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Agoraphobia, housebound for the last 6 years.

x3n

x3n

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Hi. I am a 23 years old male, that (since his late teens) is having a lot of problems and confusion in his life. Long story short.... I've been housebound for the last 6 years. I developed the agoraphobia due to the unexpected cancer death in my familly. Since then, I feel like I am jailed.... During all those years, I have left my house only four times. Two times in 2014, when I was actually working on the phobia with my psychiatrist, once in 2015 and the last time 2 weeks ago. I cant really describe the fear and feeling of terror when I am outside. It just feels like nightmare, a different terrific universum. The thought of staying in open area is terrific. My body starts shaking, I cant even controll my movement. At this point, I dont even know what am I supposed to do....

I know I have wasted the best years of my life and for the majority of that time I stayed in home and decided to ignore my problems and let them win with me. I dont have job, car, girlfriend, degree.... Im basicly alienated from the outside world. I have very very lovely familly, thanks to them i managed to finish highschool. They do everything for me, but I always feel bad for it, because when you think about it this way, which familly would like to have such a useless son? Some of my friends and the people I know, they always tell me that I wasted my life. That because I have nothing at the age of 23, I will neither be able to achieve it later. It hurts, but deeply inside of me, I think its true.

I dont know how am I supposed to fight with my problems. I cant even attend terapy. I cant even leave my home for anytime longer than a couple of minutes. I do have dreams, I do have passions, I would like to go to college, to set myself on a proper career path, but it just feels impossible. I love playing on a guitar, I would like to make it my job. I feel like my life is already over. At the age of 23 i have nothing. Nothing...

My another problem is alcohol abuse. Due to the amout of untreated problems (OCD, Depression, Anxiety etc.) I have started to abuse alcohol very heavily. For the last 1.5 year, on every friday/saturday I drink 6-10 beers, sometimes during regular days too. I know its bad for my health (as im already obese and have no physical activity) but it just feels like getting super drunk is the only way to feel "good" and free of problems. When I think about alcohol, it makes me happy, I would like to stop with this habbit, but Im afraid I cant.

What should I do? I would like to have a normal life, but at this point it might be impossible to achieve. I have a wonderfull familly, I live only, because of them. I am 23 years old and I wasted my life already. Sorry for long post.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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Hello! I’m sorry you struggle with agoraphobia. At 23, you have your whole life ahead of you.
Have you ever been prescribed anti-anxiety medicine? I’m in the USA, and am currently on Klonopin, which is a benzodiazepine. It has helped me so much with agoraphobia, and I can leave the house now with very little anxiety.
If you can get a prescription for help, you would definitely have to stop using alcohol, though.
How did you leave your house two weeks ago? Did someone help you? It’s great that you did that. I know how hard it is - you should be really proud of that accomplishment.
 
x3n

x3n

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Hi Victorianna, thanks for answering. My old psychiatrist had prescribed me clomipramine, but evenrually it did not worked for me. I left my house due to pressure from my friend, he really wanted to go out with me. I managed to get out and stay outside for a 30 minutes, it was very stressing but ye, we even had a long talk, it was the longest i spend outside since the last 6 years. I really did not wanted to let him down. The alcohol issue is really hard to overcome. It is very hurtful for my mom, she blames herself for everything. I dont want to hurt her, but at this point i might be addicted to alcohol. I would like to say the addiction is not my choice, but i think that would be a lie.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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I think it’s worth looking into medicine again, which would mean a trip to a psychiatrist.
As I’m sure you know, what you need to do is exposure therapy. Your thoughts are telling you it’s frightening outside, but that’s not true. Even though you went out with your friend, nothing bad happened. You need to try, even though it’s very hard, to keep doing this - to keep building on what you have accomplished. You don’t want to be writing a year from now that the last time you went outside was a year ago! Here is something that I read that helped me realize the importance of going out, even if it’s just to open the door and step out onto your porch:
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Victorianna

Victorianna

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If you think you are able to do something for exposure, no matter how small, try it and see how it goes, and let me know how it went. I was where you were, (although not for as long a period of time), and I’d love to hear that you are trying. Like I said, even if it’s just to stand in your open front door, even if it’s with someone standing right next to you when you do it. Build on your progress! It’s important, and I think you can do it.
 
x3n

x3n

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Thank you, this saturday i am making another approach to go outside. My goal is to go to the local park and stay there for an hour or so. And you are right with the anxiety beliefs. Last time i was outside, the longer I stayed the less i feared.
 
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