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 01-11-2009, 01:09 PM   #16  
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I was taught in graduate school (developmental psych) that it's actually very common, perhaps even more common for agoraphobics to be afraid of anxiety or panic attacks in public rather than being afraid of being in public itself, so I would say this really is agoraphobia (at least a recognized sub-type).

In a sense, anxiety disorders share a lot in common. My advice would be to talk to your doctor about it, and even possibly see a psychiatrist or counselor working with a psychiatrist. I'm NOT saying you're crazy, but anxiety disorders, especially if they're not too extreme, respond very well to anxiety medication, and counselors can't prescribe meds, but family doctors and psychiatrists can. A lot of the anxiety medications are very mild, they're not major sedatives that knock you out or make you "drugged up."

For mild anxiety disorders, the meds alone often work very well. It might also be a mild form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and there's a lot of evidence that anxiety disorders and OCD are not so much psychological disorders that require instense counseling - they're brain chemistry disorders in that you've got yourself in an anxiety loop and your body and brain is responding in a way that reinforces that cycle. Breaking the loop sometimes isn't terribly difficult (counseling alone might do it, but very often an anti-anxiety med is prescribed, either alone or with counseling because it can break the cycle more quickly).

My sister was having anxiety attacks after a traumatic event, and her counseling sessions only lasted about 6 weeks and she was given an anti-anxiety med that she had to take regularly for a while, but was able to discontinue after only a short course. Some people do need the meds longer term, sometimes indefinitely.

If you're opposed to meds, counseling and cognitive/behavioral therapies do often work without meds, they just take longer.

Last edited by kaplods; 01-11-2009 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #17  
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Meds have varying levels of support as to their efficacy...although a placebo effect is going to be just as great sometimes.

I relate to the fear of going places. I feel so dreadfully ugly sometimes that I won't go to places that may contain lots of young people, like shopping centres/younger clothes shops, because I know I don't fit in and I get really upset.

Pathetically..I'm 20.

Back in the day, I even went clubbing sometimes.

Oh Lord, I sound 2.5 x my age..THAT is depressing.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #18  
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Thanks so much everyone for listening and giving your help to me.

Lucia had some good questions, my main problem with being out in public is a combination of things. I do fear negative evaluation by others. I feel like people stare at me and think terrible things. And I also fear seeing people from my past that I know I will probably have a complete nervous breakdown if I see. Someone who was a very bad part of my life only a few years ago. And the other person, also a bad part of my past a few years ago, is someone who was so verbally abusive to me that I began truly believing the things that were being said to me. So basically, the first person I mentioned is who I am afraid of seeing and the second person is the reason I feel so intimidated by people I don't know REALLY well, almost like I don't trust them enough to see any good in me, just like that person didn't either. I have tried Doctors and shrinks and anxiety medicines and anti-depressants. And I do get physical symptoms in my body, i.e. my stomach starts to get queasy and I get very hot and can't think clearly. I used to not even sleep because I would re-live all of it for hours at a time. I don't do that anymore.

And as far as the function my friends serve, mainly my fiance, is that he always helps me feel confident. And he also keeps me distracted from my thoughts. I am getting better, and I have really only been recovering from these traumas for a year. So I know it will get better eventually, it's just that I lost myself a little and need to find her again.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:07 PM   #19  
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I'm so happy to hear you're feeling better IansGirl! Because I've been there I know the hard work it takes, but I really believe you can get over this! I've never been able to take antidepressants as they make me 10 times worse, but just talking and relaxing helps a lot. My old psychologist told me about a patient she saw who had a fear of drinking coffee in public because his hands would start shaking whilst holding the cup because he was nervous about other people noticing that he was nervous. After lots of therapy the guy said it's ok, I'll have my coffee, I'll just get a really good froth
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:12 AM   #20  
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anxiety like this runs in families and has a genetic component. my mother did not leave her home the last 12 years of her life. i had panic attacks, but i overcame them by simply ignoring them and going on with what i wanted to do. that may sound silly, but that was what worked for me.
you have also been through some trauma. one treatment that many people find effective is EMDR. It works for about 70% of people. it can also be a short term treatment.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:16 PM   #21  
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Originally Posted by Thighs Be Gone View Post

My sister-in-law is this way. We make a plan, and then last minute, she can't do it. I think for her it's a fear of social situations more so than a fear of leaving her home. It makes it very difficult to plan anything with her. I have children and we now don't tell them we plan to see her because we don't know if she will change her plan last minute. She does manage to go to work but has chooses night shift so she is very limited in who she is dealing with. I don't know the answers but please know, you aren't alone.
this is pretty much exactly my problem. i have the best of intentions, but whenever the time comes to actually get dressed and leave the house, some insurmountable anxiety causes me to call and cancel and stay on the couch.
part of it is concern with crowds, being trapped, or feeling uncomfortable in social situations, but that's not it entirely. and for me, it has nothing to do with going out alone or not. i actually like it better alone. at any rate, i've been this way for at least five years and it's really beginning to be a problem.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:48 AM   #22  
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I had agoraphobia(sometimes it seems I still do), scared of everything, crowds, public places, escalaters, didn't want anyone to see me fat, it was awful.

I was flipping through a magazine and saw an ad for 'Hope and Help for Nerves' by Dr Claire Weeks and there was one sentence that has stayed with me since..(it is a old book but it puts things into perspective)

'Your THOUGHTS and your FEELINGS are SEPERATE from EACH OTHER' seems like feelings and thoughts are one when we are scared but don't know what we're afraid of... but if you practice you will find that empty space in a split second between thought and feeling.

I have a panicky thought and freak.

I have a panicky thought, stop the thought and wait for the feeling to hit me..the feeling isn't was a thought.

I can now have a crazy thought and stop the feeling of panic.

If you can remember that thought and feeling are seperate from each other and can train yourself to stop feeling panic when a bad thought happens then you've got it conquered.

Good Luck


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Old 02-04-2009, 11:37 AM   #23  
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My daughter was diagnosed with agoraphobia by a therapist over the summer. A lot of people think its only the fear of crowded places, but my daughter's therapist says it takes on many shapes and forms. In my daughter's case, she has the fear of being away from her 'safe' people, such as my husband and I. about a year and a half ago, my husband lost his job, I went back to work AND her biological father died all in a span of about 3 months. So, hers is more of an insecurity, we believe.

She joined the varsity girls hockey team and this has been HUGE for her. It has benefited her in helping her to stretch out her comfort zones by getting to know new girls, learning a new skill (this his her first year playing hockey), EXERCISE, going by herself to an away game and having me meet her there half way through the game. In the beginning, just taking the bus to practice instead of home (the bus goes in a totally different direction right out of the parking lot to get to the rink) was tough for her, but she's gotten to know the kids on the bus and has made it part of her routine...which has stretched her comfort zone all in its own.

And the best part is that she's lost ten pounds from the exercise...which will boost anyones confidence! I think the key to overcoming this phobia is to, little by little, retrain yourself to not 'turtle up' to the fear and, as I call it, restretch out your comfort zone. When you are in the midst of agoraphobia, your comfort zone is tightly compressed around you, when you are not agoraphobic, the sky is the limit! The trick it so stretch that out so that little by little, you are comfortable with more and more of a boundary. You may never feel like the sky is the limit, but your limits may eventually expand past your own driveway and then expand past your street and then outside your neighborhood, etc. It can't happen overnight, but with a positive attitude, and positive people around you for support, you can do it!

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Old 08-29-2010, 07:15 AM   #24  
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I have suffered from agoraphobia for 9 years, after having my first panic attack in a restaurant in 2001.
With this problem, your world gets smaller and smaller as you keep limmiting the things you feel able to do.
I have had psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy, all to no avail so far.
The only times I ever leave the house are to walk the dogs with my partner very early in the morning when no people are about, and as a passenger in the car once a week to go and get the Sunday papers. I wait in the car while my partner goes into the shop.
I also suffer from severe social anxiety. Not only do I avoid public places, I also panic if anyone comes to the door, and never answer it.
I believe these issues are seated in low self esteem. Being very overweight has made me feel so much more self concious about myself, it has made my agoraphobia and social anxiety worse.
Now I am about to start a major 8 month long weight loss programme, I hope these problems will improve as I feel better about myself.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:23 PM   #25  
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Been there, during periods in my life when I didn't "have to" go somewhere, like a job, the more I would stay in, the bigger deal it would be to go out, and am still that way if I stay in for too many days in a row. A professional to talk to is the best way to go if you CAN'T get out, if you still can, try not getting ready, just go outside the way you are (clothed of course) rather than feeling like you have to do all the getting ready stuff (which would be when my anxiety about leaving would start to kick in). Part of my cure was "getting over myself", but that was me. Best of luck!
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