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Littleneck
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 4/14/2009 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone else have agoraphobia? I was diagnosed a only a few weeks ago, and am still coming to terms with all my symptoms. I have noticed that on days when I am especially hurting, I am especially reluctant to leave the house or do anything outside of my home, including going to work. Most days I can ignore it but sometimes I don't. On these days all I can do is sleep, they are lethargic days. The agoraphobia isn't really a panicky feeling, more of a fearful stubbornness not to leave.

Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 4/14/2009 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi littleneck...

Guess it's time for me to "come out of the closet" on this one. Over the past 30 years or so I have had terrible bouts of agoraphobia but have kept it to myself. Most of the time I prefer to just stay home...it's safe here. If I make myself go out I usually do OK, but other times I all of a sudden get panicky and need! to get home!! NOW! Then it's often I stay home for as long as I can again.

There are times when I can psych myself into going on a trip, but we take our trailer and then I'm fine. It's my own little 'home' and hubby is with me. For some reason I'm OK with that, but if I had to stay in a motel or someone's house I would be very uncomfortable. So I do understand your 'fearful' feeling.

Hugs,
Chutzie
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
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Littleneck
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 4/14/2009 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chutzie,
Thanks for outing yourself! yes, I too am usually fine once I make myself get going. It's just sometiems the getting going part is hard. Nice to know there are others.

tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 4/15/2009 3:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Of course one needs a bed close by at all times when we get hit with a bout of fatique that wipes us out. It can happen anywhere. Home Depot, hugh, exhausted by the time I find the aisle with the do dads, and have to get son to stand in line to pay while I bolt for the truck.
 My seat folds way back like almost flat, I put one of the three sweaters I have partially removed, under my head and breathe. Sometimes breathing is about all I can manage. 
Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.


Baloo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 4/15/2009 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh is that what it is. I was just thinking yesterday how I don't want to go out of the house. Just like you said its more stubborness. Well, it just feels like I have lead in my body and I just don't want to move. I don't want to go out. I use to love going out and exploring, going to the grocery store ext. I couldn't figure out what it was. I battle with it everyday.
Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroid disease, Chronic pain.
 
 All things are possible thru Christ Jesus who strengthens me


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/15/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
The picking up the groceries thing and handing the money to the kid thing to pay for it and hauling to get outside got me. I did that one for months when I was raising my daughter and she was about 17. That's when I knew my stress level was really climbing. Shopping has been a real drag for a long time, but when the stress level was to much to even check out, if I had a way out of it, I was getting on the edge of the cliff then. I kept telling everyone around me for months, to please back off, I was barely hanging in there. Nobody understood or heeded the warnings and finally big crash number two happened.

And the result of that became this after my daughter hit 18 and moved out to live with her husband of 8 years now.

I had Agoraphobia for about 6 months bad. It started off as something sort of benign after losing my home business and home and feeling like I just had to escape. My brother invited me to come to his house and gave me, rented me a room. I still had money left to support myself for a couple of years. Till then, moving to his place, I had been going through a heavy bout of anxiety, pain, breathing problems for about a year and a half. So, I went to his house and he introduced me to playing this online game that totaly fixated me. As long as I was fixated, I was relaxed. I was very comfortable just sitting in that bedroom playing that game. It got to the point I didn't want to come out, then it turned into a fear of going out after a couple of months. Just going out to shop once a week took all I could muster to go out the door. It finally reached the point that having to go out that once a week was causing panic. I finally realized that if I didn't get my life back out of that bedroom I was going to lose it completely, packed up all my stuff and headed back west. Within a couple of days I was fine again being out, well, as fine as you can be when the day is slowly or sometimes speedily going to pot on your body and brain.

Anyhow, as long as you keep going out, you shouldn't developed a really extreme problem with leaving your safe haven at home.

For me, I have to get out. Even if I have a home business I can do, there is no way I could go from my bed to eating something to working. I have to get out for at least 2 or 3 hours minimum first thing in the day and usually run it up to about 2 pm in the afternoon. By then I am dragging everywhere and ready to just go home and do whatever is left that I can do, which is usually either rest watching TV, or go back and forth from that to the computer, or sleep.

Real agoraphobia starts off as just a reluctance to go out and face stress and anxiety triggers when staying home feels better. As long as you continue going out that is about where it stays, a reluctance to go out. If you quit going out that reluctance can turn to dread, but staying home all the time isn't a answer, because the anxiety and stress finally follows you into your safe spot. Being there becomes just as bad.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/15/2009 9:02:56 AM (GMT-6)


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 4/15/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Years back when I was having horrible panic attacks when I would leave home I couldn't wait to get back to the safety of my house. That was before fibro, now sometimes it's just seems to take too much energy and motivation to leave home. I use to drive to one the cities around us to just get out and spend some time shopping but that got less and less. Now the only time I go is when I have a rheumy app. I'm hoping when I get the vit D up and the weather gets nice I will have more energy and motivation to go more. So is it agoraphobia or fibro that keeps you home???
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
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GamJill
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 4/15/2009 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Littleneck-

I had agoraphobia in my early 20's and it was a nightmare. Mine was from anxiety- like Grailhunter stated, it was to avoid anxiety triggers. And it was sheer panic almost 24/7.

I do not have it now, but when my pain and fatigue is bad I don't want to do anything or go anywhere either. Most the time I find though if I stay busy and get a walk in or just keep moving the pain and fatigue is better. I do take a rest late morning and late afternoon whenever I can and that also seems to help. The winter was awful. I don't want to go anywhere when it is cold, just hibernate. And the pain and fatigue was awful. Now that the milder temps are here I am starting to feel better and then I feel like doing a little more. 

Hope that will be the same for you-  

GamJill  


 
 
Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
 
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/15/2009 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey there Marlee. IMO, its pure Agoraphobia if what is keeping you from going out is a otherwise, uninvolved, anxiety or panic relationship. Anxiety and Panic attacks are kind of like walking around with a loaded gun and almost anything, even the smallest sense of another Panic attack coming on will set it off. In a bad enough condition, everything becomes a trigger. Someone asking you to get them a soda out of the fridge for them can be enough to pull the trigger. Getting rid of anxiety and panic syndrome can't be done by just eliminating triggers. You have to take all the bullets out of the gun, then the trigger can be pulled all day long and it does nothing.

It took almost a year for me to get rid of my Panic Syndrome without taking any drugs, which was probably stupid not taking drugs for it since the stress level of dealing with those many panic attacks a day for so long probably caused the CFS, and which progressively caused the Fibro. But, I had help on this from a very, very stupid MD, that as the anxiety syndrome progressed, he kept blowing it off as meaning nothing, and I didn't know what was wrong. I was describing text book major depression, with anxiety and panic syndrome to this MD over a period of about 6 office visits in two weeks and he did nothing. By the time I saw a Shrink a year latter and described to him what happened where the MD was concerned, he Shrink also called the guy an idiot, but added that this is how allot of people end up enduring far more then they should, by MD's not recognizing whats going on and by the time the person gets proper treatment, allot of damage can be done, the foundation of Fibro set into place for instance.

Okay, so although Fibro overlaps into depression, mood disorder, anxiety and if bad enough Panic syndrome, you can feel absolutely miserable and still have no bullets in the gun, or have nothing physically wrong with you at all, except your suffering from depression, anxiety and panic disorder, so far that is, and the gun is loaded and anything and everything that causes a stress response pulls the trigger.

Its not a clear response I know. But pure agoraphobia is anxiety disorder driven, whereas if a person had Fibro, the desire to not leave the house unless necessary could be primarily I just don't feel up to this, or mixed with anxiety because you don't really feel up to it.

My stress and anxiety levels are highest in the mornings, which is normal, since that is when your body is producing the highest levels of cortisol to get you moving. My response to it is I want out of that house and go do a fixed routine that I can relax while the Cortisol is dropping.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/15/2009 4:35:20 PM (GMT-6)


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 4/16/2009 2:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Pain causes depression. Docs and Pharmaceutical Co.'s want you to believe it's the other way around b/c then they can sell more psychoactive drugs. If we push through the depression, the result is anxiety. That's been proven over and over. Just grabbing yourself by your bootstraps, calling yourself a bunch of names; lazy, stupid, hopeless, sub-par, etc. just increases both depression and anxiety. The only way out is to treat the pain, treat the depression, and if necessary, treat the anxiety. I remember years of not being able to get up and get going. This has been happening since childhood, a very rocky childhood to say the least. So, don't torture yourself, it's counter-productive. You have to start feeling better emotionally and physically, then start desensitization treatment. iI you can't find a pro to help here get a good book. primarily, one introduces the feared activity/situation, in small increments allowing one to get used to it at every level. Like overcoming fear of mice. First they get you to visualize a mouse, for like, ten seconds. Next session; look at a picture of a mouse. Then up to being in a room with a mouse in a cage. Finally, provided they're tame mice, hold a mouse in your hand. many can't reach this level. That's ok. Everybody has their achilles heel, ie. something that scares them, they usually keep it hidden and quietly avoid situations where the stimulus (mice) live.
Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.


lost in philly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 4/16/2009 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I face the dread and fear of leaving the house every day (for fear of "can I make it home on my own?") but I dont think I am agoraphobic...yet.
The irony is that I have a new little puppy that I am trying to socialize so he doesnt become too fearful and yappy as he gets older and so I am compelled to take him on walks (cane and all!). Some days I can only physically do a half block...but it is still good for both of us to be around noises and traffic, then it isnt so jarring and painful when the family comes home at night and turns on all the lights and TV! Ugh! (Then me and pup DO want to run out of the house!! hahaha)
The other thing I do is keep a sort of emergency kit in my car in case I did crash while I was out. Its just a bag with extra pain meds, a blanket, tiny pillow, extra walking cane, bottle of water so I can take meds, book to read in case I have to sit in car and wait, sunhat etc. It helps with my anxiety to know it is there and plus I dont have to lug it around, it just stays there. I cant tell you how many times I have used it!
lost in philly

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fibro, Endo, Migraines, Asthma, CFS

Topamax, Morphine, Cymbalta, Crestor, Resoril, Loestrin, Treximet

B12, Magnesium, Melatonin, Omega3


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 4/16/2009 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Lost in Philly, how old is your puppy??? I have a 7 1/2 mo old bichon that didn't get socalized over the winter like she should have and she is having a hard time when she sees people that she doesn't know. She seen my neighbor and his little 4 yr old out yesterday and she didn't want any part of them and tried running back to the house. I feel so bad for her cause it is not her fault. So I'm also out when we have nice days working on socalizing her.
 
I had horrible anxiety driving for several years. I had a panic attack while driving so of course that was the beginning, my brain associated driving with panic. It was pure hell driving most of the time but I knew if I gave into it, which would have been the easy thing to do, I would give up my freedom and I was not going to do that cause to me the ultimate freedom is getting in my car and going where I want when I want. The first time I made a four hour trip by myself I cried cause I was so happy. So I do think that phobias can be overcome with lots of work.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, Panic can become overcome with lots of work. Desensitization. I developed a bad phobia of graveyards once, which is kinda strange since I don't fear dieing in itself, just the potential misery of getting there.

Anyhow, finally got sick of having a anxiety attack going by a graveyard and in Maine they are all over the place, and one day I just forced myself to go into one and walked around for a couple of hours reading the family names. I didn't leave until I felt comfortable being there. No more graveyard phobia after that. I think my mother handed that phobia to me. She has always been afraid of graveyard, mortuaries, hearses, anything associated with death. I think the fact she had this horrible avoidance for so many years made it a trigger for me when I was deep in anxiety disorder.

Kinda strange on the concept of push through the depression and you get anxiety. I ran into that a bunch of times. Pushed myself out of the house everyday for months and walked and went around to stores, anything to keep myself out and moving, and the depression went away, and I was back into chronic anxiety. For many years I would just alternate days. Some days sick and painful and no anxiety. Other days capable of getting out and getting things done and had anxiety.

Well, its a difficult thing and interesting how people deal with it. I think really much of it has to do with the fact that the mind likes comfortable consistency and with chronic pain, overwhelming fatigue and all the other symptoms coming and going, comfortable consistency just can't be achieved.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/16/2009 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Marlee, I have Sabra out every day but she is afraid of children!  She loves adults and cats but is fearful of kids and other dogs.  It just could be her nature and not because she was in the house a lot this winter.
 
I don't have agoraphobia but I do like to stay home.  I'm far more comfortable there and don't notice my health issues nearly as much.  So, that may be playing into this.  I do make myself get out several times a week but I'm always glad to get back home.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 4/16/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Grailhunter; odd that we fluctuate like that. Makes me think that pain causes us to adjust, adjust, adjust. A series of adjustments, hard to settle down, isn't it.
Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/16/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Yah, its quite weird Tyno. Usually I get up very lethargic and numb, go outside and stumble around in a half daze and smoke, then I start feeling the stiffness and pain kicking in, then I come in, check my email, check what has been said or posted here, then go out and smoke another, kinda semi depressed the whole time. By then I am usually okay to get changed and go start my day by leaving the house and doing whatever. Now, on these mornings, which are the vast majority I don't tend to feel allot of stress or anxiety, beyond the slight stress of wanting out of that house for awhile.

Now, every once in awhile, I get up very clear headed and go outside to do my morning smoke. No fog, no depression, the pains and stiffness are there, but mentally I feel quite alert, and I have a much greater feeling of stress and mild anxiety. Which I find really odd. Brain and senses are working as well as they can, and I am more anxious.

I think its because there is no consistency to it. The overwhelming number of mornings are such a drag, that everything has as you said, adjusted to that. Now toss in a morning of energy and clarity and your not used to it. You have become programmed that the other way, with fatigue, lethargy, stiffness, pain, depression as being the normal.

I actually think, in a way, our whole lives, even before Fibro were like this. We might wake up badly and just move into our day and it got better, or we might wake up good, but with a little higher stress level, and move into our day and it went away once we got going.

Now its not like that anymore. Regardless, were Ego programmed that this is who we are, this is the condition were in, this is how we must deal with it and there is not enough healthy consistency going on to re-program us to a different way of viewing it. It takes a long time where things have changed for the better, before our minds start picking up on it and re-adjust.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 4/16/2009 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   

While in University several decades ago, in abnormal psyche, we talked about a concept called "learned helplessness". Basically if a series of adversive events are presented to an organism, serially, the animal/organism will just give up. Sort of like the orphans who experience a syndrome of "failure to thrive". After the pain takes so much away, the uncertainty of whether you'll be functional the next day, and at what cost, becomes real, and dashes hope. This is the part where we are supposed to reach down, grab the bootstraps, and pull like ----. Well, sometimes I just don't have the strength to keep it up. 

I have hurt so badly, after a days work, I could not make food. I couldn't get to the kitchen, much less to bed. I would hurt so bad all over heck, it hurt to think. How in the name of samuel adams was I to get up and do it all over the next day, and perhaps the next. I got so I couldn't do it anymore. I contemplate getting back to work, but I can't seem to be able to figure out what I can do where people won't expect me, when they expect me.  


Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.

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