The Truth About Agoraphobia

Growing up I saw agoraphobia depicted in movies and on T.V. sometimes. I thought it was one of the weirdest illnesses I’d ever heard of. I was fascinated by the documentaries on it and other mental illnesses. I didn’t realize at the time that I have agoraphobia. I wasn’t housebound. I wasn’t one of those weird people.

But I did have agoraphobia. I do have agoraphobia.

What I as a child, as do many, many people, assumed was that having agoraphobia means you can’t leave your house.

That’s not the fact.

Yes, agoraphobia can become so severe that a person can’t leave their home. Hell, it can become so severe a person can’t leave their bedroom! But in less severe, and more common, cases a person can leave their home, but it causes anxiety to do so and they are much more comfortable at home.

Growing up my agoraphobia was of the less severe sort, I could leave home but it gave me anxiety. If given the choice I would always choose to stay home. I ditched school a lot, and as I got older I’d call out from work a lot. The older I got the more severe my agoraphobia became.

As I’ve said before, I didn’t know I had agoraphobia, I didn’t know anything was a problem at all.

It wasn’t until I became about 90% housebound that I finally sought help and was diagnosed with agoraphobia. I was 35 years old by then.

I have depression, social anxiety, and agoraphobia.

For me the social anxiety has been there from birth. I developed depression and agoraphobia somewhere between 8 and 11 years old. They, I’m coming to figure out through therapy, were caused by multiple traumatic experiences.

When I reached my thirties I, once again, experienced multiple traumatic experiences in a short period of time. These experiences exacerbated my depression and agoraphobia leading me to be mostly housebound.

I went into therapy and started on medication. These helped a lot and eventually I was out and about again. The agoraphobia doesn’t go away, it will never go away, but I was able to handle it. I could cope.

Then, not very long later, more tragedy, more traumatic experiences. And here I am once more, housebound for the most part.

But this time it is worse. Way worse.

That’s what I’m learning now. I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone with agoraphobia, but for me every time it cycles and gets bad again, it get worse each time.

And this time…

This time I don’t think I’m going to get over it. This time it’s cost me so much. This time it’s defeated me. This time I don’t have the strength or energy to fight it.

This time I just want to stay home and sleep.

There’s no fight left in me.

I’m done.


3 thoughts on “The Truth About Agoraphobia”

  1. I a sorry to hear this Tamara. You are a terrific advocate and a wonderful writer. I hope you will know soon enough that the world means you no harm and that you are loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. NOT liking this. I enjoy reading your words and your struggles are often similar to mine-I follow many bloggers who can’t leave home after being out in the ‘world’. Be patient with yourself, you are a beautiful person.


  3. I “liked” your post because it helped me reflect on my own experiences of agoraphobia. But I hear your distress and am wishing I had soothing, encouraging words, or better yet, a cure. I wish you all the best.


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