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Old 09-05-2017
 

I have always been high anxiety and hated being social but I managed it. I got things done regardless of my feelings. Years ago I got my first panic attack. Last year about this time I had a major attack doing something that I loved. I loved going for long walks at 2a.m. Something about the night time, the crickets, the well lit neighborhood sidewalks that I live in and no people to annoy me. Anyways I ended up collapsing out of breath on a 3 mile walk I did almost every night. Shortly after that I developed agoraphobia so sever that I could not even get out of my bedroom. I have made some improvements and had some setbacks.

These panic attacks that I have now have so many physical symptoms that I can't function. Days after an attack I am sore throughout my body from the adrenaline rush.

Therapy has not helped me, same with meds. The thing is I am not thinking negative thoughts when I attempt to go someplace. I am just reacting to physical symptoms that appear. In fact for me the anxiety does not feel that bad to me, I felt worse before without the symptoms. The 180 heart rate, pain, choking, out of breath, unable to stand up and so on is what keeps me from doing things. I never had the "racing thoughts" so many with anxiety have. So my question is to others that suffer... Do you think about negative things or do you just react to emotions or physical symptoms that you know are not reasonable? I know I am not in any danger when I go out and it makes no sense to me. I loved long car rides to clear my head, now I am lucky to drive around the block without feeling like I am going to pass out.
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Old 09-15-2017
cappatown420's Avatar
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Have you tried exercising?

This was recommended to me by my doctor, he thought exercising would cure of Agoraphobia.
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Old 09-15-2017
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Yeah- it's to do with breath and your body's muscles tensing and not being able to breathe and the fear of this happening.

I used to have agoraphobia but only ever got panic attacks when I was in bed every now and then for some reason. But I would get severe crippling anxiety and social anxiety that prevented me from even taking the rubbish out to the bin - despite living on a big acreage with sparse neighbors.

For the agoraphobia- it took my own private courage and determination and a bit of CBT to walk to the bins and back and then gradually up my street - and then I basically did a Forest Gump and walked everywhere. Pushed myself and pushed past the fear that I thought everyone was staring at me and the shame attached to that.

But I did not have panic attacks in those moments tho. But really tense body anxiety and ticks and breathing issues- and mind going crazy and dealing with a full blown anxiety attack time to time.

Then years later, when I wasnt really ready- but pushed- I began being social and started working. Which really helped me out of my social phobia.

Im not sure how to help with the physical symptoms of a panic attack. I would say to maybe listen with your phone to bilateral beats that are known to calm your body down or slow calming music. And to do some deep breathing. Both when in these situations.
Also there is the clenching of fists and letting go. Repeat that, its is suppose to calm your body too.

Then the nutritional side of things. Like taking lots of chlorophyll in your daily diet which is rich in magnesium and calcium that really help to deeply calm your body of any stress and anxiety.

Also, take brewer's yeast- a natural powder form of B vitamins that help with stress. Most veggies put it on their food as it's like a flavor enhancer.

Then, seriously take a cold pressed oil high in omega fats - which has been shown to really help with mental issues.

Other than that. Do things you love to do and get some deep relaxation in every day.

It can be beaten. Panic attacks are personal I think. So working with yourself intuitively and may be unraveling whats causing this trauma subconsciously is the way to go?
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Old 09-16-2017
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I've only ever had one panic attack (in which i was severely depressed as well, which made it hellish).
What i intuitively did was to repeat simple words over and over for about 20-30 mins, and the symptoms started to ease. The words were simply 'positive, positive ... good, good' (i think i couldn't think of anything specifically positive, so just used these general words). My heartrate/tingling/etc calmed right down, and my depression got out of the "red".
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappatown420 View Post
Have you tried exercising?

This was recommended to me by my doctor, he thought exercising would cure of Agoraphobia.
Yeah at the time this started I was working 12 hour days. My step counter would record that I walked 6 to 8 miles a day at work alone. I would walk an additional 3 miles after work for exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
Yeah- it's to do with breath and your body's muscles tensing and not being able to breathe and the fear of this happening.
Exactly this. I have not been able to exercise at all. I start getting normal workout sensation and when my breath starts to quicken I go into a panic attack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
I used to have agoraphobia but only ever got panic attacks when I was in bed every now and then for some reason. But I would get severe crippling anxiety and social anxiety that prevented me from even taking the rubbish out to the bin - despite living on a big acreage with sparse neighbors.

For the agoraphobia- it took my own private courage and determination and a bit of CBT to walk to the bins and back and then gradually up my street - and then I basically did a Forest Gump and walked everywhere. Pushed myself and pushed past the fear that I thought everyone was staring at me and the shame attached to that.
My neighbors must think that I am scoping out the neighborhood. I can only walk a few houses down, turn around walk past my own home and go past another few homes until I go back inside my own. I do this several times a day. I notice that I start choking and canít catch my breath when another walkers or a car drives past. Stupid thing is I am not thinking ďoh no a scary carĒ or anything like that. But I recognize the pattern every time a car drives past me when I am walking I got to regain my breathing and try to calm down. It is absolutely insane and I realize this but yet it still happens. If I push myself too hard I will have an out of control panic attack and will be back to being stuck inside my home for a few days.

CBT has not helped. Deep breathing has not helped, it only makes me more paranoid about my breathing. It never feels like I can take a deep breath so if I donít try to take a deep breath I donít notice it as much.
In the past I worked through panic attacks, recognized them and normally could think my way through them. But these are non-relenting and my ability to think rationally goes completely away.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Are you self conscious about walking alone?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
 

I'm so sorry you're suffering from the phobia. Have you tried walking out with your family/friends?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappatown420 View Post
Are you self conscious about walking alone?
To be honest I donít know but I should not be self conscious about that. Normally I would drive 8 hours round trip to the beach, walk around and head back on my own. I often took hikes in remote parts of the woods by myself with no cell phone coverage. Last year I had season passes to the local amusement park and spent a lot of my summer relaxing in the water park area on my own. I always liked my alone time. But then again I always feel alone because I am kind of stuck in an unloving marriage. I always used work and doing things as a distraction from what was going on at home. Yet sometimes when I am home alone I will get an attack. Other times I am perfectly happy being home alone. Sometimes I am more comfortable avoiding everybody and stay in the opposite side of the house when people are around. I canít see a pattern in this behavior except for the fact that I always feel alone. Perhaps with all my distractions of going out and doing things I realized on a subconscious level that I was not actually solving any problems? Although I always liked my alone time I donít want to be alone all the time and that is what a bad marriage feels like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubyjs View Post
I'm so sorry you're suffering from the phobia. Have you tried walking out with your family/friends?
Yeah it does not matter. I have made progress. For some time I was back to driving on my own but have not been able to do that lately. I can only be a passenger and I use distractions like doing complex math problems in my head in attempt to stay calm. For going into a store I would go into the store get a panic attack then go out and calm down in the car. I would just repeat going in and out of the store until it felt normal. Then one day I would just get another bad attack and everything starts all over, back to not being able leave my home at all. Just the other day I traveled with my family to visit my parents that live only 10 miles away. Days later I am trying to recover from all the body and joint pain that I always get after getting stressed out. I canít take pain meds because for some reason they make my hearing super loud and distorted. These are all newer symptoms that I never had before. I barely held myself together and I was out of breath with numb hands most of the time that I was away from home.

I obviously have several issues going on. Long time marital issues. Always had an introvert personality and had trouble socializing. But I am not convinced that these are the cause of my agoraphobia. I got to get over this agoraphobia, be able to exercise, go back to work, relax on vacations before I can address other areas of stress in my life. I am trying to understand this but I keep banging my head up against a wall every day not being able to do anything I want to do. I am so bored and sick of this yet canít handle the simplest things when I try.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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What meds have you tried, benzodiazepines?
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Old 1 Week Ago
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I am in a relationship atm with a guy that I am not happy with and its causing alot of issues personally with me relating to stress and health issues. Im thinking that when we are in situations that make us feel stuck and unhappy that we can get quite ill and hold onto so much stress inside our bodies.

In regards to doing the neighborhood walks - maybe listening to calming music esp with binaural beats which can calm your breathing down unconsciously. Maybe even just sitting in the spot or near the spot where you cant go any further for a while and then walk back. It would feel uncomfortable, but also make you feel somewhat invigorated afterwards. The aim being to try and desensitize your mind and body to the situation.
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Old 5 Days Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappatown420 View Post
What meds have you tried, benzodiazepines?
Drugs.... I have not been able to get on a SSRI or similar drug. I went to the family doctor many years ago, I had some depression going into winter time. Although I was always high anxiety I was always functional, but the depression was new to me. Anyways I had severe reactions with different SSRI, SNRI whatever, even bu-spar. I tried six SSRI drugs and one anti-psychotic. Everything from not being able to sleep for days, head on fire feeling, hallucinations, temporary paralysis from my stomach down and blacking out at work but apparently operated heavy equipment and did my job although I remember doing none of it. I never experienced any of this before until I took my first medication. Paxil is the one that would keep my awake for days on end shaking in fear for no reason. This is when I had my very first panic attack. The only thing that calmed me was klonopin. I was told to take it DAILY and not as needed. I so regret seeing a doctor for my mild depression. I wish I knew the dangers of klonopin before I took the first pill. I did not know better and was told to take it daily regardless of how I felt. Different doctors through the years decreased and increased it, always a roller coaster ride when they want to try something new. I hate being on klonopin they treat you like a drug addict. But I have not been able to get off of it and I never abused it. I was good for years and nobody knows what to do except "try" another SSRI. I have not had any hallucinations or blackouts for years since stopping SSRI drugs. My doctor is about to force me onto a new one or he will take away my small dose of klonopin of .75 a day.
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Old 5 Days Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
I am in a relationship atm with a guy that I am not happy with and its causing alot of issues personally with me relating to stress and health issues. Im thinking that when we are in situations that make us feel stuck and unhappy that we can get quite ill and hold onto so much stress inside our bodies.

In regards to doing the neighborhood walks - maybe listening to calming music esp with binaural beats which can calm your breathing down unconsciously. Maybe even just sitting in the spot or near the spot where you cant go any further for a while and then walk back. It would feel uncomfortable, but also make you feel somewhat invigorated afterwards. The aim being to try and desensitize your mind and body to the situation.
I think you are correct. I am very hard on myself. On top of that my wife criticizes me all the time. My marriage has been sexless for many years now. Everything I do is challenged. When I went for walks I was called "selfish" for doing so, I should clean the house instead. When I say something like "when I get better and back to work I think I am going to buy a new motorcycle" she tells me "no you don't want to do that, I know xyz that died on one." If I attempt to tell her don't tell me what I like or what I want a big argument will come up so I avoid it. I am not allow to even dream. I don't see an out because I have a son. It was nothing but pent up stress at work and at home for years on end. She is messed up, I try to control my emotions when angry. She admitted to verbally abusing me to see how I would react. Its like she wants me to hit her although I never lifted a finger against her in our 20+ year relationship. Yeah I feel trapped. To much built up negativity for so many years. I should change my user name because I no longer hate myself. I spent enough time analyzing how I got into this mess to realize it is not ALL my fault. What makes me feel good hurts my wife and what makes her happy hurts me. However I have no chance in breaking free until I get rid of my agoraphobia. Even then I still have no easy solution. I guess that I do feel trapped in about every aspect of my life literally and emotionally. Even when I go for a walk and a car pulls out blocking my path, or knowing the roads are too busy to pull a u turn, getting stuck in traffic. Getting stuck waiting in line at a store. I have such a low tolerance for anything that makes me feel stuck.

I will say since I started this thread I have improved somewhat. I started CPAP and my mind is a little clearer. I drive a little more around the neighborhood most days. I started mowing my lawn for the first time in a year and done it three times now but I have such a long way to go yet.
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