my agoraphobia started 2 years ago, bipolar started 13 years ago. The agoraphobia started after about 6 months of intense anxiety.
I can't tell if the agoraphobia and anxiety are a profession of the bipolar disorder or a side effect of medication. I have always had bipolar depressions but they were a state of feeling depressed and unable to leave the bed/house due to excessive malaise. Now, it's a fear of going outside and interacting with the world, mainly people. But during the agoraphobia, senses are overtaxed and sounds and smells and everything is too loud and bright, so I want to stay inside. One of the drivers is a fear of being 'captured' and taken to a mental institution forcibly (as this happened during my first episode and diagnosis.) When I feel off, I don't like to go out in public alone... just so I have an advocate if I make a public disturbance with an anxiety attack / crying episode.
Don't know what to say except to inform you that another bipolar person has experienced agoraphobia, developing after several years of diagnosed bipolar disorder. I suspect benzodiazepines (ativan, clonapin). I was prescribed them to get through work interpersonal stress and stress associated with 'too many sick day's and boss pressures. They made it worse. Withdrawal? My doctor and I agreed to discontinue the benzodiazepines.
I wish I could pay someone to help me on agoraphobia days. I have no friends and I don't want to bother my family anymore because my existence disrupts their lives. I have no spouse or boyfriend to help me. Room mates have never been much help. Live in boyfriends have been helpful but they don't want to marry me and they get resentful. I wish I could just pay somebody to care about me and help me go outside on those days. I haven't proved myself 'disabled enough' to go on ssdi so I can qualify for state paid in home support services. It probably wouldnt help though. They only come for specific sheduled hours per week and so they wouldn't come for an emergency agoraphobia episode.
I don't know any solution. All I know is agoraphobia is real.
I can't force myself to go out. I used to call friends/family to ask if they could walk me out and help me go outside.
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