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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2007
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    Erie, PA
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    Wanting to be of help

    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!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    May 2007
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    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.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    May 2007
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    Erie, PA
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    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!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    May 2007
    Location
    Kirkland, Washington
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    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!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    May 2007
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    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.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Shiraz
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    196
    Hi SharBear4:

    Your friend's entire problem very well may be vitamin D3 deficiency.
    Please read my blog " The Cure ?" at the Depression Forum.

    Best wishes,
    Ali

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Worcestershire
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    156
    Quote Originally Posted by SharBear4 View Post
    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!
    I have a good friend who was supportive to me when I was suffering with phobia. We never spoke about phobia unless I brought it up, he never asked me about it he just treated me like he would any of his other friends. He understood I had a problem and was was aware enough not to ask me to go out and things like that he just hinted at things and put temptation under my nose knowing that I probably would not want to go anywhere. As an agoraphobic there are things you need from time to time that you cannot get, he was also very helpful to me in that respect (at the time I did not have internet for example). One word of warning tho don't let him take you for granted, I've known this fella since we were in school an when I was younger I did take him for granted. He stopped visiting me for about 2 years whilst his was moving on with his life and then he just showed up at my door the one day. I was always very appreciative of his help and never asked to something for me for nothing.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    11
    I would say ringing as often as you can would likely make a massive difference, just so she's got someone to talk to. Suggesting meeting her one weekend and going out even if at first it's just sitting outside in the garden, but I'd definitely try not to be too assertive as this will likely be a very big step for her which she needs to feel is her own decision. It's great you're so supportive of your friend & I'm sure a lot more people would love to have a friend like you!

 

 

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