Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

please help me! (agorophobia?)

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Manda101
  • November 14, 2006
  • 04:53 AM

my name is amanda
i have been suffer from panic attacks since i was 13 years old. I am 18 now. My story is quite long but i think it is worth the time if i can please get some answers for help! I got my first panic attack at 13 in front of my highschool. I called the ambulence and they never told me what was wrong with me but thought it would be best if i went to see a doctor in case i was sick. I never went because my mom said i did not need too. After that panic attack i kept on having thoughts about how scary it was. What if it happens again? What was it? Am i dieing? Omg i was so scared. I ended up getting it again. It so happened that it always occured in school. So i became terrified of my school! I would explain this to my mom, but would not get the answer i was hoping for. At the time my mother was going through alot. She just got over a divorce, we were being evicted many times, bankrupty, and everything else that copuld lead a mother to extreme stress! When ev er i told her about my situiation she called me crazy. I never believed i was crazy because i knew what was happening! It was real! i really felt as if i was dieing all the time! i would get dizzy, i would feel like i was being pushed into the ground, i would get cold sweats, my heart would race! So i began skipping school and doing bad things. I was going the wrong direction with myself but i did it because i was scared of school! i was scared of just about going anywhere with out thinking of having a panic attack! My mother began to lose it. She started to hit me and put me down about my situiation. She would critisize the fact that i was having panic attacks and that i might need to be medicated. My father ignored me, and my sister thought i was just crazy also. So i started to believe that i was dieing for sure and that nobody cared.:( My mother use to yell at me all the time. It was not normal yelling though. She use to chase me around the house while i was having panic attacks so she could hit me. I use to have to hide in my nbeighbors yard to stay away from her. I was terrified! i had no where to go. I couldnt leave with friends, my mother would follow me and i could definetly not go to my dads because he didnt want anything to do with me! All i had was myself. It was about a year later where i started expiriencing the world shutting down on me. I walked outside and i literally felt the sky falling down. Like everything was shrinking. I was the only one left in this world. I freaked out and told my mom. She still insited in calling me crazy.. So again i thought i was dieing. It became worse. I was not able to even step outside without feeling the sky falling. I began having nightmares where i would see the sky picking me up and i woiuld just die! i stayed in my house for 4 months and avoided PE in school. In my house i only got worse because my mother was putting me down. and yelling at me 24/7! god it was ***l. Its been 5 years since and i still have my phobia with the sky. I feel as if we live in a dome and were all trapped. I feel as if death if every where and that i have no hope in getting better because none helps me! i am finally 18 so i could see a phyciatrist now. But a of before i was not able to because my mother does not believe in them. Now i feel as if it is too late to help myself. Has my anxiety gone to far? is there any hope for me? im so scared... please help me!!!:(

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  • Hi Amanda,Firstly, it is not too late or you wouldn’t be seeking help. Remember also, that you are not alone though it feels like it. There are many people like you who for one reason or other have phobias, even the same one you suffer from. You have had no support from the age of 13 from, it seems, absolutely no one.You feel vulnerable, so you feel exposed. That is why being in the open frightens you, the sky seems so far up, no where to hide or take shelter. So far up like a void that will suck you up and loose you forever. It is so vast and when in the open your mind feels though the sky could sweep you away, though it could never happen, but it seems and feels so real.Schools are not friendly cozy places either. You leave your cold home environment to enter another that offers you no comfort. You feel no control over your life, no stability. Parents splitting up, a mother who minimizes your feelings to cope with her own; a father that is disinterested in you and a sister who you cant speak with when sisters should be able to share a unique and loving bond. When you had your first panic attack you wouldn’t have known what it was. It does feel like you are dying when you get sweaty, disorientated and pounding heart; it is a very scary feeling for a young girl or for any child. The mind holds memories, so you approach the school and you remember that dying feeling and you live it again and again, but you don’t know how to stop it as you are alone and have no one to confide in. The memories of fear start to spread to other areas, and now you feel the sky is going to fall in on you, everything is going to collapse around you because there is no where you feel comfort, stable and safe.So you hide in your house that offers no open spaces. It is like a cocoon. But even there your fears of loneliness are reinforced because you mother behaves like she doesn’t want to know your fears because she isn’t coping with her own. For your own sanity don’t discuss your feelings with your mother. She is only making things worse. Find a female school councilor and poor your heart out to her, she wont understand your situation but she could be a good sounding board to allow you the opportunity to let out some of that huge amount of anxiety you have bottled away and you will be in a safe environment without fear of being beaten up, yelled at or belittled. You could tell the councilor you literally need a really good cry on someone’s shoulder and you don’t expect her to understand, but you have no one to turn to who isn’t going to belittle you. You sound like you need a very good cry if you haven’t cried rivers of tears already. But those tears have probably been shed all alone without the comfort of another human being wrapping their arms around you.Do you have an umbrella? Do a little exercise with it and a pair of sunglasses that are closed around the sides like blinkers. Though I don’t know you I am thinking of you. I left school in 1988, but even the sight of one brings back memories and feelings of great insecurity. If I have to walk into one I feel so cold and insecure, not so bad these days, but I avoid schools so as not to dig up memories. When I see the children I wonder how many are feeling lost and cold like I did. Can you go and buy a very small stuffed toy that is small enough put in a pocket? Securely hang the toy from the center of the umbrella with one of those clip latch things and pin little name tags to the toy with searchingsam and the names Jason and Miss Michelle who posted about their phobias. In your room put on your sunglasses and get under the umbrella as a test run. Do this with a locked door or when everyone is out the house, or they will think you crazy. :-} By the way, you might want to buy two toys just in case your mum finds the toy and destroys it or something, my dad took my night light away from me when I was eight saying I was a big baby. I didn’t have the same family problems as you but mine weren’t pleasant either.OK. You are ready to face the world though you won’t think so; we are with you. Unclip toy and fold up umbrella and put them in a carry bag with the sunnies, and if you like chocolate put some of that in there also, or something that reminds you of happiness. Once out of view of family put up umbrella and pin the toy and slip on the sunnies and go for a walk. If you don’t want to clip the toy on the umbrella hold it in your free hand or clipped to your wrist. The umbrella is your shield and you friends from cyberspace are under it with you. :-} Just make sure if you cross any roads to be careful as the sunnies might obstruct some of your view. Go sit on a park bench or something under the umbrella and eat your chocolate and just look at the toy and names. Keep doing this and if there is somewhere you can feed ducks or pigeons or something, focus on this and not what is around you. Enjoy yourself!!! Sit and read a book, whatever. By the way, if you are in a park, make sure it is a park where there are other people, as you know it isn’t good for a woman to be alone in a park. As time passes, take the sunnies off for a moment but don’t look at the sky, just the ducks or something, keeping yourself focused and don’t think about the vast empty sky above or anything around you. If you start feeling anxious, just put the sunnies on and close your eyes and take controlled breathes through your nose only and then look at the toy again with the names of cyber friends who know how you feel. When you have the anxiety under control go home. Keep doing this till it gets easier and easier. Stand or sit under a tree sometimes with the umbrella down and remaining focused on reading a book or whatever; take control of your environment. You can put the sunnies on when YOU want. You can put the roof of the umbrella up when YOU want. YOU are the master of your surroundings, and as the master your surroundings are not going to consume or control you.When in your room surround yourself with things you like. Don’t talk to your mother, sister or dad about any fears or negative feelings; they have obviously got their own problems, and it isn’t you. This is your life and if those around you are negative you don’t have to row their same boat. All the best Amanda.Agape,Searchingsam.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 15, 2006
    • 09:01 AM
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