not a life-defining event, but rather something she is working on. She at least goes out of the house now about once a month and I feel that is encouraging.
Thanks for you help!
05-21-2007, 05:16 PM
It's progress not perfection! The more your friend stays inside, the more this disease can grasp her and hold on strong. Conquring the fears, sometimes as slowly as once a month, is at least something. Actually something that really sparked me, aside from this forum, was an Oprah episode with Paula Dean, the host of a few Food Network cooking shows, was a functioning agoraphobic for nearly 20 years! I have only been suffering with the "stay at home" symptoms for 8 months or so, but about 5 months or so ago when I saw her interview on the Oprah show, it gave me much hope to know that things may get better, I may be able to not only find coping mechanisms for the anxiety but also deal with the sources of the problems that create this. Reading posts on this forum may help her if she's not on already. Helping by giving advice makes one feel special, and reading encouraging stories about people who found a way to get out and deal with their fears is inspiring! That would be another great gift for you to give her, a place like this where she can talk and read about ways to get better! I'm glad that the response helped!
05-21-2007, 05:32 PM
It was great to talk to her this weekend and she shared that it gave her encouragement when I said I saw this as a temporary period in her life and not life defining. I can't get to see her until August, but she is beginning to talk about going to the store to shop and stuff like that. I find that very encouraging!! :)
Wow, I did not know that about Paula Dean. That's amazing.
I will share about this website and see what she says.
07-16-2012, 06:50 AM
Your friend's entire problem very well may be vitamin D3 deficiency.
Please read my blog " The Cure ?" at the Depression Forum.
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