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Can anybody talk to me about agoraphobia?

(12 Posts)
PeachyWhoCannotType Mon 03-Oct-11 14:51:10

Hi. Sorry if I vanish for a few hours after starting this- will be back, school run time.

I have had panic attacks on and off for a while and they are getting bad again. I have a slightly unusual life that means I tend to have Dh about when I go out (I am a carer with a family of 4 children all affected in some way with Sn from mild to quite severe and one adult dos not really cut it so Dh works from home and accompanies us if we need to go out).

I have noticed now Dh is back at college / boys at school that I am still not going out apart from when Dh is with me or the routine of pick up / drop off and that I frequently leave that to the last moment as I get nervous. From that I have linked a correlation between panic attacks and heading out.

My life is necessarily small- kid's needs, living away from family and friends (no chance of heading home for years yet)- and I recently had a bout if feeling very low after ds4's developmental issues were picked up (DS1 and DS3 already have dx's of ASD, they think ds4 has it too). But next year I have to work, and be able to get out, and I don't think I suit isolation- I am an extrovert at heart, I need people to cope. I got by studying at uni but this year I am doing my dissertation from home so my world has shrunk again. DH's hours are all over the palce so impossible to plan much and whilst I do have a hobby that gets me out, it's with DH and can't be done alone.

How do I go about sorting this? I have a GP who tells me anything psychological is just woolly crap, refused to refer ds2 for ADD assessment even though school requested it. I asked for AD meds when ds3 was diagnosed with quite severe autism a few years ago and was refused, and I don't think he will listen. But I an see how horrible it is making my life and to an extent DH's, though he never complains. And how much I could do for my family if I could get past the front door without feeling sick.

reallytired Mon 03-Oct-11 21:07:32

Have you considered changing GP?

You have a right to be referred to the community mental health team for an assessment. If your GP is being an arse you can ask your health visitor to do this. All you have to do is write her note.

I have anxiety, although not agoraphobia. I am scared of large crowds and medical professionals. Panic attacks aren't nice.

Beauregard Mon 03-Oct-11 21:20:29

Definately change of G.P required .
Your family need you and i cannot believe your G.P is so dismissive of therapy etc.
You need some C.B.T therapy,it would do wonders for you and would enable you to extend your world even if a little.
Wishing you luck smile

merrydebs Mon 03-Oct-11 21:26:33

GP sounds so arrogant! You really should consider changing. You deserve better treatment than this. Good luck.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 14:36:49

Name changed but still Peachy

Spoke to GP today, they have stopped making anything but emergency appointments as they are overflowing, so told to come back in 2 weeks. DH tried to make an appt as well as he has to have his medication he takes reviewed and was told same thing. This GP runs all the centres in the local villages.

HV is a possibility as ds4 has his vaccinations next week and she is on side and understands my family as well- possibly one of the few people we have met who has been proactive over the boys. Had about 3 hours of panic attacks last night about little things so know something has to change before it gets any worse.

Next Spring I have the first chance in years of being able to work; since I had to stop I have acquired a degree and almost an MA now so I should be excited about a field I love and can make a difference in. Instead I am dreading even starting to apply and when a stunning job came up starting next year (charity applying for funding to get going, so some set up stuff from home) I deleted the forms because I was too scared. Too late now but I would have aced that job.

reallytired Tue 04-Oct-11 15:19:01

Can you not phone your health visitor. It really sounds as if things are pretty desperate.

I think you have justification for an emergency appointment.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 15:49:26

No, they do a phone assessment and emergency appointment refused. In fairness if Dh can;t get very important meds and just ash to extend his rpescription without teh check up then fair enough.

DH is now only out for a few hours the rest of the week; when he's with me I am fine, I even do some really exciting things. I nkow why this is: a few eyars ago I was with DH and picking up from school, ds1 had hurt a child (DS1 has ASD and wasn;t getting care at the time in school)- school had not told me so i turned up laughing with DH and the mum had called her DH in who screamed at me for ages, petrified me and left me having panic attacks with each school tun. DS1 is in a SNU placement now which is good as we used to get people at the door as well but now the school is miles away.

I can do school runs now which is much better, but it took a while. It' sthe unscheduled stuff that throws me.

Spoke to HV this morning anyway and seeing her in a week.

reallytired Tue 04-Oct-11 17:15:20

I am shocked how poor your GP practice is. Which part of the country are in?

If you are in England then you have a legal right to have a referal to the community mental health team. You GP cannot refuse. Your health visitor can make a referal as well.

It is good that you are seeing your health visitor. She may have ideas about getting help.

feelingratheroverwhelmed Tue 04-Oct-11 17:34:50

My mum has agoraphobia and I just really want to emphasise the importance of getting treated sooner rather than later. Hers is a complicated mix of past abuses, grief, and other stuff that manifests itself in a social phobia. but, it started with panic attacks and they were the really disabling factor. She's had it for over 10 years now and is only just getting better, it's been a very long journey. But, I am certain if she had recieved help when the PA first started then it would have been a much quicker process. She also didn't have the support that you have (she lives alone a long way away from me) and had no real reason to get better for a long time. You've got your DH and your children, which is fantastic. My mum certainly started to make much more of an "effort" when her first GC came along. (And is now doing really well)

You HAVE to change your GP. His attitude is totally unacceptable. You need targeted desensitization therapy from a mental health professional, so you need to push and push until you get this. We had an excellent talk at work recently (I'm a HCP) from a psychologist in the local CMHT about anxiety disorders, and it has a very good rate of recovery if you get the right type of intervention, which basically boils down to facing your fears. All areas should have an IAPT (improving access to psychological therapies) team, and this is what you need to get access to. I think it's worth seeking out the one in your local area and calling and having a chat with them to see what you need to do next, or getting your HV to link you in with them. I could certainly refer clients to our local team, so you may be able yo bypass your GP.
I wish you lots of luck, it can and will get better x

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 18:00:14

We're not in England, Wales.

reallytired Tue 04-Oct-11 18:31:54

I found this link. Prehaps they will know what to do.

I am surprised that your GP is so bad. I thought that wales had better healthcare than England.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 18:38:44

Not at all- we might have prescriptions but there is a big rash of people moving over the border atm as we have quite a lot less access to cancer meds etc

seems to swings and roundabouts

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