Serena is probably the most positive person I know, and she know’s what she’s talking about so keep reading and take her advice!
Here is Serena’s journey about Agoraphobia.
What is the name/s of your condition?
Definition: Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
How long have you had it for?
How have you dealt with it?
By making sure that I get out everyday, self-care, writing songs and spoken word. Also making sure I surround myself with a positive support system of family and friends. Having agoraphobia is difficult because you have to confront your fears. Since I discovered early on and mine is not a severe case I purposefully put myself in situations but not dangerously where agoraphobia might play up. Not beating myself up about it but embracing and learning how to deal with it. Reminding myself of the root of the problem, forgiving myself and lastly talking openly about my agoraphobia.
Is there treatment for this condition?
Yes you can get (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication.
Did you ever find it hard to speak about and why?
Yes I did but mainly because I didn’t understand what was going on with me. The symptoms can mimic depression and there are different causes of where agoraphobia stems from, so it’s not easy to distinguish. I am usually a positive and optimistic person so feeling down for a long period of time was completely unorthodox for me. My close friends noticed this and wanted to help in any way they could, for that I am so grateful.
Do you know anyone who has the same condition/s as you, and if not has that been hard to know that know one you know has it?
Yes I do, my Mother has agoraphobia as well so we both encourage each other. She has had it for years so she has lots of advice for me if I ever feel stuck.
Has your condition lead to other illnesses?
Not particularly, I do have insomnia but it only flares up when I feel very stressed but I have had that for years.
What would your advice be to anyone who is dealing with an invisible Illness?
The first piece of advice I would give would be is not to beat yourself up about it. The worse thing you can do is be in denial about it and make excuses. I know that it’s hard but speaking up about it is really important and remember you are brave and courageous for doing so, you just wait until you are ready to talk about it. You’ll be surprised with the amount of other people that open up because you have done so. Also remember that speaking out about it means that loses it’s power.
What would your advice be to people who are trying to help someone with an invisible illness?
Make sure that you are being caring and considerate especially if you are not going through what they are going through. If you are close to them researching about different ways you can help them and ways you can be supportive, it shows that you care and they will appreciate it.
F A C T S
Very few studies or statistics pertain to agoraphobia. The statistics that relate to agoraphobia are shown below.
· Approximately 1.8 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 0.8 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder
· The median age of onset of agoraphobia is 20 years of age
CLICK HERE for Agoraphobia Causes, Statistics, Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects.
CLICK HERE for information on Agoraphobia Among Adults.
Big thank you to Serena for being brave and sharing her story, and I hope this post has inspired you in some way!
Not knowing what is going on with you can be very daunting. There’s so many invisible illness’s out there that are unheard of and this is why it’s important to share and talk about them, as Serena mentioned also.
Another important point that she raised was the fact that sharing your story can influence someone else to share theirs and open up about it.
Everyone has a story to tell…What’s yours?
Check out ‘Agoraphobia’, which is Serena’s E.P!! A few of the tracks on there outline the powerful feelings behind agoraphobia through a mixture of spoken word and singing, I absolutely love it! Give it a listen on:
Check out her facebook page for upcoming gigs!
Thank you for reading ,