I recently came across the term, “low-grade agoraphobia” in a novel I just read. I’ve never been diagnosed with agoraphobia, and I know self-diagnosing isn’t a smart thing to do, but I’m going to do it anyway. I believe I have something like this, but it probably stems from anxiety, which I have been diagnosed with.
To make a long story short, I had a depressive episode last spring that I call the Rx Allergy Med Episode, which I’ll write about in my next post. Since then, I’ve been afraid to leave the house by myself, even to toss the bag of litter box waste into the dumpster next to our building. It’s literally like, twenty steps away. I also haven’t walked the dog by myself in months. I’m okay to go to the lobby to check the mail, but that’s it.
However, I can go out and be just fine if I’m with somebody, usually my husband. I’ve gone out one time without him since the Rx Allergy Med Episode, and that involved a friend coming to pick me up.
The weird thing is, if my husband drops me off someplace familiar, like the hair salon, I can walk by myself to meet him at whatever coffee shop where he’s waiting for me. I have no explanations for this. I don’t know why I can do this easily; I just can.
The other weird thing is that I went through this exact same “low-grade agoraphobia” around this time last year, according to something I posted that appeared on Facebook’s On This Day feature. I was able to push through the fear back then, and even took the ‘L’ alone, which I hadn’t done in years, to go to a Meetup that I’d never been to. That was HUGE!
As you can imagine, this limitation is completely annoying. So I started reading a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD. I hope it helps. But to be perfectly honest, for the past 2 or 3 weeks, I haven’t wanted to leave the house. At. All.
Photo credit: torne (where's my lens cap?) via VisualHunt / CC BY