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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 06-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Any agoraphobic chicks here?

Just wondering if there are any others here with agoraphobia and panic attacks?

I'm semi-housebound and don't have a doctor. That means no meds just me medicating myself with food.

I've recently started using my elipitcal again but still having trouble with eating way too much.

Anyone want to share tips on living with panic attacks and trying to lose weight?
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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I have had panic attacks and problems with agoraphobia. I never became housebound, but I did have a lot of travel phobias- highways, subways, elevators, going to unfamiliar places, etc. My agoraphobia limited my life a lot and I was ashamed to tell people.

I've done a lot of exposure work in the past two years and am doing much better. A few weeks ago, I got on airplane for the first time in 5 years. That is a total miracle. Four years ago, I would have told you I'd never fly again.

I would suggest that you get treatment right away. This is a problem that gets worse with time. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & medication work wonders for people.

As for the weight loss issue, I think you are probably medicating your anxiety with food. If you had proper treatment, the eating issue might disappear.

Good luck and I hope you keep posting. Also, I suggest you check out the web site Panic Survivor. It is an amazing forum of supportive people with anxiety and panic disorders. They are really great.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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Caroline, thank you so much for the reply. I'll check out the site you suggested. I belong to a yahoo group but there's never much going on there.

I'm so glad you found the help to get control of your anxiety attacks. I have tried many things but nothing seems to work for long. As for medication, that's another of my fears. I was drugged by 2 cousins who thought it would be a fun thing to do when I was a teenager and have had a fear of anything but tylenol since then. Every little side effect just brings on more panic. I tried a few anti-anxiety drugs a while ago but ended up with the side effect of depression. I wasn'T depressed before I took them but got really blue and had no desire to do anything while on them. Don't remember what they were now as I only took them for a few months. Refused anything but a simple tranquilizer called tranzene after that.

Thanks again,
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:17 PM   #4
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A lot of people don't understand how debilitating anxiety can be.

My agoraphobia limited me so much. For awhile, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make it to work anymore. Now, I can almost do anything and not feel like I'm going to have a panic attack. But my anxiety is always better in the summer, so I'm not sure how I'll feel when the weather gets cold.

Panic Survivor is great. I should get on there and start sharing my success stories. I seem to only go on there when I'm doing badly.

By the way, my anxiety seems better now that I have lost weight. I don't understand why that is, but I am so much calmer than I used be. Binge eating didn't really calm me down even though I thought it did.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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Hi Caroline,
I just noticed you are from Philly, I live just north of Pittsburgh. My husband's family is originally from Tamaqua.

I was over at panic survivors and joined. I have yet to post a hello. I'm spending my time here today.

I know that eating well and exercising along with practicing my breathing helps me a ton. My biggest problem is that I've had panic attacks for so long that I just don't think I'll ever get control of them. Every time I start to do well something happens and I'm back to being either completely housebound or can only travel short distances.

I really need to find some motivation to get moving on this. My attitude has been to learn to live with it. I feel like I have so much other stuff to do rather to spend so much of my emotional and physical time trying to work on overcoming the panic. Hopefully I can find some tips over at the survivor site.


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Last edited by bliss; 06-17-2010 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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I read somewhere that once we stop fearing panic attacks, then they will go away. Easier said than done. Ha!

I hope you get out of the house every single day. No exceptions. One day you might only get as far as the first step outside the door. But I bet that some days, you can walk a block or two.

I had my 1st panic attack at 14, but I didn't become agoraphobic until 5 years ago. I remember I became afraid of taking the train to work. But I had to take the train or I'd lose my job. So for a few months, I would panic every day on the train. But I took the train every day. And you know what, the panic disappeared. And once I tackled the train, I started taking the subway.

Make a small effort to do something a little scary, every single day. No exceptions. You don't have to do something terrifying, something a little scary, something that will make you sweat, but not have a full blown attack.

I apply this rule to my life now. I have a date tonight and it's scary. But I know I can face my fear. If I hadn't dealt with my agoraphobia, I wouldn't have this date tonight. Or if I did, I wouldn't be able to get there.

Hugs to you. You are a very courageous woman.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #7
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At several points I wasn't able to make myself leave the house without a companion and completely lost my independence when I wasn't able to drive. So I take baby steps with everything and revel in every little triumph I make, whether it's stepping out into my back yard or driving across the city by myself for the very first time. I was pretty bad up to last year and still have bad moments. But it gets better.

I think what I hate the most is feeling so helpless and vulnerable; the thing that first helped me was finding out what was exactly was wrong with me instead of feeling I'd simply lost my mind. I think one of the best steps I ever put myself through was joining a TOPS chapter. Not just for losing weight, but I needed the social aspect of it as well as the whole forcing myself to get out of the house thing. I'm currently not working (not sure I can handle a regular job until I have a better grip of this) and have had a hard time getting out and meeting people ever since I moved out of state.

I think eating better has helped a lot, partially because it gives me a sense of control over something positive I'm doing for myself (which is a mental boost), and partially because it's just healthier in general (which of course is both a physical and mental boost). Exercise helps me as well, although it's something I typically have to talk myself into since i'm not always entirely comfortable with it. I personally think it helps work out all the body chemistry that builds up during the panic attacks.

When I'm having a panic attack, I try to situate myself into a familiar, comfortable area, breathe, and pace as I give myself a mental pep talk. And when I have the time (when I'm not in the midst of an attack) I allow myself plenty of peaceful, quiet moments to relax and de-stress, which I think helps find a balance.

I'm not sure if any of this will help, but I wanted you to know I understand and that none of us are alone. Just as I'm finding the strength to get through this, I know you will too.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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I'm much like motivated chickie.

I've never had an actual panic attack, but my body goes into "fight or flight" at the strangest things, and it gets worse the older I get. It started with driving and I didn't see it for what it was until recently. I can't drive in unfamiliar places or in large cities (Cincinnati, Dayton...oh so big. ) If I drive a different route to work than normal my anxiety kicks in because now I'm somewhere where I'm usually not and if there's an accident it will be my fault because I'm not supposed to be there.

I no longer go to restaurants unless it's between 4:30 and 5:30 and on a weeknight because I can't stand the crowds. I can not drive to a mall at Christmas time, or even Meijer. I can't remember the last time I went to a festival and if I could do, I couldn't be the one to drive.

It's debilitating and it sucks. At the gym, I can go at my regular 5:30 AM time but I can not go later in the day.

This has gotten better with weight loss in some aspects. I no longer feel like I'm just taking up space. I don't feel like people have to walk around my enormous self. I'm not sure the driving will ever get better. It just gets worse. I now have to tell my supervisor I absolutely can not attend a workshop in the city because I can't drive.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:52 AM   #9
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I've had some moments, real bingeing, calling in sick to work panicing, crying.

I force myself to go out, and usually enjoy it

I'm not going to let this neurosis get out of hand and ruin my life.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:32 PM   #10
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Thank you all for adding to this thread!

I was wondering if any of you have found what it was that may have caused you to start having panic attacks? Like being sick while away from home; a scare in the car; a scare in your home, school or work: an emotional problem that just got so bad it started the panic attacks; or maybe you just seemed to always be a nervous person?

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Old 06-18-2010, 06:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bliss View Post
Thank you all for adding to this thread!

I was wondering if any of you have found what it was that may have caused you to start having panic attacks? Like being sick while away from home; a scare in the car; a scare in your home, school or work: an emotional problem that just got so bad it started the panic attacks; or maybe you just seemed to always be a nervous person?

bliss~
I think it's just my personality. My brother is worse, but we seem to be the only two in the family with any social type issues. Everyone else is pretty social.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






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Old 06-18-2010, 06:32 PM   #12
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My 1st panic attack happened with my family in front of the tv. I was 14. My mom, who was a rageaholic dealt with it in the worst way - she yelled at me.

When my agoraphobia happened, I was 36 and a passenger on a dark highway. We had gotten lost and the driver was an angry type person.

My dad had anxiety and a flying phobia. I think I may have gotten it from him and my mom's abusive behavior made it worse.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:13 AM   #13
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I struggle with agoraphobia, social anxiety, depression, ptsd... I've been almost completely housebound for about 5 years now. I started improving a little in the last 1-2 years (with the help of an antidepressant) and now I'm able to keep a doctor's appointment. With a tranquilizer.

I had my first panic attack when I was 15, in a crowded holiday-time shopping mall.

It's not a fun way to live, is it? I won't even answer the door for a delivery person. For the longest time I wouldn't answer the phone.

I recently started seeing a therapist. I can force myself to keep these appointments by telling myself it's something I must do regardless of my fears.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bliss View Post
I was wondering if any of you have found what it was that may have caused you to start having panic attacks?
I have no agoraphobia, but I have other, diverse, sometimes random, panic attacks, and I figured out one reason behind a lot of them: I wanted to be taken seriously. If I was not comfortable in a situation, my parents (and later friends/partners) would just tell me to shut up and get over it. If I started crying as a child because I was afraid of something, my mum just shouted at me to stop crying.

And then somehow my subconscious must have figured out: let's try a full-blown panic attack. Hyperventilation, unstoppable crying, I was a total mess. And then, suddenly, everyone looked after me and took my fear (I think it was a rollercoaster I hadn't want to go onto, but was pressured into) seriously. And of course that stuck - whenever I now felt insecure in a situation, my heart started to beat really fast, I started to hyperventilate - panic attacks.
Once I realized this, and I talked to my husband about it and told him: "just take me seriously when I say I don't want to do something. Don't try to talk me into it.", the panic attacks have lessened more and more. I am teaching myself to respect my fears and worries - but face them! I am planning to put myself in situations I have avoided in the past, but only when I feel comfortable with it and only little bits at a time.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katya View Post

It's not a fun way to live, is it? I won't even answer the door for a delivery person. For the longest time I wouldn't answer the phone.
I fear this because as we've said, it gets worse as we age. I already refuse to order pizza. DH has to do it and I don't want to use the word "panic" but I have severe anxiety while waiting for the delivery man because even though DH will take care of it, I fear he'll be in the bathroom or otherwise occupied and I'll have to deal with it. I can't/won't call about anything really and always make DH do it. I even have anxiety about calling my best friends. I hate the phone.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
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