Suffering with agoraphobia

by Raúl Pérez.

Hi everyone, I’m a Spanish, 17 years old who suffers from agoraphobia and Respect Yourself has given me the chance of sharing this experience with all of you so if you are agoraphobic too you can see you’re not the only one, in fact we are a lot and I’m sure all of us will overcome this sooner or later.

This first post will be just an explanation of what agoraphobia is. Let’s begin.

The word agoraphobia comes from the Ancient Greek words agora (street, square…) and phobos (fear), so we can describe this phobia as “being afraid of the street” but not in the strict sense of the word because what agoraphobic are really afraid of is our own body. We aren’t afraid of cars, strange people nor the street itself but the reaction our bodies have when we go out of home, we usually think something terrible is going to happen and we begin to become anxious, so our heart begins to beat fast and we begin to breath fast as well so a lot of oxygen go through our veins to our brain and we begin to feel dizzy, like if we’re going to faint suddenly at any time (although fainting is very strange in these cases).

This can happen to anybody who is stressed for any reason and one day we could feel this way I mentioned before. The point is that not everybody gives the same importance to this, some people keep doing what they were doing and don’t think much about what happened, but there are cases (like mine) where we can’t help thinking that something is wrong in our bodies and every time we go out we begin to feel bad because we previously have thought that what happened to us once can happen again and, of course! If we think we’re going to feel dizzy, it’s pretty sure we will feel dizzy. This can bring a lot of changes to our lives especially when we begin to avoid going to some places where we have had a panic attack because we think this will happen again. This can be so serious that many people stay for years in their homes without going out just because of being afraid of the fear.

The next post I’ll tell you about my story so you can see a clear example of how this disease works. But before ending I want to say that this terrible disease has a cure and we must face this as a challenge and not as a punishment. If you are looking for a cure here, you won’t find it, cause, even I didn’t found it yet, but I’m a shoulder you can cry on and we all see how this stupid disease fades away. I know this won’t bring me down, this won’t bring US down!

Special thanks to our guest blogger Raúl Pérez. You can contact Raúl on twitter: @RaulManuel

Photo: My Bedroom/Office by Jordan Green under Creative Commons license