Agoraphobia is a terrible debilitating illness. It can keep a person chained to their home for years if help is not sought. I was reading an email list I am on and someone was talking about her issues with the disorder. I wrote to her about how I overcame my problems with it. I thought I would share some of what I wrote with you here.
Some people spend years never leaving their homes for fear of a panic attack if they walk outside their doors. They become fearful of outdoors and other people. It begins to build in their heads and accerbates the condition. I want to share with you that recovery is possible from this terrible disorder. Below is a summary of my story.
I have agoraphobia also…or did. I am in recovery from it. I go about everywhere now with no fear or panic attacks, even to conferences with thousands at them.
I used to be where I could not step outside without a panic attack. I could not pay for gas. My children had to do that.
To get over the fear of places and people, I started going places with small groups at first. First it was NAMI, which is for people with mental illness. It helped a lot. Now I am a board member, speaker, and a teacher for my local group.
I am in a 12 Step group. That helped a lot also. I was in groups there with no panic. Then later (3 yrs ago) I joined Toastmasters. Now I am President of the group I am in and District PR Officer. I used to have to sit by the door so I could get in and out fast. Now I don’t.
A few years ago, I won a scholarship to a writers’ conference. I was scared that I would panic once there. It was my first BIG test. Well, anyways, I got there. I had NO fear. It was a total God thing. I was finally free of my agoraphobia. I spent the weekend networking and meeting all sorts of excellent writers. I had a blast.
Since that time, I have had no return of the fear. So I am telling you that recovery from this crippling fear is possible. I did it and so can you. I promise you. It was not easy, but it was worth it. I can remember the tiny steps I took each time I tried something new. I journaled about each stepped and prayed that God would give me the strength to do this without falling apart. He did. I made it.
This is the excerpt from my email. I hope it helps someone out there. I tell you true. One can recover from agoraphobia. All it takes is one small step at a time. One day at a time. Prayer, journaling, counseling, and talking online with friends can help conquer the fears of mental illness. It helped me and it can help you.
Let me know if this has helped. Together we can achieve recovery.
September 30, 2010 @ 5:34 am
Thank you for sharing. This is very interesting.