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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4

    Suddenly afraid to be home alone

    I'm a 21 year old woman living with my husband. I've developed this intense fear/anxiety surrounded by being home alone, especially at night. I'm not sure where this came from but I can barely function. My husband has been going out of town on the weekends and it feels like the fear of being alone in this house is paralyzing me. I constantly check my locks, alarms, and doors.
    It's starting to have physical affects and I don't know what to do. I've developed bad GERD and IBS, I constantly feel nervous and nauseated, and I'm down to 95 lbs. I've also started grinding my teeth so bad in my sleep that I wake up with chips in my teeth, and my jaw always hurts.

    I feel so stupid and childish and can't bring myself to tell him that it causes me so much stress. Has anyone else ever had this fear? How did you cope?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7
    Hi Marie, first of all, let me tell you there's no reason for you to feel stupid or childish. You should talk to your husband. If you ask him for his help he might be able to do things to help you feel better, such as show you that he's locked the door or call or text you when you're alone so you don't feel so lonely. You should also visit a doctor as soon as possible; you may not have GERD or IBS after all - they may simply be reactions from your fear. When your fear and stress are reduced your body will be able to relax and you might not have these bothering you. I know when I get very stressed I feel more heartburn than usual. When I have a fight with my mom (which happens a lot, unfortunately) the next day my body is a mess and I have IBS-type issues but they go away after I'm more relaxed.

    The most important things to remember are: you're not crazy, you're not stupid and you're not alone. I have agoraphobia. I can get to work just fine and the grocery store, etc. but sometimes when I'm supposed to go somewhere I absolutely freeze and feel like I'm about to collapse. Sometimes I have it worse than other times. Sometimes if my husband talks to me and holds my hand I'm okay, other times I'm in tears and I can't leave the house. He knows on the "bad" days he shouldn't push me to do things. I'm seeing a doctor for my condition and hope to get better soon with medication and some therapy.

    Please talk to your husband. He might understand more than you know. Do you have a pet? Sometimes I feel less lonely when I think about my cats being here with me. Take care of yourself and do let us know how you're doing. Hugs!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for the response. With your agoraphobia do you have places you feel more safe to go than others?

    I've seen three GI specialists, and all three said it was stress-related GERD and IBS. I felt so sick that I was concerned that maybe my pancreas or gallbladder wasn't working right, so my doctors ran blood and stool tests and did ultrasounds. Everything came back normal.

    I didn't always have this intense fear, but a few months ago I lost my job and everything kind of imploded. I felt anxious and stressed all the time, and it just snowballed.

    Actually, as I'm writing this I feel silly for not making the connection earlier. I had a problem at work with a coworker who was bullying me, and finally it became violent and very physical. My employer was afraid of the employee who did it and wouldn't stand up for me. He told me to just ignore it and maybe it would stop. Finally I had to quit in order to feel safe, and that is the point that my anxiety seemed to become unbearable.

    I do have two dogs who I love so much. They help get me through the day, as silly as that is. I'm going to start seeing a therapist soon and I'm hopeful that it will help.
    Thanks again for your response. Hope you're doing well!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7
    Yes, I do feel safe in some places more than others. Whenever I have to go someplace I don't know, even if I have directions, I still worry about getting lost so much that I make myself sick to my stomach.

    I totally understand how it feels to lose your job and have everything go downhill. My husband and I both lost our jobs around the same time in 2004. We decided to sell our house and move to another state where his family is. I don't get along with his family which is unfortunate. So we moved and living in a new city where I knew no one, didn't know where anything was and didn't have a job was incredibly stressful. Sometimes I think I have PTSD.

    We struggled for six months that almost ended our marriage. Neither of us could find work. We were burning through our savings fast. I couldn't stand going anywhere by myself. I would always end up late for job interviews because I'd get lost (thank goodness now I have a phone with GPS). My husband and I were constantly stressed and at each other's throats. The only thing that kept me going were my three cats. If I didn't have them I am sure I wouldn't be sitting here writing this post today.

    It's been 7 years since we moved. I still don't know the city well. I don't have any family here. I work with some nice people but don't have any friends here. My best friend lives in another state so we only get to communicate by email and phone. There are days I wake up and think, I'm going to call in sick because I don't want to leave the house. I force myself to do it. I actually like my job but my depression and anxiety make it difficult even for that.

    I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time. I hope you're able to find some peace and have your life back to the way it used to be. I'm so glad to hear you have your pets; I can't tell you how amazing mine have been. They seem to know when I need them - they'll always come and sit with me or snuggle with me when I'm at my most vulnerable. Bless their furry little hearts! :-)

    Please keep me updated on how you're doing. It will get better! Hugs!!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    7
    Dont feel dumb.. Ii too do this. My hsuband works nights and I freak out when he leaves.. I started a blog about my problems and what i go thorugh daily... so when he leaves i try to blog to get my mind off of it

 

 

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