Skip to main content

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Things I Know About Agoraphobia...

I'm supposed to be doing a review and a little giveaway. I've even gotten as far with that post as to set up a rafflecopter thingy for it. It's coming, I promise, but today I want to talk about something that is weighing heavily on my mind. Agoraphobia.

I suffer with agoraphobia and it is mostly related to my low vision. I didn't have it when I was younger. It developed as I grew older and realised how much I can't see in comparison to other people, how often I get in people's way because I don't have much in the way of peripheral vision, and how impossible it is for other people to even realise I have low vision because I have not readily visible markers of vision impairment.

I hate going out on my own unless I have a specific purpose and know the place I'm going to well. If I know the place well but don't have a specific purpose for traveling to that place, I still hate going out. If I have a purpose for going out, especially if I've very motivated to going to a place (to be with people I really enjoy the company of, for example) I can overcome most of the anxiety to achieve my goal, but I still have a fair amount of anxiety.

I could make myself more visually recognisable as a person with low vision by using a cane (not one you tap the ground with, but one you hold in front of you to indicate to others that you have low vision), or a monocular (which looks like a little telescope held up to one eye). While this has it's benefits, the drawback is that of bringing lots of attention to myself - which, despite how I dress, I'm not excited at the prospect of. I might as well wear a big, flashing, sign emblazoned with 'I have a disability, I'm vulnerable, mug me!'

Sure, that's an irrational thought - who said agoraphobia is rational?

So, here are 10 things I know about agoraphobia...

~1. Agoraphobia can develop at any time, it is not something a person is born with, though people who are more anxious by nature might be more prone to it.

~2. Not everyone with anxiety suffers from agoraphobia.

~3. There is safety in numbers; as long as the numbers are people you know and trust.

~4. The best antidote for agoraphobia is to get out of the house regularly.

~5. Agoraphobia and cabin fever are not mutually exclusive - agoraphobes often really want to get out because the four walls can feel like a prison, but wanting to get out of the house does not cure one of agoraphobia.

~6. Agoraphobia can lead to depression and depression feeds agoraphobia, creating a vicious cycle. Agoraphobia can also prevent a person with depression from seeking appropriate help.

~7. An agoraphobe in a good phase may not seem agoraphobic at all - this is mostly the magic of smoke and mirrors created by lots of social outings in the company of some form of security blanket (for me, that is my husband, my kids sometimes and one great friend).

~8. Agoraphobes can lose friends because those friends just don't understand why the agoraphobe is so reluctant to go visit them (especially when that agoraphobe is reliant on public transport, which can cause panic attacks).

~9. When an agoraphobe wakes up ready to hurl at the thought of having to go out, even with their security blanket or invites people over then spends the hours before their arrival regretting that decision, it's time to get help (in fact, that time is well overdue).

~10. It can be harder to spot an agoraphobe than most people think. We don't all jump at the sight of our own shadows. We're not all retiring wall flowers. When we feel safe, we can be quite confident in public - we may even enjoy public speaking (I'm not kidding). We don't usually announce our agoraphobia to people - even people like a lot.

Comments

Nic said…
I used to suffer greatly from social anxiety, and dont so much anymore. But I can relate to a little of how you are feeling. So understanding hugs from me :-)
Lyndal said…
thankyou so much for writing this - you have managed to put into words many, many of my feelings.
xx
Sif said…
Thanks for the comments guys :)

Nic, I'm reassured to hear you don't have as much social anxiety anymore - do you know what changed for you?

Lyndal, I'm glad you liked the post, but sad to hear you can relate as well :(. Agoraphobia can be so isolating.
Rhianna said…
There were some great points in here Sif sorry to know that much of it is based on personal experience. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to you.

I should have a list to join up next week, once I am done being a holiday maker
bek said…
I reckon you should get one of those sticks and learn how to use it as a rapier :D

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …