I am reflecting today about how agoraphobia can affect lives, in particular that of my good friend Lena and the things she has missed out on due to having this condition.
You won't be surprised that being afraid to leave your house limits your lifestyle. Lena missed our senior prom in high school because she was worried she would make a fool of herself because she had just a panic attack at school.
She stayed away from prom and she basically pulled away from life after that. Yes, she applied for jobs by submitting her resume on line but she never went to interviews. By the fall after graduation she had experienced so many panic attacks she didn't want to go anywhere.
The more she stayed in the worse things got. She became more fearful, more nervous and more alone.
Lena eventually went to a therapist and got on a treatment program, but she dropped out of treatment.
Years later she rarely ventures out of her safe place - her home. We talk on the phone or I sometimes come over but she really doesn't have much to talk about but whatever is on the news on TV.
Truthfully I feel afraid seeing her - I don't like to visit with her because it scares me how little of her life is actually left. She is still so young but her life is going nowhere - not much past her front door step.
Agoraphobia keeps her hiding inside.