View Full Version : new agoraphobic sufferer
09-29-2008, 01:15 PM
evening, I am new here
I am an agoraphobic sufferer. When I go to work I refuse to eat all day as i fear that eating will make me ill, I then go dizzy, light headed and my anxiety levels rocket and i go home. i am currently doing 4 hours a day as i have been off for 3 months. I have been an agoraphobic for 22 sad years. I am looking for advice and help from fellow sufferers.
09-29-2008, 03:39 PM
Welcome to the forum! Hopefully you will find a lot of support, help and advice here.
You have been suffering with agorphobia for so long. I think you are doing reallywell by getting out there to work. I am not a fellow sufferer so I cant really imagine how it must be, other than when I had anxiety so badly that even trying to get out of the door and down the road was a real struggle. I used to sit plenty of times on the doorstep crying, or having to run back inside to cry cos I just couldnt face being outdoors.Just being outdoors and away from home made my anxiety rocket! I still feel a bit uneasy outdoors on my own sometimes. How have you managed for all these years?
09-30-2008, 09:20 AM
i have hidden it and lived on medication. Its all out the closet now as i have had a relapse and have lost alot of work days. I am struggling at the mo with constant nausea (my thoughts are that there is something wrong with me, turning into a hypercondriat i think) I am doing cbt at the mo. I find it hard at the mo and feel like one step forward one step back.
How do you cope? how have you progressed? any advice
09-30-2008, 12:50 PM
I am really sorry to hear that you hid your agorophobia for all those years. That must have been very difficult for you. You say you had a relapse, so did it go away with medication but then come back whilst you were taking it? I can relate to how you are struggling and feeling with having constant nausea. I became really unwell a few months ago with anxiety.Nothing triggered it. One night I was at home relaxing and the next moment I had a panic attack and from then on it was what I can honestly say was a nightmare. I was constantly sick and nauseaus, every single day. I was sick on average 3 times a day.I cldnt eat anything and if I did eat I couldnt keep it down. I lost a lot of weight. I had depersonalization which was the worst part of anxiety for me I found. I was having palpitations and panic attacks at one point several times a day. I wouldnt believe my doctor and was really annoyed with him when he diagnosed anxiety. I looked for every other thing that it could be but finally I had to believe what he was telling me. I became very depressed at one point but that was a side effect for me of medication that I was taking. I stopped the medication and the depression went. I am still nauseaus mostly every day and sometimes I am still sick. I still hardly eat anything but what bit I do eat, I make sure it is the healthiest, and I am now on a anti anxiety diet. I am taking 5-HTP which is helping. I think I may have a problem tho in that I am now scared to eat much cos I think that it makes me feel ill. I know it sounds mad but I feel better mentally if I dont eat - I panic if I feel full and then I feel sick!I think there is a bit of a problem there, I am not sure. Maybe I am using food to control how I feel about my anxiety I dont know. I know that anxiety is made worse by not eating, so I try and have a little bit of food every so often in very small amounts. I dont touch alcohol as this makes my anxiety worse and I dont smoke either. I dont take prescribed medication as I get panicky over the side effects. I get less panicky over taking natural supplements. I am however a lot better than a few months ago. I have done a lot of self help and this is paying off I find. I am reading Claire Weekes Self Help for your Nerves book and that is helping too as well as this forum. I research a lot on anxiety - I find the more I am informed the less scary anxiety is to me. I would say that has been the biggest help. I also tell myself Ok if my anxiety were to get really bad again then I know there are a lot of very effective medications out there which I cld try as much as I dont like taking medication. I tell myself I have come this far and I am surviving still. You have done wonderfully to have had agoraphobia for all these years and if you can do that then I am sure you will do well in coping with it for the remaining years too. You are bound to have setbacks at time but there will be easier times ahead too.I take each day as it comes I dont ask too much of myself, and I relax as much as I can but also exercise too and basically just keep myself as calm as I can. I am now a very calm person in that I dont stress over anything. I dont allow myself to. I still get anxiety symptoms tho! I feel for you having agoraphobia but admire you for carrying on and getting out to work.As I mentioned in my last message, I went thro some issues with it a few months ago. I can still get very anxious at times going out. Some days it is better than others. I went thro the hypochondriac stage but I now think if something disastrous is going to happen with my health then worry when it happens. I tend to focus more on anxiety issues. In what way are you finding it hard at the moment? Is it more difficult to get out or as the anxiety got worse? I can relate to the losing a lot of work days. I now work from home at the present time as I dont think I am ready to get back there working in my usual type of job until I know I am fully ready to. I will be only going back part time as I cldnt cope with full time to begin with. Is you employer aware of your problems? Are they understanding? I did CBT for a while and will return to it again later on. I stopped having it as I moved from the area where I was having it thro the NHS. What type of medication do you take? I hope you have had a better day today?
10-08-2008, 09:52 AM
i am doing cbt at the mo, he want to make me hyperventilate and induce a panic attack at the hospital. sounds scary.
Iam managing mornings only and work have agreed to change my contract to part time for a few months while i get sorted. the only issue is money. I feel nausea alot but dont be ill i cant stand the feeling and am terrified of vomiting. I do go out locally but carry a carrier bag incase i am ill and a bottle of water every where.
I admire the way you have found your way through anxiety and do believe we should face our fears and not hide them in the backs of our minds.
I refuse to eat outside of the house incase i am ill. This is making me worse. I think food is a major issue. I respect that you have also had problems with food, what is an anti anxiety diet? I lost 4 pounds in aweek and i only weigh 10 stone 5 and i am 5"11. I got worried as every time i tried to eat i felt like i was going to be sick so i refused to eat. I got really scared and started eating vegetables as i felt very weak and tired all the time.
Hopefully we can cope with our anxiety and keep in touch
I would love to know about anti anxiety diet. Maybe you could go back to cbt? Have you tried anything else?
10-08-2008, 05:28 PM
How are you? Why is the CBT therapist wanting to induce a panic attack at the hospital??? What is he hoping to gain from that? It is good that your employer is allowing you to work mornings. I do understand that you must worry about your financial situation, however you do need the time away from work to look after yourself. If you are living in the uk there is help that you can get if you work part time to top up your earnings, just for the present time.
I also feel nauseaus a lot. It is much better than it used to be though, thankfully! Like you I didnt eat a lot and I found that not eating much makes you feel nauseaus on top on anxiety, so I just eat little and often. I only eat non processed, non 'white food' and I stay away from sugar, caffeine, - basically I eat all fresh foods and I dont touch anything processed either in food or drink. I drink chamomile tea which does help me a lot and I also take natural supplements - 5-HTP, Magnesium, Agnus Castus, B vitamins and St Johns Wort for my anxiety. They are really helping! I still do get anxiety symptoms on and off but they are nothing at all like what I had up until a few weeks ago. I will send you the anti anxiety diet list of foods by private message if you would like, rather than listing it on here?
I am thinking of getting CBT again privately this time. Do you find that it helps you? I have thought of other therapies too like the tapping one *I cant remember the name of it now!* and I have thought of hypnotherapy.
I have found that although I am getting much better I still have days and moments where anxiety strikes. I was out earlier tonight and bumped into an old friend. I started chatting away and then I was suddenly struck with panic and fear from out of nowhere. I went really hot and I am sure my face was red. I just wanted to run away from the situation. I continued with the conversation but it was very stunted and I am sure my friend must have thought I was behaving really strangely. I felt like I couldnt breathe properly! It was terrible. I thought I was going to break down crying! That is the kind of moment that anxiety really gets to me. I felt so unhappy afterwards. How does anyone handle those moments! I couldnt exactly start doing deep breathing and thinking relaxing thoughts then as I was in the middle of a conversation. I thought to myself as I walked away after we had said goodbye, that I hated myself. I just want to be like how other people seem to be. I get so down feeling that I have to fight this battle with anxiety and I know compared to what some people have to go thro like with cancer etc that I have no real problems at all, but even so it does make life difficult at times. Some days I just want to stay home and never go out ever again to face people and the world, but I know if I do that then what kind of life would I have, and I refuse to give into anxiety and all the rest. I get so frustrated with it all that it makes me angry and then I get determined not to be beaten by it. I dont take prescribed medication but if my anxiety got really bad then I wouldnt hesitate to take it.
I know exactly how you feel about eating out. I dont do that either. I also still sometimes carry a bag with me in my bag in case I feel sick. You are not alone! I find that eating mints and sipping water really helps. Bananas are really good to eat and they help with the nausea. You will feel weak if you are not eating. I felt terrible. I couldnt even stand up in the shower a couple of months ago due to how weak I was. It was when I started drastically losing weight and it was noticeable that I knew I had to eat because I thought well I feel sick if I dont eat so I may as well eat a little even if it makes me feel sick. However as long as I didnt eat a lot and just ate very small portions every couple of hours to keep my blood sugars up I found the nausea subsided. I still cant eat a full plate of food now but at least I am eating and I am putting on weight and looking much better than I did. My anxiety was so much worse when I didnt eat. Not eating can make anxiety get a lot worse.
I dont have any fear of being sick which is a good thing really considering how sick I used to be lol Due to being sick so much my mouth broke out in loads of blisters a lot of the time and I now have problems with my teeth due to the damage caused by the acid.
You sound like you are doing really well in that you are still holding down a job. I know it can be really tough. This board does help a lot I find. Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Let me know if it is ok to send the anti anxiety diet that I follow by private message to you.
10-10-2008, 10:20 AM
that fine by sending it to private message.
CBT is helping but i find i am getting more attacks as i am lowering my defences (type of thing) he wants me to face my fear and not flight or fight. This can be tiring. I tried tapping accupressure and the next day i felt worse, not saying that this contributed to it, but it is odd and gives you an odd feeling. What help is there for part time wages? i have tried but there is nothing about other than tax credits?.
I think private cbt is expensive, some charging £90 per hour. I think this is a bit steep as i would need to work 2 full days to earn this.
Have you joined any anxiety clubs on the net like anxiety uk, national phobics etc? if so are they any good as i am thinking of joining one.
I am taking magnesiun and vitamin b1 which is supposed to be good for anxiety but my cbt guy told me he doent believe in it? I have stopped taking it now but might go back to it.
I am glad you are finding things easier now as i know when you are feeling down your mind plays tricks on you and you fear the worst. My CBT guy thinks i am getting health anxiety as i worry about every pain and ache. think i need a full mot to put my mind at rest
Keep in touch
11-07-2008, 04:43 PM
actually i think inducing a panic attack on purpose would be a good idea when you are surrounded with people who understand it and know how to talk you out of it, then you can keep practicing it and keep using those skills
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