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Conquering Agoraphobia

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  • Conquering Agoraphobia

    Hello again folks,

    I want to tell you something I don't tell many people but, if I don't get this sorted out, it's going to REALLY hinder my progress (unless it really is possible to do this by diet alone, which I'm sure it isn't!). Over the past 2 or 3 years I've become SEVERELY agoraphobic - I have to really NEED to leave the house to actually leave the house.

    The reasons for this are myriad, but I was sexually assaulted a couple of years ago - not round here, but in Manchester, but the location is really irrelevant. The problem was the police didn't believe me (and the reason for that was I was assaulted when I was in a teenage psychatric unit (or, to be more accurate, prison) and, of course, although I complained, no one believed me because I was the one who was f*cked in the head, therefore I was attention-seeking and making it all up! All it got me was 'fantasist' entered in my notes.)

    Now, when I reported the Manchester assault to the police, this must have come to light (because I'd recently been in another psychiatric prison up there) and I was actually arrested myself for wasting police time! So, now I have absolutely no trust in the police, and I am scarred for life.

    At the moment, for reasons too long and tedious to go into, I do not have access to any kind of primary medical care at the moment (something I have given up fighting for because of the attitude of the PCT towards me PCT = Primary Care Trust (gotta love the irony there - wouldn't trust 'em as far as I could spit on 'em! ) these 'trusts' are responsible for primary medical care here in the UK).

    So I hope this goes some way to explaining my frustrations here. It's not you lot I'm frustrated with, it's not PB, it's not even really myself, it's the f*ckers who have turned me into what I am now - more or less a total recluse. They robbed me of my freedom, and there's seemingly nothing I can do about it, unless I suddenly win the lottery (I'm on welfare).

    When I was younger, I was a VERY outdoorsy person. I did my DoE - Bronze, Silver and Gold (DoE = Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme; set up by Foot-In-Mouth Phil some years ago (don't know how many, could be as many as 50) to encourage a sense of community, sports(wo)manship and outdoors(wo)manship in young people). I hiked in the Lakes, the Peak District, the North York Moors, went orienteering on Dartmoor and Exmoor, climbed Scafell Pike and Snowdon, nearly died of hypothermia in the Cairngorms when our tent blew away! I think about those days now and I break down and cry, because I feel that Sarah's been lost forever.

    This is why I get so frustrated with my diet, because I feel that's the only way of controlling my body fat and getting to be the person I know I ought to be; problem is, most of the fat I want to shift is in the usual places on a woman (midriff, bum thighs and calves (or, as I prefer to call 'em, 'cows' (they're too huge to be calves; maybe one day they'll be heifers, but I don't EVER expect 'em to be calves!) PCOS doesn't exactly help matters, either! I'm petite framed - and now I want to look it!

    I have an added incentive now - my sister's fella of about 8 years finally got round to doing the decent thing and proposing to her when they were in Turkey (they've moved house together twice and have 2 cats, so it's about ruddy time! ). He even came round here the evening before they left to ask Dad for his daughter's hand (I didn't think blokes did that sorta thing anymore!) so now I want to beat this because I don't want to be a fat, flabby, bridesmaid (not when the 'competition' is my sister's mate Jasmine, who's a nearly 6' foot Latina (not strictly true, she's half Singaporean, but she looks Hispanic) with legs that go on forever. I hate her (not really, but it does make it all the more frustrating when you're short and dumpy!).

    Can't join a gym (too expensive once you've factored in travel and my disability doesn't qualify me to get it free) swimming's out (because I'm allergic to chlorine (ironic when I tell you I was the junior county 200m breaststroke record holder from 10-15) and they've yet to invent a pair of goggles that fit my head properly. I never used to be; back when I was an Otter, I never needed goggles. Even if I wasn't, I could only swim between 6 and 7 in the morning and 9:30 and 11 at night because the pool's used for schools, Otters, canoe training, you name it and, at the weekends it's lessons, parties and family swims (and you can't do lengths properly when you keep having to avoid little Johnny practising for his 5m badge!))

    So that's it, now you all know. Now I need help getting over this so I can go out and start being Primal!

    I found my weight vest today (not very heavy (22lbs) and non-adjustable (even though the seller I bought it from on eBay several years ago sold it as though it was, there's no way you can remove the weights) and I have my Gold's Gym iron filing sacks (when I can find the rest of them. They're the 'innards' for 2 sets of adjustable leg/wrist/ankle/arm weights I bought, but I can't get them on tight enough (they're obviously made for men, not ladies) so I've just been using the weights as hand weights.

    Any suggestions would be good - because it would make me feel SO much better, I'm sure if I could start seeing visible progress (that's the other problem with me - I need to see visible results quickly or I become demoralised and demotivated.)

    Hope people can understand where I'm coming from now.

    Sarah xxx
    La tristesse durera toujours...

  • #2
    The book _Depression Free Naturally_ changed my life. Basically it's an orthomolecular approach (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and efas) to treating mental health stuff - depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety (and ocd/phobias etc)

    You may want to look into Rapid Eye Movement Desensitization therapy for treating's rapidly becoming the gold standard in treating PTSD and I've seen some amazing things with it.

    Inositol is wonderful. And cheap. Though note that therapeutic doses aren't in mg but grams.....12g per day in divided doses isn't unreasonable.;col1

    At one point, years ago, I was taking 16g fish oil in divided doses (always more DHA than EPA).

    Some of us need more zinc and b6 than is typical.

    And of course there is the ever important D. You'll need approx 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day. there is a mail order blood test that's $65 USD and they will ship overseas no extra just have to pay for shipping back.
    Last edited by cillakat; 06-11-2012, 07:15 PM.

    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


    • #3
      I second finding a therapist who does EMDR. One of my best friends is a therapist who uses it and it's very good.

      Also, I think neurofeedback could be tremendously helpful for you in clearing both trauma and helping your mind to function better in general. I've personally seen it help people with depression/anxiety (it forms new neural networks so their brains don't constantly fall back into the dominant depression marker pathways), social anxiety, PTSD, learning disorders, etc. It's a wonderful technology. It repatterns the neural networks.

      Here is a list of UK locations- I know you're probably not near any, but it would be worth it to find a way to take a week and go get some done!

      One last thing- this is possibly going to seem "out there" for many, but honestly, the best treatment I have ever seen for emotional trauma is Medical Qigong, which is an ancient branch of Chinese Medicine. It helped my sis to overcome major trauma/bipolar disorder/anxiety attacks. She is a much more functional and happy person now. I have also seen it help so many who were victims of different trauma. My qigong teacher specializes in emotional trauma treatment.
      Here is a place in the UK where they do this kind of work:

      Here is my teacher's site if you'd like to read more about it. You can even email him with questions and he would be happy to answer them:-)


      • #4
        I have one weird, wacky suggestion for you: Emotional Freedom Techniques. For some utterly unknown reason, this weird tapping thing actually seems to work (at least in my experience and experience of friends). Also, it's easy, non-invasive, non-threatening. There are squillions of sites about this online: the place for a DIY approach would be , and one practitioner I know is good (from personal experience) is Claire Hayes at .

        Apart from that... it may not be the perfect Grokette thing to do, but you can do a lot of resistance training within your four walls. Amazing what you can do with resistance bands, yourself and the floor. Just to say - yes, one day you will sort out the agoraphobia, but you don't have to conquer it before you can see progress.


        • #5
          Oh yeah- I forgot about E.F.T.! We do a similar tapping method in qigong and I've cleared all kinds of issues with it.
          PS- It's helpful to read the stories on the eft universe site, as there are nuances to using it and getting the most from it.


          • #6
            Yes to the workouts at home! I'm pretty sun avoidant in general (though I get a little midday, summer, targeted, full body exposure).

            I love workouts. Love them! Almost all bodyweight with no equipment needed.

            iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


            • #7
              Thank you for your responses (and I meant to reply to this earlier) but no go doing anything like that at home (just had a blazing row with my folks about it, it's not worth the hassle; the row, predictably, ended with my mother yelling "Will you get this stupid weight business out of your head?! You are NOT fat (CW at it again!) At this point she has me stand on the scales, and then ends triumphantly with "See?!") They Just SO Don't Get It!

              I bought a rebounder a couple of years back. I got to use it once (for about 5 seconds) before I had her yelling up the stairs "Sarah!! What on Earth are you doing up there...?! Stop it! You're making the whole house vibrate!"

              They don't get me - or my AS. With me it's was a case of "Oops! We made a right eff up of this one - let's see if we can do better with number 2!" And along came Little Miss F*cking Perfect!

              Sorry I don't know where that came from. She's still my kid sis, and I still love her, but I don't understand why she still gets everything paid for (despite having a decent (45K/year job)) and I don't "because you're so obnoxious, Sarah". No, I'm autistic. There's a difference.

              I have to get out, but there's so many reasons why I can't. Guess I just wasn't meant to be. I'm not bitter, just hurt.

              Sarah xxx
              La tristesse durera toujours...


              • #8
                SO you can do a lot in the house, but surely you can do some lunges, squats, push-ups, planks and such in your room with out bugging anyone. Add little things, like going up and down the stairs extra times. You don't need a specific program, you just need to move your body more. Strengthening is more important than aerobics anyway.

                My MDA journal

                Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NutMeg View Post
                  but surely you can do some lunges, squats, push-ups, planks and such in your room with out bugging anyone.
                  +1 on this. I do all of the primal blueprint fitness stuff in a small space, w/out making almost any noise, and w/out any equiptment (except a pull up bar, but you could just skip pull ups for now if you don't have one.) I really really like that I can do it, pretty quickly too, without needing to go anywhere.
                  My Before/After Pics
                  Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                  "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                  • #10
                    Although I've only just started posting on the forum and have recently started living primally this thread really hit a chord with me.

                    I've suffered from varying degrees of depression since my teenage years and it's a relief to hear from people that I'm not alone in this.

                    Whilst I am still struggling to gain control of the sugar cravings and the old habits of reacting to stress by drinking the horrible fizzy drinks and junk food and such things, I'm finding it really inspiring to see that it is possible to manage things more naturally and live a healthier life.

                    Cillakat, I'm sure you've mentioned it somewhere on the forum, whereabouts do I get the blood test kit from again?


                    • #11
                      ClockworkLime, I'm pretty sure she's got all the info in her google docs that are linked in her sig line. She's also got specific pages on anxiety and depression w/ lots of helpful info. I agree/believe that diet/nutrition/supplements make all the difference in the world in this... Good luck!!!
                      My Before/After Pics
                      Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                      "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco