I'M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO LEAVE HOME

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kellirjean
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/22/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had anxiety for 5 years now, it has gone away at times and now it is worse than ever. I lost my job and have not worked in 5 months so I sit at home. The other day I went to drive to the store which is in a town 10 miles from me. I had a major attack while driving there. I tried again twice to drive out of this town and can not make it. I don't know what to do. I know that I need to get out to get over this but I am lost on how to take that first step. I don't have the money or insurance for counseling and am sick of trying meds that give me side effects. Something about driving is really getting to me. I think it is because I get so dizzy when I panic, I am afraid of passing out while driving. Is that even possible ?
 
These attacks are ruining my whole life, I can't leave home, I can't work, I can't even go to the store. Even watching people do certain things on TV makes me dizzy and panicky. Like when people fly, or go on road trips or just sometimes for no reason at all. HELP

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/22/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the Anxiety and Panic Forum.  I am sorry that driving is a problem for you right now but here are some tips for you to try. :-)

1. Take small steps and you will eventually get to your destination -- A lot of people who have a fear of driving simply give up using their car altogether. This is the way to perpetuate your condition, not to heal yourself. If you feel that you're unable to drive, simply use the car for short periods. Either drive around the block, or to the grocery store, or take frequent pit stops to make sure your fear doesn't build up. By doing so, you're conditioning your mind to gradually overcome your fears.

2. Listen to soothing music while you're driving -- Music has great effect on our mood. Find some music that you can relax to and play it while you're driving. It will lower your overall stress levels and your will enjoy your ride more.

4. Take deep breaths -- If you're ever driving and start to experience one of the many symptoms of your phobia (sweating, stomach aches, nausea), take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Deep breaths steady the heart beat and help you to relax

Think positive thoughts, leaving no room for failure that you “just can’t do this.”

I know you can do this.   Set small goals for yourself and then just do it.  We are here to support you.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
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Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 9/22/2009 11:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kelli,

Welcome to my world.. lol. I have not worked in oh a few years. I drive no further from the house then 1 mile. And I have to have a family member with me. I do not take meds either. As the same thing has happened to me. I'm sick of the side effects. And the fact my anxiety is triple + the entire time I try out new ones just waiting for something to go wrong. I can understand the inability to afford therapy and such. There is a lot of things online if you google it. CBT is one of them. Keeping a journal also helps. I like to write about my thoughts. Once I close the book its like the bad feeling leaves and I feel 100% better.

I to get dizzy and shaky. Feel like I'm going to faint. I never have. And from what I understand it is very rare to actually faint. If anything it would be from hyperventilation then from the anxiety itself.

Kitt has some good idea's. I'll add a few tips that might help you.

1. Find a friend, family, or even a pet. Someone you can chat with while driving. Weither they answer you or not. Sometimes just chatting helps keep your mind off of what your feeling.

2. Play your favorite upbeat music that you love to sing to. Turn up the volume and sing your heart out. Play air drums on the steering wheel.
( I use my index finger and tap away. I don't let go of the wheel though)

3. Reward yourself for every extra effort. DO NOT beat yourself up if you don't make it tomorrow. Instead think positive. You need to reinforce yourself. If you make it one car length further then the day before. GOOD FOR YOU! that is an improvement. When you take a step back. Its ok. Tomorrow is another day for another attempt.

4. If your progress is taking more steps back then forward. Its a good idea to have someone drive half way and you take over the other half. Even if you don't actually stop to shop. Then the next time you drive 3/4 of the way. Then the whole way there or back. Mix it up. You will gain your confidence back. And if you start to feel a panic coming on. Find yourself "safe" area's that you can pull over and regain yourself. Do it even with the person with you. A gas station, Rest area, school. Whatever you feel comfortable stopping at.

Remind yourself you are stronger then your anxiety/panic. You can do it. And be proud of yourself when you do.


My situation is probably different then yours. I also live 10 miles outside of town. But I have family members who do everything I need done for me. So I don't really need to work on this issue. If I need something I have a little store close by and I just go once a week with my kids. I make sure I go every week though. Anxiety/ panic or not I will go.
I do have good days where I can go into town and run a few errands. But again someone is always with me. This day is usually one day a month to go buy grocery's if I have special things I need that hubby just isn't sure about. And I take my list in order of the isles so I can get in and out in less then an hour. I'll even split up the my oldest daughter and hubby to go grab things while I'm working on other things.

Leaving my house is very hard for me. I feel unsafe. And living 35 minutes away from the mexican border and all its issues along with a lot of recent shootings and a rise in gang violence is making it even harder.
So my situation is not just driving. I'm well stuck at home because of other things also.

One day one step and one breath at a time.

Take Care
Cary-Ann

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 9/24/2009 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi kelli and welcome to HW. You have been given absolutely awesome advice by both Kitt and Cary-Ann. I noticed that you mentioned professional therapy and counselling were not an option at this time so I thought Id give you some links to websites where you can explore online counselling and therapy for free- I understand where you are coming from as I am a long term agoraphobic- but I eventually beat it (to a point) and Im sure in time, you can too. I needed alot of time with my Pdoc and I take medication. I truly hope you stick with us and are able to start finding some answers and relief-

Maz XX

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Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 9/24/2009 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   

My anxiety was so bad at one time I could not watch anything on TV.  Everything seemed to "jar" my soul.  I can relate, also to the issue of medication.  It took 2 different Drs. and countless trials with different meds before I found the one that worked and I had no side effects from.  That was the most wonderful feeling.  I said many times before that "No More"!  I can't go through this long trial and error period again.  It got so bad one day, I consented to try yet another med and it was the one that worked for me.  I can watch TV now, I still startle very easily but not like I use to.  I also have what has been referred to as "Wally World Syndrome".  I have the worst panic attacks in Walmart.  So when I have to go, I go early on Saturday when I am not rushed and the store is not packed.  This seems to help.  I hope you can find some avenue of help soon.  I really do know how it feels.  Don't give up.........and the advice from others is very good......don't beat yourself up.

Gem


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/24/2009 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Gem,

Thanks for sharing with us.  I am glad you finely found a medication that works for you.  I know how hard it is to keep trying meds that make you feel awful and then on to the next one.

Proud of you for hanging in there.

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
DX: Anxiety, Depression, Osteoarthritis, GERD, Raynaud's syndrome, Skin Cancer and  IBS

Not a mental health professional of any kind


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 9/25/2009 5:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Kitt,

You have been in my corner from day one and I really appreciate you.  Have a great week-end!

Gem


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 9/28/2009 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
A couple of years ago I met someone on here and through the blog I had at the time. She was similar to you in that she couldn't drive and had a real hard time being away from home even if others drove her.

Just last week she flew to Chicago by herself to attend a party. She now attends her kids' sporting events and recitals.

A number of different things helped her, and I'd have to write all night to tell her whole story. I think everyone has their own path; I'm posting just to let you know there is a different future out there. You just have to work to get there.
www.613photo.com/


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 9/29/2009 4:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Well said!
 
Gem
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