Definition Of Agoraphobia: TERROR!

Definition of agoraphobia: "A fear of the marketplace" or "fear of open spaces". This isn't true anymore. Non-sufferers may find this irrational, but the thoughts and physical sensations are real and terrifying.

Our fears, thoughts and feelings are made worse when escape is difficult, especially when we are alone, with no comfort from someone we know.

Another definition of agoraphobia is not being able to leave your safe place. You have the need to be accompanied. If you do go out accompanied, you may need an escape plan.

Terror seems an appropriate definition of agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. Whenever our thoughts, feelings or physical sensations start to escalate, it's an emergency for us. I always used to think, "Oh god, no! Please don't get worse. Please go away!"

We want help and assurance as quickly as possible in order to calm down. This help is priceless and used to help me pull through. Alone, it's more terrifying and felt like it lasted longer.

When several episodes of bad experiences happen, we generally learn avoidance. The irony is that although avoidance will cause less fearful thoughts, incidents and physical sensations, in order to beat agoraphobia, we actually NEED to experience them.

Importance of practice

For agoraphobia, the key here is to practice. If you don't practice your coping skills, then every episode will be bad and it will go on for years!

Think of it like learning to ride a bicycle. On your first attempt, you fall. Instead of trying again immediately, you decide to walk away. You then decide to try again 15 years later. What do you think is going to happen?

It's very likely that you will fall again. But let's say instead of waiting 15 years, you tried again immediately. What do you think will happen now? Yes, you'll probably fall again. However, you are going to get better over the next several attempts. And within days or weeks, you'll be riding that bicycle.

Agoraphobia is your bicycle. Don't put it away. It's not going to go away or disappear over time. It gets worse! Unfortunately, there is no magic pill and no way out. You will have to face it if you want your freedom back.

My definition of agoraphobia is that it's more than just fear. Stop for a second to think about this. Why would someone hide away at home? Why would someone avoid normal, simple things?

Agoraphobia is more like paralysis. It's sheer terror and always seems fresh in our memory. It's not going to disappear. WE have to make it disappear.

It's probably going to be the hardest thing you'll ever do in your life. The only consolation is that you may become stronger in other ways. For example, we might not even fear death the way others do. You may even have had suicidal thoughts when you are at your lowest. I know I have. I even came close to doing it late one night, many, many years ago. I backed off at the last second.

Please, never take this way out. No matter how right it may feel, no matter how strong your urge to end it all, DON'T! I know, I've been there, and I'm glad I don't have to say, "Done that."

Use the internet

Please seek help immediately. I am proof that there are other ways for you. You have the internet now. Use it. Make the most of it. I had nothing back then. Educate yourself. Search forums and speak with others in a similar situation. Get their perspective.

Today, there is even internet counseling. Though you feel unlucky, you're luckier than you think. Many have suffered needlessly (including myself) due to lack of resources.

Use all resources and begin your journey back. It can be done. Don't ever give up or lose hope. Sooner or later, one of the helpful resources will improve your agoraphobia. You can then tell someone your new definition of agoraphobia - FREEDOM



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