Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fear Leaving House – Understanding a Fear of Leaving the House

I have been having a really hard time leaving the house lately. It is something I have been dealing with for years. I have my good days and my bad days both. Lately there have been a lot of bad days. Days where it's all I can do just to drive the girls to and from school. I've been challenging myself this past week to get out anyways. I've been doing some reading on anxiety and agoraphobia and came across this article. Thought I'd pass the info along, might help someone else.

Fear Leaving House – Understanding a Fear of Leaving the House: "If you have a fear of leaving your house, it is probable that you have an intense fear of being in certain situations in which escape is difficult or potentially embarrassing, or where help is not readily available. More specifically, the focus is on the fear of having a panic attack in such situations.
A fear of leaving the house is associated with agoraphobia, though not all people with this disorder have this concern. Agoraphobia can occur on its own, but is more commonly a complication of panic disorder.
You do not need to be home bound to be diagnosed with agoraphobia. Agoraphobia can cause a panic response in an array of situations, including traveling by car, train, plane or bus; being in an elevator, crowd, large store, or confined area; being on a bridge or standing in a line. The fear associated with agoraphobia is so intense that a person will usually go to great lengths to avoid the feared situations. At the most extreme cases, agoraphobia can develop into a fear of leaving one’s house altogether. One’s home becomes his or her “safe zone.”"

According to this excellent article found here there are 4 main ways to help you get over your fear of leaving the house.

1. Get professional help. The sooner the better.
2. Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Use them when you need to!!
3. Keep stress in check.
4. Learn and practice Systematic Desensitization. Imagine yourself in fearful situations and use relaxation techniques to decrease the anxiety. Eventually you will become able to use the technique in the current moment and allow those techniques you imagined work for real.

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