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Dexter asked in HealthMental Health · 9 years ago

What am I going to do? Severe Agoraphobia?

Okay..So I am a 22 year old male. I live in the U.S. and I am having the worst trial of my entire life. A few months back I suffered a terrible dramatic trauma that has left me SEVERELY disabled...I have extreme anxiety and agoraphobia...linked to being away from home and ESPECIALLY being in a car. Because the first time I had a panic attack I was in a car. I have been in and out of the hospital because of this debilitating disorder...I have been on every medicine you can imagine. The one and ONLY time I felt COMPLETE relief from my symptoms was when I was rushed to the ER in an ambulance because my pulse was up around 120-130 and my BP was like 155 0ver 91. And at the ER they gave me a 1Mg Ativan which instantly cured me of ALL the symptoms..I was ME again. Since I have been seeing a psych doc at Cherokee health systems. He ABSOLUTELY refuses to prescribe me even a LOW dose Ativan or ANY benzo's at all. I have NO history of drug abuse and can pass a test any day of the week. He has been prescribing me things that instead have actually LANDED me back in the hospital for physical problems that they have caused. I'm between a rock and a hard place because NOW i'm so bad that i cant leave my house at all to even make my appointments. I am currently taking Propranolol 10mg in the morning and at takes the edge of..but I still have all of the BAD symptoms of my ptsd and panic. What should I do?! I feel so lost and like these doctors don't want to see me get better :(. Any advice at all? Because I honestly can't take living this way anymore. I want to be me again...


I just really need to find someone who is willing to prescribe a benzo....I'm not in this to get "high" i just want my life back and this was the ONLY med that med me normal again.

Update 2:

@toadguru I can completely understand where you are coming from. But Yes I have tried MANY SSRI's and SNRI's I cannot tollerate ANY of them. I have been on buspar...just made everything worse...been on cymbalta, zoloft, celexa, welbutrin, remeron, trileptil, abilify,

gabapentin, lamictal. I'm now taking propranolol 10mg twice a day. Nothing...and I mean NOTHING has helped me. All these meds have me me almost lose my mind (excluding propranolol). At this point...It's either A VERY low dose of some kind of benzo...or I am done for and won't ever leave my house. I haven't left my house without issue in 4 months... I'm at the end of my rope here.

Update 3:

Also... I have severe PTSD related to my panic attacks and agoraphobia... I literally start screamiung at everyone and become VIOLENT when I am made to leave the house I have been taken away in an ambulance so many times now because it was the ONLY way to get me to the hospital because my BP wads up so high from the panic and anxitey. I litterally don't know what to do anymore. I am NOT depressed and am generally a happy person but I am thinking about suicide because I see absolutley NO way out of this. I can't get to ANY of my doc apps. because I can't get into a car without immediately getting right back out..and if someone tries to stop me bad things can happen and I have absolutely no control over this at all. Should I just be euthanized...?

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some famous people who have suffered from agoraphobia include Woody Allen (director), Paula Dean (celebrity chef), and Elfriede Jelinek (Nobel literature laureate).

    Agoraphobia is often misunderstood as a fear of open or crowded places. It can sometimes coexist with these phobias, but agoraphobia is the fear of being too far away from a “safe” area. Agoraphobics often welcome visitors to their home, since they’re in better control of the situation, but simply don’t like leaving their own home.

    Agoraphobic people suffer panic attacks if they feel unsafe; this can include feeling trapped or finding oneself too far away from a comfort zone.

    Like all phobias, agoraphobia doesn’t discriminate. Age, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic background don’t affect who could be afflicted with agoraphobia. The one notable exception to this rule is that women are about twice as likely to suffer from agoraphobia.

    This anxiety disorder generally develops from a mild fear to a serious condition that affects daily life.

    Treatments for agoraphobia include gradual exposure and desensitization to the situations that worry the sufferer, medication, therapy, and other treatments such as hypnosis. There is much more at

  • 9 years ago

    Has the doctor tried you on any SSRI's? Any other medications? The reason he is hesitant to give you the ativan is that at your age you will NOT be able to stay on it for the rest of your life. It is better if you try another drug like lexapro and use cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome this condition. Many people can have this condition for years and years and if you are one of those people, you will have a problem with using ativan in the long term. You can get addicted to it and have to take more and more of it to get the same effect. It also will make any cognitive behavioral therapy you do not as effective because it relaxes the central nervous system too much and you don't get any benefit from facing your fears during the therapy. If you were in your 40's then using Ativan would be less of an issue, but at your age it is really better to try every other drug out there FIRST and then use the ativan if there is no other choice.

    Your doctor is not being mean, he is just thinking about the long term. At 22, you have your whole life ahead of you and no one can say how it is going to go for you. You might get lucky and this condition will resolve on its own in a year or you may have it for 5 years or more. Ativan is really not the best treatment for someone your age. Ask your doctor to help you find a cognitive behavioral therapist and get working on therapy to help you overcome the fears. That, plus whatever medications you can tolerate would be the best option for you. It is going to take some time to find the right combination of things that will work for you.

    Ativan is only a short term fix and it WILL NOT help you get over your fears and stay well in the long term. With cognitive behavioral therapy you have a good chance of beating this and getingt off all medications. None of the medications available CURE this condition, they only make it tolerable, and when the meds wear off, it will come back---some times worse than before and that is especially true with ativan if you stay on it for a while. Ativan is best for OCCASIONAL use, AFTER you are mostly well through therapy. Read more about your condition and try to work with the doctor and a therapist for at least 6 months. If you see no improvement, then find another doctor for another opinion. Good Luck.

    Source(s): Panic and Anxiety Workbook by Borne
  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    You can't solve this by wishing it away or by getting thrown into the deep end. You LITERALLY need to take small steps to freedom and independence. Start with one step out the door today. Go as far as you are comfortable and then return. Tomorrow, go that same distance again and tell yourself, "I can do this; I am capable; I did this before and I was fine and I can do it again." Once you are comfortable with a certain distance, very gradually increase it, just one step if that's all you can handle at first. Do deep breathing and don't be afraid of the panic sensations. Remember nobody ever died of a panic attack. Remind yourself that you are OK and it will pass. You also need a competent, kind therapist with experience in anxiety and panic disorders. They are out there. Desensitization therapy can be greatly helpful in eliminating panic. Tell your husband you DO want help and you don't want to be like this forever. Tell him that his harsh treatment is adding to your anxiety. Explain to him and your daughter that you need them in your corner on this. They want you to be well too but they may not know how best to help you. Don't be afraid to tell them what you need - support, love, gentle persuasion, rides to the doctor, whatever. Anger, withdrawal of food, and punishment will do more harm than good. That ER doctor was a jerk. Nobody should be kicked out of an ER because of mental illness. I am so sorry this happened to you. He obviously was not trained very well in this regard. Don't let this deter you from finding help with your physical issues. They need to be attended to. Keep trying to find a good doctor. You can make phone calls from home. Be open and honest about your agoraphobia and panic disorder. You don't need to apologize for being ill but let them know how this could affect the visit. The last thing I would recommend is using the internet to get some resources. Try getting a few relaxation/stress reducing cd's. Some have affirmations on them (I used one when in labour with my daughter) that tell you you're strong and capable and you can do this. There are also books and articles on panic disorder that you could read to help you understand what is happening to you and how to control it. Best of luck. At 53 you don't deserve this kind of treatment. You can do this.

  • 9 years ago

    find a different doctor

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