Afraid To Leave Your Bedroom
Imagine being trapped in your mind, not being able to function in the physical world because your confidence is handcuffed in your unconscious world. You open your eyes early morning and a flood of thoughts come rushing in: “you cannot go to the mall today”, “you will have a panic attack if you go to lecture”, “you cannot leave your home or else you will end up in the emergency room.”
This is the mental illness known as agoraphobia or the fear of being in public places. The patient’s rational is that a public place will cause humiliation or will be difficult to escape if a panic attack occurs. Usually, a person has experienced panic attacks prior to the development of agoraphobia, but the latest classification now lists agoraphobia as an independent disorder.
Some patients with agoraphobia cannot even leave their own home; stepping out of the front door brings upon a great fear. Can you imagine their quality of life? Try to put yourself in their shoes and experience the pain, suffering and depression that they go through on a daily basis!
How about patients who also have a comorbidity such as panic disorder? They muster up the courage to leave their house and attend a feared setting, only to be bombarded with a racing heart, a sense of doom and a feeling of detachment from their body! Their 911 alarm has rung again and they must now return to their prison cell known as “home.”
The important lesson learned here is that those of us who do not experience a mental illness, must remain thankful for being able to live our lives without worry and concern. And we must always be willing to offer help to someone who is suffering from a mental illness; they need all the support that they can get to defeat their struggles and enjoy life again as we do!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)