fear of going out alone now

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/1/2008 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I am new to this site but was wondering if anyone had any advice for me or suffering fom similar feelings.
In October last year I suffered an injury at the hands of a medical professional which has resulted in intense pain in my ribs every day since. On the third day after my injury I was in so much pain that I was taken from my car (which i nearly crashed) on the way to work, to A and E where it was asssumed at first i was having a heart attack (at 35!!). Since then if I get stressed in the slightest I start to feel dizzy, nauseous, sweaty and the feeling that I can't breathe, resulting in hyperventilation.
This was the final straw in the last 4 years of my life when I have injured my back so badly after slipping on ice that I was off work for 5 months; have lost my 4 year job after being bullied horrendously by my managers; suffered a severe sprained ankle at a subsequent job interview; got the sack from another job after 3 months of starting and doing a fantastic job (as the manager did not like the fact I could do the job better than her after she left me in charge and went on holiday at a day's notice with no contact details!); had a great job with lovely children in a school on  a 1 year contract, but working under the teacher from hell who caused me upset on a daily basis by emotionally abusing/bullying the children in the class and despite complaining (all the staff had experienced him at some point) nothing was done to stop him; suffered with severe vertigo (reason why I was seeing medic) and now at the point where I have not worked since October, have had to sell my car as I am unable to drive now and cannot see an end to this misery or anyone ever employing me again.
I also have a new problem in that I am unable to leave the boundary of my house and garden unless someone is with me.
I feel totally ridiculous as I am highly intelligent and rational person but I am terrified that if I go out by myself I am going to fall over or hurt myself in some way. I do not know whether this is down to the pain I have suffered every day since I was injured, an accumulation of everything that has happened to me in the last few years or just a ridiculous thought that has stuck in my head.
Since October i have left the house only to attend hospital appointments and medicals/interviews that the UK government insist I do so they can decide whether or not I am fit to do work.
I believe that this is also adding to my stress levels as I convinced that they will say there is nothing wrong with me and demand I find a job (as all tests have been negative and I have basically been abandoned and sent to a pin management clinic- I do not want to "manage" the pain as it is not manageable and I want to know what is causing it). I am going to see another doctor this week in the hope of getting further tests but feel ridiculous as my husband is having to have time off to come with me and also for further appointments in the next 2 weeks. If i mention my fear of going out alone to the doctor they will say I am making it up. I have always loved going out on my own in the past, especially to wide open spaces. It is not a fear of open spaces but just that I am going to hurt myself if someone is not with me.
I do not know what to do as I feel stupid. People keep telling me to pull myself together reagrding the pain i feel so i have only confided this fear to my husband, who does not understand.
I am alone in feeling like this?
What can I do to overcome this problem especially as I can't expect my husband to take me to appointments for ever as I need to be able to get the bus.
I feel totally trapped.
Please help.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/1/2008 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  We also have a Chronic Pain Forum you may want to post in as I am sure they will be very supportive of your pain issues.  I am so sorry you have been through such a rough time.

I am wondering if you need to find a therapist to help you work through your feelings and work with you in identifying new ways to cope with the anxiety and your fear of leaving home alone.

The members here are very partial to CBT Therapy.  CBT is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations,and events.  The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

There is a post at the top of this forum for resource information and CBT is covered in that thread.  Also I will pull up an old thread for you from the members about this type of therapy.

Click on this link and it will take you right to the CBT thread by members:


I am so glad you joined us as you will find you are never alone here and we care and support, we do not judge.

Again a Warm  Welcome.


Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Post Edited (stkitt) : 6/1/2008 4:07:51 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 6/1/2008 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Grammer Girl, you are not alone, and you are NOT stupid. I am so sorry you are going through this, but I hope we can help. I just hate it when people tell me to "pull it together".  Do not listen to that, they do not understand.  Kitt has given you some great resources, but I am worried.  You do need to be taking care of you, can you talk to someone other than husband? I will be thinking of you.  Take care and Please let us know how you are.
Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 6/1/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Grammar Girl,

What a tough time you've been facing! But you are not alone - lots of us have been through related kinds of situations.

Kitt's listed some great resources, and Meg is right on target with ignoring the folks that insist you can somehow just "pull yourself together." If you could, you certainly would have already. You're just facing a challenge that's beyond just thinking it away right now.

I think talking with someone, perhaps a therapist, would be a big help for you. The way you describe not wanting to go out alone sounds a lot like my health anxiety. When it's in full swing, I always have to make sure I know where the nearest hospital is, in case I need medical help. It doesn't make any sense, but that doesn't mean I can just think it away. And I don't think it means people like us are stupid either! It's likely that our brains have just had enough reinforcement of negative health occurrences - the pain in your case - that the gray cells are trying to protect us in the most primal way they can: producing fear and avoidance.

I'm sorry you're having to battle bureaucracy as well.

Please keep posting and know that you can always come here for support and understanding.


New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/2/2008 6:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. I will look at the links.

Unfortunately i have not got anyone else other than my husband to talk to. I have family but it is them that tell me to pull myself together, as i have had one disaster after another and they are sick of hearing about my ailments now.
Although they deny it I also get compared a lot with my sister who has worked her way through the education system and is one step away from being head in secondary eduction. I get all my past mistakes brought up when anything goes wrong, such as I should never have moved away with my ex-fiance (who then treated me like dirt) whom they never liked, and the fact that all my problems are caused by weight and I would be perfectly alright if I lost weight like my mum and sister,who have yo-yo dieted over the years (I am a big bodied person but despite all my health issues can still get about and am willing to work if they could be sorted out)-by the way, my sister spends £60 per week on the diet food that has allowed her to lose 5 stone + whereas I am having to pay masive bills on a benefit of £60 per week.
I do not have any friends-people I have met through work over the years all say they want to stay in touch but never reply to my messages. All my good friends from school etc have all moved away and also refuse to reply to my messages. all this also makes me believe I am a person not worthy of having anything as I must be really horrible if noone wants to speak to me now. My sister, on the other hand has friends coming out of her ears and is never at home with all the socialising she does. I also get bullied a lot by her as well as she likes to make feel really inferior to her (bragging about money etc and how I have wasted my chances and squandered any money I have ever had-I have never had money). I feel like a massive burden to everyone and have ,on many occasions, wished I was dead. I have also seen a counsellor for these feelings who used CBT therapy. It had no effect on me whatsoever (actually made me more tense as i had to leave work early without pay in order to attend, they refused to come to me and the whole environment was really depressing especially as the problems I was facing could not be solved by talking and in fact made it worse as I had to think about it all the time) as I am also trained in the care sector and knew exactly what to say so I could be deemed "normal". Incidentally, another factor that has added to my current state is the fact that we can't have children, which is all I have ever wanted from life. Applying to be a foster carer i have also been refused by social services for being overweight (my weight has been constant for many years), despite leading a healthy, non smoking/drinking etc lifestyle. This was bad enough but they also refused our application on the grounds they said I had mental health issues as i had seen a counsellor. It seems in this country that everything goes against you and the one thing that could actually improve my entire life (children) has been denied forever. This alone had made me into the person I am today.

At this moment in time I just feel sick at the thought of being poked and prodded in my ribs by some unknown doctor who is there to try and make me out to be a liar so they can take away the only bit of money I have got coming in. If this happens I do not know what I will do and can see me being made bankrupt, which in turn will affect my husband and we could lose our home and everything. everyone always tells me not to be so pessimistic as it will not happen but all the things I have always known would happen have occurred (losing my job through illness; having to sell my car; being unable to get any kind of job due to my history of illness and no references.... the list goes on). all I do is sit at home thinking about the way my life has been ruined through a medic and the consequences, and the previous life I had with an excellent job, salary and prospects.
I am so depressed, anxious and can see no way out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 6/2/2008 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi GrammarG......that is quite a lot you're going through. Many of us have been down that road at one time or another. I myself am on the road now

I wish I can give you the answers, but I would like to make a few comments.
You seem to be stuck in a "victim" role. Where everyone bullies you and no one understand and it's the medics fault you're like this.

I'm not doubting this for one second, but in order to fight anxiety and agoraphobia, you need to replace your victim role with that of a "survivor" role.

You are obviously carrying a ton of anger (rightfully so), but staying stuck in anger will only keep you in a toxic frame of mind.

Have you ever been for therapy? How old are you?

And yes it TOTALLY sucks when people tell you to "suck it up" or "get over it", but in a way, we need to hear that, it's just tough to hear the words from others mouths.

When I was stuck at home in awful panic mode, I never did a thing. My ex was doing everything. Then he left.
I had no job, no money and no way to really do anything alone.
I was forced to. I could have used all my energy in blaming him for leaving, but I needed to use that energy to get on my feet and "suck it up".

Within 3 days I had a job. I then had to go out alone, get food, drive alone etc.
It's not easy, but I can attest to the fact that it's doable.

I'm not trying to be harsh with you in any way here, I just know what worked for me with my anxiety...and that was tough love. And I was tough on myself.

I also have lupus and lyme disease so when I hear people tell me to "suck it up" with those, then I get ticked, but anxiety we have the ability to change.

good luck
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

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