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Agoraphobic debating finally taking meds
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Agoraphobic debating finally taking meds

I've had general anxiety every since I can remember.  I'm male, 39 (ouch, did I just say that?), athletic and in otherwise good health, despite the fact that I'm a hypochondriac.  Anyway in Oct 2009 my life drastically changed.  My phobias kicked into super overdrive.  I became an agoraphobic.  A year late I had my first son, who I love more than anything on this planet.  He doesn't mean a lot to me.  He means EVERYTHING to me.  Anyway since Oct 2009 when I went from general anxiety to full blown agoraphobia I have had good days and bad days.  Almost 3 years later I'm not where I need to be and have basically made no progress--well I have progressed in some areas, but I have regressed in others.  The illness seems to evolve and different things make me nervous at different times.  I have been going to therapy on and off and know of the cogn. behavior tools.  But when I'm challenged and get really nervous I feel physically ill and as if I'm going to die.  I completely shut down.  

I think I'm FINALLY ready to bite the bullet and take the meds my psychiatrist prescribed me--zoloft and klonopin.  Can I get your thoughts on this?  Obviously Zoloft is a daily thing and Klonopin should be used during higher than usual stress times.  My whole life depends on these working.  Can Zoloft help a lot for people like me?  

Also while I love my son it has only made me worry MORE.  I fear something happening to him.  I fear me not being a normal dad or even dying young on him, etc.  I hate it, and it's causing me to miss out on this once in a lifetime period...his cute toddler stage.  It makes me sick.  I want so bad to enjoy this time more.  Also I get VERY depressed when I think of how this special time will soon pass.  The thought of that is the most depressing thing I've ever felt.  I hate how life is so short.  :( (  

So I could really use some help/insight if you have some.

Thank you so much,
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Hey bud, I to have G.A.D. am considered mildly bi-polar with horrid agoraphobic tendencies and suffer from a dark depression at times. I just went through 9 months of hell. I'm almost 30 and don't have a child, however, I do have a puppy that I treat like a kid. And I hear you about getting more and more depressed, as I to feel that time flys and it ***** to be so down when you need to be enjoying these short periods of life. I just transferred mental health providers again. Third time this year, and It's been rough trying all the different meds they prescribe.  I'm also on state insurance and that makes it tougher as they don't provide specialty care. So, to get to your question about trying zoloft and trusting that your Dr knows what he's talking about. So far three wks later. the meds have been helping. i can't sit still though and don't sleep well. Went from months of being housebound to know trying to figure out ways to stay out of the house. Im also on 200 mgs of lamictal-mood stabilizer and 2 mgs of klonapin a day. Pretty good combo so far. i still get moody at times but I definately don't blow up anymore and I don't feel scared to leave the house anymore. Clonazapam is a miracle drug for some like me. the hell with buspar- or hydrozazine. those didnt help.
Hi James

Hope you pick up buddy. I understand from my own experience just how it is. Especially being a man as we are expected ...or at least I can often think ... we need to be sort of tough and not have panic, social paranoia and fears.

Medication has helped me and I try to use it short term. I have remained med free for quite a long time but would never hesitate to use it .

What helps me is prayer although I am not overly religious. I find what I cannot say to a doctor through fear of being misunderstood, I can say to God .    Like I say, I am, not verly religious but I do know the best times I have had in life when I was free from agoraphobia was when I was telling God on a daily basis in prayer just how I felt about life.

Good luck Vince
Dear Vince,

Nice nickname (hawkdove)!!   Thank you so much for your words.  It means A LOT to me.  As you probably have found yourself, a (good) support system is very helpful with this phobia.

You are so right about the difficulties men have to face with this ailment.  The fact is there are social norms expected of us, making it harder for some of us to reach out and get help.  

Like you, I am finally open to meds.  I used to swear them off.  I wouldn't even take aspirin if I had a headache lol.  But it finally dawned on me when I hit rock bottom...why torture yourself? Life is flying by at the speed of light.  I didn't want to look back when I'm on my death bed thinking that I should have done more, i.e. taken meds.  So I take them, but I too try to limit them to short term use and have found that I can get by some days just fine without them.

I also have felt much closer to God through all of this and I have to agree once again that prayer is extremely beneficial.  

It seems we have a great deal in common.  You can keep in touch with me anytime.  If you're having a tough day and need someone to talk to, someone that "gets it," just know that you have a friend in me.  

Continued good luck to you as well sir and thank you so much once again!


Dear James

Thank you so much for your brilliant hand of friendship. Your post really has picked me up , especially when you mentioned, James, how you use meds short-term.

I also find short-term use of medication is better suited to me. But just writing with people who themselves understand form their own experience panic and reluctance to travel is a Godsend.

Panic and Agoraphobia altered the course of my life . It caused me to avoid all of lifes' situations where people congregated. It really has blighted my life but, even so, I beleieve lots of good can come from this experience. Just knowing others' are here who really understand is a blessing.

James so pleased I am able to write with you. At the moment I am doing good meds panic ...and the self-consciousness is at a minimum.

Have a good day James. Thank you so much for your words.

Best wishes from Manchester UK , Vince :)  
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