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Topic: Agoraphobia - feeling absolutely helpless *TRIGGER WARNING- abuse*

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. C74
    C74 avatar
    54 posts
    20 June 2020

    I'm a girl in her first year of uni, and I'm struggling with agoraphobia.

    It mainly started at the end of last year, where I contracted an awful virus. As a result, I dealt with severe nausea for a month, my worst nightmare, as it confronted me with the possibility of facing one of my worst fears, a fear of throwing up. I also had difficulty swallowing (did not eat anything besides crackers + toast for a month), and heartburn. It absolutely ruined my life. I was hoping to get into medical school, but with the virus, I was unable to attend for a while or have the best mindset for studying and my grades went downhill significantly as a result. I was also doing with family troubles at the time, particularly with my father, who was abusing my mother. I won't go into too many details now due to the character limit, but long story short: for my mother's sake, I had to force myself to get back into the swing of life sooner than I was ready, and I believe I have a lot of trauma associated with this.

    Eventually, my virus healed and I was able to go around, but I realised that some things seem to have changed about me - I had difficulty eating around other people (I'd either have difficulty swallowing, or feel nauseous). I think the fact that I was so conscious about this made it much worse. Nonetheless, I was still able to go out and about. But ever since coronavirus + uni shutting down, this has gotten so much worse. Simply leaving the house gives me so much anxiety that I begin sweating, feeling nauseous, getting dizzy, shaking... you get the gist. And being aware of that makes me more anxious and I keep thinking about it - this worsens the symptoms. I don't know how I'll deal with uni opening back up and having to go back to face-to-face classes again.

    Just then, I decided perhaps the best thing to do would be to talk about it, so after 9 months, I decided to open up to my mum. Upon seeing how concerned she looked, I ran to my room before I could keep talking and started crying; out of guilt. I hate burdening her. I don't know what's happened to me, or why I'm like this. I want to talk to a doctor about it, but the doctor I'd been seeing for the past 14 years JUST retired (worst luck!) and the thought of seeing a new one makes me even more anxious.

    The reason I'm writing this post is because 1) I feel writing and expressing my feelings always makes me feel better, and 2) I am hoping someone will have some much-needed advice on how I can cope with this :(

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3379 posts
    20 June 2020 in reply to C74
    Hi C74,

    We're so sorry to hear that you've been going through such a difficult time. It sounds like you've been going through this for quite a while now, so we think it's really positive that you opened up to your mum. It's great that writing it out here is helpful for you, we are so glad that you have reached out this evening to our friendly online community. 

      It might be worth taking a look at our page for "Anxiety management strategies" here - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/anxiety-management-strategies
    If you feel it may be helpful, you are always welcome to get in touch with Kids Help Line. They are a confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged 25 and under. 

    We hope that you keep checking back in and let us know how you are going when you feel up to it. We're all here for you.
     
  3. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10707 posts
    21 June 2020 in reply to C74

    Hi C74

    I feel your pain where agoraphobia is concerned...This can be an awful place to be in. I had acute agoraphobia when I was 27 and for me it was really scary (everyone has various levels of agoraphobia)

    You are super strong for talking about this with your mum....This is a huge step towards recovery..Nice1 :-)

    You mentioned "Simply leaving the house gives me so much anxiety that I begin sweating, feeling nauseous, getting dizzy, shaking..." These are unpleasant yet common symptoms of agoraphobia C74...Just a couple of tips from my own experience if that okay..

    • The earlier we seek regular doctor visits the better our recovery will be...
    • Agoraphobia is a red flag that we are oversensitised and having difficultly coping

    You have brought up many points in your great thread topic C74....Just being caring I have only commented on agoraphobia and the best method to deal with this temporary condition

    As Sophie_M mentioned our friends at the Kids Help Line can be a huge help to you! They also have online help available too.....Non judgemental and confidential

    you are very welcome to ask any questions too C74...

    we are here and listening

    my kind thoughts...Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  4. C74
    C74 avatar
    54 posts
    23 June 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Dear Sophie and blondguy,

    Thank you both so incredibly much for your replies. It is great to know that there are people out there listening to me who can emphasise during a time that is so difficult on me. Both your replies have brought to my attention the importance of seeking help, whether it be doctor visits or kids helpline. I'm rather hesitant about these, however - my mother made a visit to a new doctor (since the one I'd seen my whole life retired recently) due to issues that were affecting her mental wellbeing, however the doctor offered absolutely no help to her. I feel awful for her, knowing how long she had to wait (well over an hour, I believe) for her appointment, only to receive the statement, "just ignore it". It's already so difficult for me to leave the house simply to buy a couple groceries, nevermind spend hours waiting around possibly for nothing, and I'm really anxious about seeing a new doctor. Regarding kids helpline, I believe this could be very helpful, however it's impossible for me to make calls to them without my parents knowing (since I always have a parent home) which would make me incredibly uncomfortable. I'm so sorry, I understand that the advice you are both offering me is in my best interests, and I really do wish I could go through with them because if done right, I believe they would be highly beneficial. With this in mind, what do you reckon would be the best approach for me to take?

    Another thing I'd like to bring up, which is what brought me back here... I get incredibly depressed at night, and I don't know why. For some reason, I just feel this heavy weight on my chest and start feeling guilty for very irrational things - I feel bad for not chatting to my mum a bit more before bed, I feel bad for worrying her with my anxiety... It makes me feel nauseous too, and I start feeling extremely lonely. Simply looking at anything slightly negative - even a cartoon in which something bad happens to a character, or watching an early episode of a TV series and seeing contestants I know will get eliminated in later episodes - worsens my symptoms. But then I'm usually fine during the day (apart from being hindered by symptoms of agoraphobia), which I don't understand.

    Again, writing here really helps clear my head and makes me feel a ton better, so thank you for allowing me to do that. Looking forward to possibly hearing from you guys!

  5. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10707 posts
    23 June 2020 in reply to C74

    Hi C74!

    great to have you post back and be part of the forums too!

    kidshelpline also have Email counselling too! especially when its difficult to use the phone..Good point C74!

    Here is the official kidshelpline counsellor email address for you :-)

    counsellor@kidshelpline.com.au

    Thankyou so much for your positive feedback C74

    please be gentle to yourself

    Paul

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