(Kitty has been pinned down by agoraphobia for a few years, but reports she’s been making significant progress lately. She’ll write about her progression from time to time here as a guest blogger)
My name is Kitty. I’ve suffered from agoraphobia since 2012 and struggled with panic attacks since 2007. Now I’m in the process of recovering from agoraphobia. I’m 30 years old and live in California. In my spare time, I like to play video games and read. When I recover from agoraphobia, I hope to be able to play Dungeons and Dragons with a group again.
My panic attacks manifest as nausea with fear like I’m on a crashing airplane.
I’ve learned several ways to cope over the years. Sometimes during a medium level panic attack, calling a loved one who can get me talking long enough that I forget I’m having a panic attack makes it go away. White noise helps clear my mind a lot of the time. I use an app called White Noise by TMSOFT. I also always keep a reusable bottle of ice water with me because anxiety gives me terrible dry mouth.
Since implementing the Un-Agoraphobic program, I’ve started to do small outings. My most common errand is grocery shopping. When I fear having or already am having an attack during these outings, I remind myself that I’ve completed this task while having panic attacks before and nothing bad has ever happened to me. My body is lying to me. I’m in no danger. I also listen to white noise on my headphones sometimes. I think that my tipping point was when I switched from feeling sorry for myself to being angry at the agoraphobia and started doing things in defiance of it. Going out with the knowledge that I’ll probably have an attack, but I’ll survive.