Little Victories

Hello friends,

My name's Paige, and like many of you I suffer from Agoraphobia and Anxiety. These disorders are relatively new to me, I was diagnosed about two years ago at the start of my senior year in high school. For some people, anxiety has been with them always, and slowly builds up. For me, it came, it conquered, it took over, and I've been fighting ever sense for a bit of control back.

The first time I had a "Freak Out" I thought I was dying, well actually I was in a hospital and I thought the staff was trying to kill me, but that's a story for another time. After that trip to the hospital, anxiety flooded my life and I quickly dropped out of high school. My family was extremely understanding, as Mental Illness run's on both sides, my friends were another story.

I think it is hard for people to understand, truly, what a panic disorder is, because everyone has anxiety on some level, and most people are able to shake it off and move on with their day. Unfortunately, some of us are burdened with something that isn't so shake off-able. So, I lost a majority of friends who thought I dropped out of school because "I was scared of people" and "how lame was that". Well that was certainly part of it, but that wasn't the whole story.

I suppose that is why I came to this site, I am hoping to connect with people, and hopefully people my age, who understand the whole story. Who get that you can't just shake those fears away and that it is out of our control. For me, anxiety and panic attacks aren't just in my head, they are a full body experience, I get dizzy, my vision blurs, I get sick to my tummy, and it's hard to breathe. It's a chemical reaction that my body has to certain things and situations, which I can't do a thing about.

I'm 19 years old and should be doing 19 year old stuff with other 19 year old's, instead I'm trying to gain control of this thing that now consumes my life. I didn't leave my house for the whole first year that I had anxiety, I hardly left my mothers side. I didn't even see my friends. As the months have gone on, I have made small steps, done small things, that may seem little and insignificant to other people, but are giant victories for me. I'm now able to leave the house at times, with hours of mental preparing, and some medication at my side. I'm able to slowly sneak back into society, learning to live off of my little victories.

I hope to hear from some of you, hoping we can encourage each other in these matters that only we can truly understand, and I hope there is healing out there for everyone.
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2 Responses Sep 13, 2012

it's nice to know that people like us arent alone. i suffer from agoraphobia which is new to me and GAD which ive been trying to fight on my own for going on 3 years. im ready to find help that actually helps and gets me back to the me i used to be. my boyfriend tells me all the time that "its all in my head" and its irritating because sure it its a mental disorder but it also has the physical side to it which is not "all in my head". im supposed to start taking lexapro which ive heard is a wonder pill and im definitely scared to start taking it but i know i need to and know that id rather get better than living my life how i am now doing nothing about it except getting more and more panic attacks by trying to get better on my own. keep your head up and dont give up because eventually youll get better!

This is like reading my own story; I feel exactly the same as you. This year I've started, gradually, escaping the walls of my home. It's been small steps, but I do notice my Anxiety and Agoraphobia levels decreasing with the effort I put in to get out into the world again. Some days it's hard and I can't do it, some days I push through the walls Agoraphobia has built up in the last three years and I can find myself relaxing in public. What I've learnt is to not avoid situations where we may feel uncomfortable due to the Agoraphobia, we should just take it head on. :) I wish you luck with overcoming this disorder! We'll be free of it soon if we keep pushing against it.