The “Wikipedia” definition of Agoraphobia goes like this:
“Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives the environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping malls, or simply being outside the home. Being in these situations may result in a panic attack. The symptoms occur nearly every time the situation is encountered and last for more than six months. Those affected will go to great lengths to avoid these situations. In severe cases people may become unable to leave their homes.“
What is it like for me? What is MY Definition?
Well, for me Agoraphobia goes a little something like this:
– A 36 year old woman that refuses to leave her house unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.
– A 36 year old woman that will go with a friend to Walmart and sit in the car for an hour while the friend shops because it is “just to much” to go in.
– A 36 year old woman that looks like a complete bitch if she makes it to her child’s event because she doesn’t talk to anyone because secretly she is doing everything in her power NOT to run out of the building.
– A 36 year old woman that will make up every excuse and even lie to avoid going anywhere she isn’t able to go. Including friends houses.
– A 36 year old woman that when she is out somewhere it feels as though all the walls are closing in around her and she can not breathe or leave fast enough.
– A 36 year old woman that beats herself up constantly because she just wants the fear to stop.
– A 36 year old woman that wishes beyond everything not to suffer the way she does and can go back to how life was before.
– A 36 year old woman that fights EVERY single day to push herself outside her comfort zone because she WILL BEAT THIS.
Do you live with someone like me?
Do you love someone that suffers from Agoraphobia? Do you live with someone who shows the signs as documented above? I have some advice for you.
– Be patient. You may not understand what we are going through and that is ok, you do not need to, you just need to try.
– When we say we have to leave, let us. Even if you stay and finish the shopping or whatever and we go sit in the car. That is fine, we get it. This condition effects us, not you. We will get through it.
– Don’t get angry. Getting angry will just trigger more panic. No one needs that and it will get you no where.
– Do not mock us, belittle us, or say rude comments. We already hate ourselves beyond any degree you could and you adding to it will make it so much worse.
– Try and make things comfortable. If friends want to hang out, go along with our excuses when you have to. Suggest they come to our house where we are more comfortable.
– Communicate. We understand how this effects OUR lives as a family and we truly want to get better.
Agoraphobia is a hell no one quite understands unless you suffer from it yourself. It is a hell no one wishes upon their worst enemy and a hell we so desperately want to diminish. Sometimes life is just a bit to much for us and things become to overwhelming. Take a break. Let us take a break. We will come to terms that everything is going to be ok, we just need the time to do so!