Quote Originally Posted by atcmom View Post
I'm starting to get back out again. I find small trips to places I can get out of work the best, like walk in CVS, look around, leave if it's too much. (the mall in other words wouldn't work!) I'm getting out more and more and even though it's tough I feel better about myself. I will say my mom couldn't even go to her mailbox at the end of her driveway for months when she was in her 20s. This is the same lady that in her 50's has been cruising the world! She travels 7-8 months out of the year and if panic hits she just figures 'screw it', I can do it!
Keep it up. Eventually it gets easier. I would not avoid the malls. Put yourself there also. Eventually this will all be behind you. I had agoraphobia and put myself in stores and malls almost every day. Malls were the worst. After I started to get used to the crowd in malls I started to pay attention to what was causing me to have panic. What I found was I would start to feel panic when people would pop into my peripheral vision. Panic comes from fear of the the illness not fear of being in crowds. What I found was every time I started to have panic I would pay attention to the sensation and fear it because the sensation is horrible. Fear fuels panic, so try to ignore it once it wants to hit. Divert your attention to something other than the sensation. Another thing I caught myself doing was when I would walk into a store I would immediately look to see how many people are in the store. I now just walk in and pay attention to what I'm there for not how many people are there. No matter how much anxiety or panic wants to come on ignore it and go about your business and eventually the panic wi dissolve into nothing.