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23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

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23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

Postby jenashley » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:00 pm

I'm a 23 year old woman & I'm scared to leave my own apartment. I feel so pathetic. I live with a roommate around my age who is still a relative stranger to me as I don't really make an effort to get to know her/don't know how. Anyways, I run a little webshop & I have orders to send out, groceries to get, supplies to buy. But thinking about leaving my house & going out into the world... if I walk, I may get kidnapped. I always start hyperventilating when I walk anywhere and just want to get back home. I often think I'm being followed. If I ride my bike, I could get hit by a car, embarrass myself, fall off, etc. It just doesn't seem worth it. But I have things to do & staying indoors all day makes me feel very depressed.

Things to consider: I live in a town where I don't know anyone except for my boyfriend; my family lives in another town. I don't drive. I HAVE been diagnosed with anxiety but am no longer taking medication for it.

Can anyone relate???
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Re: 23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

Postby ForcedHabit » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:51 am

I can relate somewhat.

I rarely leave my house, but also sometimes have to go out for groceries, or other errands. Even taking out the garbage and checking the mail are hugely stressful events. Sometimes it takes a few days before I can do it.

But I am not worried about the same types of things as you. Well, except that I was followed last time, just a few days ago, and now I am worried about that. I am afraid of being harassed, and assaulted....but I mostly just don't want people to look at me. I want to be invisible.
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Re: 23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

Postby BBKnight » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:22 pm

Hi Jenashley i am Brian,

I can completely sympathize with your situation as it a road i have walked for many years. And i would like to tell you you are not pathetic! You are a person who is unwell it ts not your fault you are not to blame.
The social anxiety or paranoia you feel when you leave your safe area is only your mind coping with the fight or flight signals that are firing out of control and this leads to panic. You have said you have stopped taking your meds i would suggest you restart them or if they were not working talk to your doctor about alternatives there are many.
Also you should be offered counseling or CBT cognitive behavioral therapy by your doctor take it it can really help by giving you the tools you need to heal yourself.
It seems to me that you are lonely that can be a huge trigger in mental illness, is there any way you could visit your far off family and friends to recharge your battery's as it were?
Positive affirmations can greatly increase a persons happiness. I use the "i am glad i am not" method it works thus:
At least once a day say out loud and with as much meaning as you can muster:
i am glad i am not hungry
i am glad i am not homeless
And so on 5 things you are glad you are not they can be anything as long as you are truly glad. Saying this once a day works but you can say it as often as you like and the things your glad about can different every or the same its up to you.
I would also like to suggest compassionate meditation. Compassion meditation involves silently repeating certain phrases that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike to understanding, guides to this form of meditation can be found online. Opera Winfrey's site had a good guide to a similar method the link i will provide below.

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/compassion-meditation

Well Jenashley i honestly and with my whole heart wish you swift recovery and a great life. And please try to understand that those people you fear may harm you or laugh at you if you fall may very well be the very people who will catch you if you did. In my experiences since i became ill i have seen kindness from friend and stranger alike and i am humbled. Have a little faith in humanity i am sure there are people just waiting to help you right now.

B.
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Re: 23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

Postby Instigog » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:38 am

Not sure if you're still following the thread but maybe someone else can consider my two cents. My origional diagnosis was agoraphobia with depression and anxiety, it seemed to hit me hard when I turned 23, so bad I completely cut all friends out. It's now 15 years later. I'll admit it was more comfortable to lock the world out at the time but all I can offer is in hindsight. No matter how uncomfortable it is, try to do some minor things everyday that make you a little anxious. Dark sunglasses seem to make things a teeny bit easier. The longer you stay indoors the likelihood of developing other difficulties increases as time goes on. I wish someone would have said that to me back then ( although I probably would have said go fys). I do have difficulties now socially but try to go out to park at least once a week. The sky used to terrify me. Hope you found someone to help you out.
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Re: 23 years old, scared to leave my house/scared of strangers

Postby angelbabe » Thu May 03, 2018 8:13 pm

Hey, we're twinning! my name is jen too and I'm 20 years old. i also have an online shop that really keeps me going. So i can definitely relate!
I think it's really impressive that you have an apartment and are able to make arrangements with your roommate! although it may seem insignificant to you, it's really hard to get up on your feet and live alone (pretty much.)
Are you able to leave the house and go on a walk with your boyfriend (or friends / family) or does that frighten you too? Something that can help is items for protection, which may ease your anxiety a bit. Having something like pepper spray on you may help your anxiety.

Have you been seeing anyone about your anxiety? therapist? if not, i'd give it a try. CBT is the most effective treatment, especially exposure therapy. however, a lot of people benefit from self help workbooks and things like that because they give you tasks everyday to expose you to the world and understand your irrational fear. A lot of therapists don't do exposure therapy or probably wouldn't diagnose you as agoraphobic. Looking back, I wish I had challenged my vdery experienced therapist who I told all my avoidant symptoms to. I was embarrassed and felt disrespectful for self diagnosing but there a HUGE difference between an anxiety disorder and agoraphobia and it's disgusting if a health professional disregards diagnosing it.
I take a lot of medication and I wouldn't say it helps my agoraphobia, however it does help my anxiety symptoms which helps me manage my agoraphobia.
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