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Old 05-16-2020, 12:48 AM
DummyGladHands is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,446

Would it be possible that the "STAY HOME" could lead to agoraphobia?

I had to go out today to my accountant, farther than I've left my house in longer than maybe 3 mos. And I was close to panic, wanting to get home, to my "safe place." I have never felt this way before. I don't want to feel this way again. Can someone develop agoraphobia from an extended period at home?
Old 05-16-2020, 12:57 AM
Biffster's Avatar
Biffster is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 5,324
I think it’s a condition you’re born with. Perhaps you’ve always had a touch of agoraphobia that just recently found a way to express itself. I could be wrong.
Old 05-16-2020, 12:59 AM
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Beckdawrek is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boonies??
Posts: 23,503
I really shouldn't respond because I think I was born agoraphobic.
I think you probably can develope it. Fear of getting hurt, sick or lost or my personal fave 'falling off the earth' (I know it's not possible, tell that to my panic, see if it cares)

It's a mental illness. I suppose anyone can become this sort of mentally ill at any time.

Well, now I have a new phobia: fear of new mental disorders.

Thx. DGH,
Bad, bad, bad!

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 05-16-2020 at 01:02 AM.
Old 05-16-2020, 01:20 AM
Banquet Bear's Avatar
Banquet Bear is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 6,060
Originally Posted by DummyGladHands View Post
I had to go out today to my accountant, farther than I've left my house in longer than maybe 3 mos. And I was close to panic, wanting to get home, to my "safe place." I have never felt this way before. I don't want to feel this way again. Can someone develop agoraphobia from an extended period at home?
...the anxiety you are feeling is completely normal: NZ has been coming out of lockdown over the last few days and the feeling of panic, wanting to get home, and heightened anxiety has been expressed by a lot of people. I'm not in the position to offer any advice: but just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. Take care and stay safe.
Old 05-16-2020, 04:02 AM
Die Capacitrix's Avatar
Die Capacitrix is offline
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 499
My husband is the same way. Me as well, but not as strongly. We have been overwhelmed by the media telling us to stay home is to stay safe. It's a kind of mindwashing.

I would consider it a sort of situational agoraphobia, which will get better as the situation improves.

Also can't help. But you're not alone. These times are weird.
Old 05-16-2020, 05:57 AM
GoodOmens is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,171
New experiences, particularly stressful experiences, can certainly lead to new fears. If you get attacked by a dog, you could certainly develop a phobia of dogs. It might be temporary, it might be long-term. Don't be ashamed to seek help.

I really fear that the COVID situation is going to lead to a spike of mental health problems around the world, particularly among children who tend to be harder to diagnose and treat. And, at least here in the States, we are NOT ready for it.
Old 05-16-2020, 07:38 AM
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DSeid is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,978
Someone from NAMI, they of the “it’s okay to be not okay” campaign, was being interviewed on public radio, and said it is like a bell curve being shifted.

Those who have had problems before are mostly having them more and some who may have before just been predisposed are now having problems.

Yes lots of people who never had mental health problems before are having them triggered by this event. For many good reasons.

Silver lining, they thought, was that more would have more empathy on the other side.

Therapists have embraced telehealth and if it becomes a pattern it is more than okay to get help early: it is smart to.
Old 05-16-2020, 06:18 PM
Carryon is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 925
Yes, agoraphobia can be a learned behavior. Though what you're describing seems to be a panic attack.

You panic, then associate the panic with the situation, rather than the underlying cause.

For instance, I hadn't eaten for awhile, had low blood sugar, went out, then felt dizzy and got scared. Now instead of realizing there was an actual cause, you associate going out with that feeling.

First thing to ask yourself is why were you nervous? And has this happened before? If it was you were afraid of contracting Covid19, realize that is a realistic fear and in of itself, nothing to worry about. (the fear not the virus).

Second is educate yourself, the more you know the less likely you are to fall victim to hype and all this nonsense that is on the Internet. If you learn about how not contract the virus, you will have less fear.

Third, realize that even if you contract Covid19, you have a very small chance of dying from it. It's like being afraid of flying, yes, people do die in plane crashes but not often.

Fourth, get back on the horse. There is a lot of truth to once you fall off a horse, you got to get back on it. Do exactly what you did before, but don't worry if you feel panicky again. BUT don't return home right away, make yourself stay for say a minute, then the next day go back out, if you want to go back fine, but stay, say five minutes. And each day increase your time.

This is desensitization and it takes awhile, but it does work. When I was getting my degree in psychology, in my clinical rotations I had a great deal of success with anxiety patients and behavior modification. But you do have to put in effort.

Finally realize fear is distressing but not dangerous. You may act a bit odd but you are not going to die from it.
Old 05-18-2020, 02:45 AM
msmith537 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 28,144
My wife seems to be developing a touch of that. She has pretty much remained inside constantly since March. I tend to be the one who goes out to get groceries, food, etc. I also just go outside to go outside and get fresh air.

I get what the OP is saying. I usually only venture a few blocks from home. But the other day, I had to take my daughter to her doctor in Jersey City. It felt kind of weird driving to another town to do stuff.

Quite frankly, I have trouble envisioning other people's "lockdown". I assume most other places in the country outside of NYC/Hudson County, NJ, people live in more suburban communities. Maybe they don't go to restaurants or have friends over anymore. But are they so "locked down" that it's that much of a lifestyle change?
Old 05-19-2020, 03:23 PM
dorvann is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,055
As someone who already has anxiety issues(I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder at various points) I can attest that if you have pre-existing anxiety issues this whole experience can definitely aggravate them and make them worse.

I have always been anxious about going out but it's been worse since this whole thing began. Mostly about being around crowds. I still feel fairly comfortable just going out in my rural town to walk because there are hardly any people to run in to. But it is more stressful going out to shop now than it was before. I have talked to my shrink and he increased my meds a little to try and help me cope better.
Old 05-19-2020, 04:07 PM
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QuickSilver is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,278
I joked elsewhere that I felt that this was a fear of mine after this was all over. I very much doubt it will come to pass. But there is some compelling sense, on the few rare occasions that I have been out, that I need to get back and not take detours or make unplanned stops for things I don't really need.
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.


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