Agora….what?

Lets have a a real discussion some of the side effects of domestic violence from a very personal discussion. I survived horrific abuse at the hands of narcissist with antisocial personality disorder. I survived! That is what matters. While he got special treatment because he belongs to a certain class of people and essentially got the Brock Turner treatment.

He stepped away with limited jail time and fines. While I got life long injuries and reminders of the abuse. Of them, two of the disorders is Panic disorder and Agoraphobia. Both are often misunderstood.

PANIC DISORDER

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Panic disorder is a disorder in people who experience spontaneous out of nowhere panic attacks that occur unexpectedly. They can occur even in a person’s sleep. A person can become preoccupied with a fear of the reoccurrence of an attack. This is very debilitating. Panic disorder is similar, but not the same as anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks is a reaction to stressors. Example, you have a lot on your plate. You are worried about money. You are fearful about something. Anxiety attacks are short lived. When the stress leaves, so does the anxiety. Panic attacks are the opposite.

Panic attacks are spontaneous and don’t come as a reaction to a stressor. They are unprovoked and very unpredictable. A person is often seized with fear and can feel like they are losing control or even their mind. They can have a variety of physical symptom including dizziness, shortness of breath or even nausea. Often if one occurs in public, they will start to worry if others around them are noticing and start to worry about what others think and worry about the next one occurring. The anticipatory anxiety adds to the panic.

People with panic disorder will start avoiding places to lessen the chance of having panic attacks. Both panic and anxiety are treatable. However, panic is often accompanied with agoraphobia.

AGORAPHOBIA

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Agoraphobia is very misunderstood. Most people think of it as you don’t leave your home. This is not true. It is a type of anxiety disorder. It is an anxiety disorder where you avoid place or situations because you fear them and they cause you panic because they make you feel trapped and helpless. The person often cannot go places without a companion because they feel overwhelmed and not safe without them; especially if there are crowds. If the fears end up too overwhelming, the person will not leave their home.

Agoraphobia is a fear of actual or anticipated situations. Situations like elevators, standing line, public transportation. Places where the person cannot escape or no easy way for them to escape. This is where the anxiety develops. These fears typically occur after having panic attacks in public and the person avoids the place where the panic attack occurred.

Agoraphobia is not curable but it is treatable. It is a very challenging disorder because of the need to face your fears. This can become debilitating and cause impairment.

PROBLEMS THEY CAUSE

They both cause issues.

They cause significant impairment in social and occupational functioning. I have found that it gets hard because I have places I avoid due to panic. As well, I am happy I have a caregiver because I don’t know what I would do without them because I know I would freak out. I have fears of crowds. I have fears of people being near me. I have fears of men being near me. When it is severe, like it has been this week, I am unable to leave the house at all. I avoid people at all cost with it is bad. I have such a phobia of social interaction due to the fact I don’t want people to see me have a panic attack.

I withdraw a lot after panic attacks. Like I have this week because of a bad panic attack last weekend. I have severe social phobias due to panic disorder. I cannot be alone at all. Due to my seizures, I cannot be alone anyways but I am more afraid now because of it.

 

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