Telling Others About Your Healing Path

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For me, one of the big turning points in my healing from panic disorder and agoraphobia was when I started to be open with my friends and family.  Secrecy and shame were a big part of the condition, and starting to be open was a huge step in my healing.

A few people were uncomfortable, but the great majority were very supportive.  It's amazing how many people know someone who either suffers with this condition or has recovered from it!  

The way I told people about the condition was very important.  Instead of saying "I have agoraphobia," I said "I am recovering from agoraphobia."  Saying it the second way was an affirmation of my healing, and people generally responded in a very supportive way.

Before telling people about my healing path, I wrote the following paragraphs to “rehearse”.  My diagnosis was “panic disorder with agoraphobia,” but to simplify things, I just called the condition “agoraphobia”. 

"I am recovering from an anxiety disorder called agoraphobia.  Agoraphobia almost always starts with repeated panic attacks.  Agoraphobia is the fear of having a panic attack if you go too far from home or get into situations from which you feel you can't easily escape.  

Don't worry about my having a panic attack, because nothing bad actually happens.  Panic attacks are extremely unpleasant, but they are harmless. 

All that this condition really means for you is that I might say “no” to some invitations if I feel I'm not quite ready to do something.  One of the keys to curing agoraphobia is making steady, gradual progress and doing new activities when you are ready."


Panic is only a false alarm

 


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