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by Neal Sideman

I have chosen to focus on my healing, and to say only a few words about my long period of suffering. Chances are, you already know – firsthand or secondhand – more than you'd care  to know about the suffering! My own suffering had its unique form, but essentially, it was no different from what you probably already know.

After my first two panic attacks, I awakened each morning to an instantly racing heart, hyperventilation, and cresting waves of fear and apprehension. My range of activity for each day was dictated by my agoraphobia, and my range gradually got narrower and narrower.

Every aspect of my life was deeply affected. Once, a friend asked me to explain what things I couldn't do. I answered that it would take much less time if I simply listed those things I could do.

At my low point, I was buffeted from morning to night by waves of panic anxiety, and I was barely able to venture one block from my apartment.

To summarize a story that could fill many pages, I spent years doing everything I could to heal from this condition. After many disappointments, my tenacity finally paid off. I found my answer.

The answer I found was the deeply transformational process of learning mastery over my panic and anxiety.

For me, there were two keys to learning this mastery and curing this condition: education and practice.

Read the rest of Neal's story on his website. 

"A friend asked me to explain what things I couldn't do. I answered that it would take much less time if I simply listed those things I could do."
Disorder

Comments

How did you really keep yourself out of that thought? It’s hard for me cause I’m 18 & I’ve been dealing with it since February this year

The lockdowns im my country caused my anx and insomia to worsen. Could not hike, could not jog, cant even see friends. Its so hard specialy when ur living alone in a decrepit boarding house with poor ventilation and lighting

I have many of these issues including "White Coat Syndrome". I have had many surgeries and always fear what the doctor, any doctor will have to say. Blood pressure is taken AFTER visit. Not before. Usually it is normal. Ask your doctor about this. It Matters to us that suffer. Best of luck.

I suddenly got very high blood pressure spikes. Many years ago I had panic disorder. I don’t think this is panic but now instead of just high bp I’m dizzy very weak in legs shaking and short of breath. The doctor says I’m fine. Can this be panic. I feel I can’t do anything because of high blood pressure but I try to go for a walk and cannot walk without major weakness and shaking. Is this high blood pressure or am I panicking agsin.

Sometimes when I wake up with a pantic attack I take a deep breath in and out cocentrate on my breathing then ask myself what is the cause of this fear? Deep gentle thoughts lead to discovering there is really nothing to worry about. Even though Covid- 19 the deadly virus could kill me... Iam still alive... it is only a virus. There are many viruses out there, but our body can fight it... It has its own defence mechanisms.
Iam doing well in my live there is nothing, nothing to worry about.

I was diagnosed with agoraphobia over 20 years ago when no one really understood it that well and I am much better now but the first thing to do is find a therapist and describe exactly how you're feeling I didn't leave my room for 2 years I just wanted to die but even as terrifying as it is there is help for it I can do just about anything anymore except I still have bad days sometimes. There really is a lot of help out there nowadays so the first thing I would suggest is to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. Good luck I know how debilitating this condition can be.

I suffer from agoraphobia. It is controlled now. Seems to come back every 7/10 years though :( You should look at all treatment options. Psychiatry and CBT therapist or psychologist is a good combination. Gene tests are available to predict which meds your body can tolerate the best. I used Genesight. They offer pay scale. If you can go to library there are self help books. The more you know about what you are going through the better. You learn about triggers. You might be able to figure out what's cause this. Mine is stress and social anxiety. So I work on these areas. I wish there was a simple solution but for me it's using all of these. Set goals for yourself. Ultimately you will have to expand your safe zones. Little by little. I wish you the best!

Take calm breaths, know you are not alone in this, and you are one of us. You have more mind and self control than you think. As long as you do things under your control you should get through little by little. It's ok to be afraid, it's ok to not be ok. Acknowledge this, and you will understand more. I have SO much advice but not enough space. Feel free to contact me if you like.

Yes you are defiantly not alone! I have struggled and continue to struggle daily with agoraphobia for the past 14 years. I also feel like I am the only one that has this issue. And there are times I trick myself into believing that I am crazy and there is no help.

I have no clue what's wrong with me I can't be alone at my house but I also can't get into cars with family without having a panic attack, if I go to the store with my grandma I can leave her side cause if I do and I lose her in the store or panic and can't breathe and it kills me every day cause if I can't do that how am I supposed to get a job and drive to and from said job and function on my own I fear ima be In a mental hospital and not be able to do the things I love, if anyone can help me please reach out to me I need anything I can get

Many people have the same fear! You’re not alone. Have you been to see your primary care doctor? He/she can refer you to a CBT therapist who may be able to help you face your fear. Also, there are a lot of support groups on Facebook, maybe you can find one and chat with someone who has similar fear/phobias and help each other! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Best of luck.

Hello I just wanted to let you know you are not alone I've had agoraphobia for 33 years now I don't know how I've managed but I'm still here and your not crazy this stuff has changed my life I know everything about it but I'm still trying to battle it .Dont give up on medication I've just changed and am trying a new one always hoping for that miracle ❤️

May I ask what medications have you taken or are researching ? I am new here and have confirmed that I suffer from panic attacks Thank you

I've developed getting anxiety and panic attacks I feel as if the panic attacks are worse than the exact it I am on medication they've tried a lot of different anxiety meds that made me feel cuckoo I just see my primary care doctor I'm kind of nervous to talk to a psychiatrist because I have no idea where this came from and I don't have the money to see a real good one I'm really nervous and confused on what to do I don't want to be on medication please help

I was 22 when my Dr gave me Xanax amd soem other stuff. Made me worse and I wish he would have gave me aome other options. CBD oil specifically for panic disorder is great!
Or rescue relief drops from gnc. I keep trying to get off these meds and I can get through the overwhelming symptoms. I also foind out my panic attacks and agoraphobia were way worse 2 weeks out of the month. Also my b6 and b3 vitamins were way low. Please check all the physical reasons it could be before your doomed to suffer with or with out the meds and no longer know who you are. Go to library and get a cognitive behavioral therapy book. You got this!

CBD oil helps take the edge off of my daily life but it does NOT help with agoraphobia. Those panic attacks are so strong, nothing helps me except Valium. I was diagnosed 12 years ago and it's progressive, it's getting worse. I just freaked out at the outlet mall on Sunday. I wanted so badly to ask someone for help but i pushed through and made it home. Ive been to psychiatrists and they want to put me on meds but i just worry that i will be a zombie. I get diarrhea over and over again when i get panic attacks so.. believe me it's really embarrassing. been to CBT and they give you homework to trigger your agoraphobia but they want you to see that you make it through ok. the hardest part is knowing you will have panic attacks while your doing your homework... why put myself through that? i just wish God would heal me. i guess it isn't that easy.

Sorry to hear this. Facing your fears is the truck though. It sucks, it’s uncomfortable but every time you accomplish a baby step you feel great. If you don’t feel safe keep searching for a counselor that makes you feel safe. I went to a PhD that specialized in anxiety disorders and he went with me to most of my exposures. I would be homebound with the exposure therapy combined with the CBT. Face your fears and live again.

Vanessa can you pm me on Facebook Penelope Sullivan Masterton NZ

Hey I understand that feeling of being alone or goin some where alone i have anxiety n depression bc they both come as a package I bn havin this for the pass 5 months n is Avery scary feelin but honestly u have to face ur fears n don’t b scare bc the more scared u get the worse it gets for u I go to the for Theraphy n they gave me meds for it but decided not to take them n right my Simtoms are back neck pain n tighten on my throat what I do is try to go out n jus forget that I have anxiety

I suffer panic attacks but its been over a year now. I get maybe one for 10sec after weeks. You need to be strong and gota pray namaz and gota be a good person then you don't have to worry about anything.don't be sad stay happy..

Hi I’ve got agoraphobia been home bound for 2 years only left my house to go maybe 1 km away acouple of times I have 2 kids under 8 this is breaking my heart I’m not the same person I use to be I’m dependent on other people to take my kids to school and back I’m really missing out on a lot I’d love to talk to other people in my situation as I feel like I’m the only one like this in the world

I recently started zoloft to treat my panic disorder. I live every single day in fear of having another panic attack. I know when they happen that they will soon pass, but it is the most terrifying thing i have ever experienced. My heart races, my hands tingle, i get very cold, and it feels as though i will never recover. Seeking words or advice on how to live with panic disorder.

They have lots of natural remedies for this I actually use to get panic attacks like dat it was a crazy feeling but I started researching n actually tried a lot of stuff but wat really coms me down is chamomile or if I can get ur hands on some lavender u would come if self down I have meds but decided na to take them bc of the side effects when ever u get a panic attack jus breath on out slow n recognize is a panic attack n u will b fine

I am at work right now and have been taking 1 mg of Ativan for panic .. doc put me on a.25 of Clanazapam and I see it’s equal to half of what I’ve been taking ... can you help me through

I’m on an anti depressant, and CBT & I have bad days and thoughts that make me afraid. But I just started CBT and have been on meds for 3 weeks. Will I ever get better? I had a good day walking for 30 min out of my house, but a bad day today. I got frightened after 15 min walking. So I breathed my way back home. And was relieved to get in house

I haven’t left my complex in 3 years I’m tired and exhausted from living like this u need to get out how do I start because everyone tells me go get on meds but I can’t wven leave to go to the drs

I’m trying to reach out to you to Give you some advice do you have any social media I could add you on to send you private messages ?

i sufferd from panic attack about a month ago. i remember waking up in the middle of the night felt that my heart beat is racing and i couldn't breathe. after that i started shaking. after that ive been having panic attacks everynight. its debilitating i got head aches and chestpain. so i went to the doctor i had my ecg and my blood pressure monitored he said everything is fine. but i dont feel fine. ive been to a lot of doctors. but none of them seems to cure me. i feel depressed. i always think about it everytime what if something bad happens to me? what if i collapsed. i always monitores my bp twice a day. i avoided eating junkfood and anything that is bad to health. because it might raise my blood pressure i keep googling symptoms and it makes my anxiety even worse. now i dont want to be alone i always wanted somebody to be with me. i always want to be with my mom or dad. it is affecting my life. i cant even enjoy the things that i used to enjoy. pls help if you read this

Going through the exact same thing. Scared to go to sleep because I may never wake up. All the doctors say is that it's in my head and I'm fine. Just woke up not being able to breath ,heart pounding then shakes throughout my body like a seizure. Guess I'll try this cymbalta stuff they gave me.

Hi Kris,

I just saw your advise and I am reaching out for more advise...I just started experiencing this issues I am not sure how this happened but
I was prescribed Laprexo and took it for 6 days and it was making me feel worst so I stopped yesterday. I rather do it the natural way (I am pretty sure there's a way to do it without medication)
Please help me... blessings to you and your family 🙏

Hi Kris,

I just saw your advise and I am reaching out for more advise...I just started experiencing this issues I am not sure how this happened but
I was prescribed Laprexo and took it for 6 days and it was making me feel worst so I stopped yesterday. I rather do it the natural way (I am pretty sure there's a way to do it without medication)
Please help me... blessings to you and your family 🙏
Email: elemus25@yahoo.com

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