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Traveling with anxiety and agorophobia
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Traveling with anxiety and agorophobia

My nieces college graduation is Friday.  It is a 3 1/2 hour drive away.  I've been doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help and it is getting a bit better.  I can get to a city about an hour away and be a mess, but there. Between my Psychiatrist and Psychologist (CBT), they have taken me off of one of my medications and kept me on Lamictal and Prozac- they are for depression as much as anything.  

My Niece is my best friend and it's killing me not to go-  She knows that it is VERY hard for me to leave town.  

Does anyone have any suggestions for helping me go?  This is the first real thing that I've wanted to go to out of town.  It will break my heart if I can't.
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Avatar_n_tn
Firstly, is somebodyelse driving? I ask this as I went on a 6 hour road trip last week with my husband and I suffer from Panic Atracks, Anxiety and I guess  Agoraphobia also.

I got on the freeway and thought we were gonna have to turn back, I felt awful. I tried to think of positive things and relax. It was hard but we got there.

Coming home was a little tougher as I was really tired and having crazy thoughts sat in the car. I took half of my xanax went to sleep and felt better when I woke up.

I could not ruin the trip for my husband and when you  are thinking about somebodyelse not just yourself you can get through it. Most of this illness is all about us, we don't stop thinking about ourselves, our problems, how we feel. So, think about your niece and if you feel up to it go It will be tough to get on the road but if you have pills take one and make sure you have somebody supportive to go with you, this helps alot. Myhusband is very understanding.
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756668_tn?1287228987
Hi there, my daughter in law is Graduating from college and I am flying to Texas..she graduates the 15th...I have xanax...that eases the whole deal of flying for me...actually it doesn't even bother you.  The flight I mean. You may just want to talk to your doctor about it.  I understand you are driving....but I am sure your doctor will prescribe something.  It is true what Salford66 said...we do for others and find the courage.  

good luck!
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349780_tn?1309637558
You know when you really want to do something it is much easier than you imagine. I was housebound for over a decade. Met someone online. Wanted to go to her. I am in Ireland. She was in Scotland. But because it meant that much to me I began training myself how to handle situations again. Bit by bit. Then made the trip alone. Trains, ferries, and more trains. Hadn't been near a train in years. Was afraid of them big time. If you really want something you will fight that much harder for to get it. What you are doing is just thinking too far ahead of time. Try not to get too far ahead of yourself. It will make it a whole lot easier. Should worst come to worst, your niece is aware of your situation. You have a good understanding with her. That is great. She will know how hard this is for you. But you might surprise yourself. Might not be as hard as you imagine come the end of the day. Not for someone you love so much.
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152660_tn?1291759171
For me, it's worse if someone else does the driving, so I have to stay awake and drive.  It's just really hard thinking about it.  I can't decide what would be worse- going or not going and regretting it forever. I can't let this run my life but I'm petrified to go- but totally excited. It's really wierd.  I'm the one that drove her down for her 1st interview 4 years ago.  When she got in and moved 2 years ago, I couldn't go with her to help move.  It scared me too much.

I also have a work "retreat" the 20th and I really don't want to go to it. That one is as much I find it stupid as being scared.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, you should give yourself some credit,you are doing much better than I am. The way I feel I could not drive 3 1/2 hours alone. You shoud get ready to go and then make  a deal with yourself. Try to figure out when you normally 'lose it' and if you do, pull off the road...maybe try to go a day earlier so that you can take your time and if you need to do it in 2 installments no problem.  I agree, xanax has helped me through many situations, I just take a low dosage when I need it or before I may need it.

Can I ask 'you are able to go to work? Your illness only effects you when?
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152660_tn?1291759171
I guess I'm lucky in a way.  It only really bothers me if I am trying to go out of town.  Other than a couple of trial runs in the last 2 weeks, I haven't been out of town in 2 years or so.  
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771731_tn?1239896971
Kinda random story....I took the train into the city last week, I have problems on any form of transportation that I'm not driving.  I was fairly good, felt a little panicky, but tried to focus on the game I was going to see, which I was really excited about.  The guy who was seated in front of us was beligerently drunk and had to be escorted off by the police.....I even managed not to panic through that.  I was very proud of myself.

THEN....2 days later the subway train that we had been on crashed and 50 people were injured (thankfully everyone made it out alive).....so now, I'm freaked to go back on the train.  I remember sitting on it, thinking about it crashing, and then calming myself down by telling myself how low the odds of that happening were.  Well apparently the odds weren't that low and I know next time I go on the train I'm going to be completely freaked out.....great.

I'm also flying to London and Dublin this summer, I will definitely be taking drugs for that.  I take lorazapem (sp?) right now when I have panic attacks, which calms me....but I'm thinking of asking my doc for something stronger, I'd like to be completely zonked out.....

Sorry for the long rambling post, just wanted to interject my own fears of traveling and let you know you're not alone!  I hope you're able to make it to the graduation.....you'll be so happy you did. But don't be too hard on yourself if you can't make the trip, your health is what's most important.
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152660_tn?1291759171
Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions.  It's great to know that there are other people out there that feel the same way and can help.

Just an update-  I have decided to not attend the graduation.  It's not based on being worried about anxiety, it's knowing my family.  My niece and sister would worry about me and have me on their minds all day.  It's my niece's day- finally being done after 2 years of HELL. It really ***** to not know if you are going to graduate until about 3 days before the ceremony.  She knows how I feel and understands what it would be like because she has been having panic attacks and serious anxiety about classes, finding patients, taking boards, etc this semester. She should be able to do whatever she wants to on her day without thinking about what would happen with me if they do.  

My sister kept going back and forth with me about going- talking me into it, out of it- over and over.  Once I told her my decision and the basis of it- she understood.  She agreed that she would be thinking about me all day.  

Thanks for all of the help.  I will keep watch on this forum and see if there is anything I can help with.  
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