I was asked

I was asked once if I had such bad anxiety how come I could still do things. I, personally, think this is an important question and one which makes mental health so difficult to understand.

I suffer from agrophobia, when most people think that, they assume it means a fear of open spaces, but the medical community opened up the definition (didn’t really tell anyone though) to mean fear of crowds, public places and open spaces.

Its one of the reasons I can walk my dog in the park, there are normally no crowds, I can crack on. I avoid crowds like they are carrying the plague. November, December and the start of January I don’t go into any towns.

They followed on, with but you went to birdworld the other day. For those that don’t know birdworld, its basically what it says on the tin, its a park filled with all different kind of birds. It has play areas and a farm.

Yes I can, but it took alot of advance warning, days of stress before and then days of stress after.

Like people who suffer chronic pain, people with mental health problems have good days and bad days. We also have different coping mechanisms to deal with it. One of mine is my phone, I can distract away from the crowds by using my phone, playing a game.

For me, I can’t do anything that hasn’t been planned. Unless I am manic then all bets are off and we just go along for the ride.

It takes me being informed of the event, to being panicked about it, to then agreeing, which involves more panicking, then stressing about it till the day. Spending time convincing myself on the day that I can’t let people down, I agreed to this, I can do this. To getting there, using distraction techniques throughout, including spending time alone to get a breather. To getting back home, making a blanket fort and spending the next few days calming down.

Its also not as easy as you have done it once you can do it again. I am sure I can but I would need to go through the same process again and again.

So when someone says I have anxiety, there is no point thinking, well if they can go out, they can get a job. I can’t see anyone wanting to hire me, if I need 2 days for everyone 1 I work. I also can’t see anyone wanting me to work when I may call in because I am having a bad day and can’t leave my house.

Hope that answers that question

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6 Responses to I was asked

  1. koolaidmoms says:

    Such a great answet. My daughter has high anxiety especially in crowds or unfamiliar places. If she knows what to expect or how things will. Go she is much better. But, if the people in the crowd act in a way that is unpredictable or unexpected her anxiety goes through the roof.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. Those of us who haven’t walked in your shoes can never fully understand, but this description helps. My brother, who is no longer with us, also suffered with agoraphobia. He was okay going to a movie theater or a hockey game, where he could be anonymous in a crowd, but he struggled with going to school or getting a job, where he would be required to interact with people. Still, he made this world a better place in countless ways, including rescuing several pets from the animal shelter and tenderly caring for my mother. He is greatly missed.

    Liked by 1 person

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