Checking the dictionary it says this about agoraphobia:
“An abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas, sometimes accompanied by anxiety attacks.”
This isn’t a definitive article on this condition. I honestly don’t know lots about it. I can say that it’s often misunderstood due to TV and movies that suggest it’s just a fear of being outside or around people. Basically, a person can experience this at any place or area, even one’s own home.
Check this out:
This is 87 Avenue, just east of 170 Street in Edmonton, Alberta. Up until a few weeks ago, we lived in this area. Due to a journey we took with a wonderful young person, I had a full on encounter with a psychologically abusive person who came after me. It wasn’t the fault of the person we welcomed into our life but it was related to that time. The person that came after me, lives in the area off to the right.
After we moved, we came back a few days later to do one last check for mail (just in case anything got missed by the post office forward). As we crossed over 170 Street, my heart was gripped with anxiety. My heart rate shot up and I just had this sense of fear. This wasn’t the first time I had this experience in this area, it’s happened most every day when passing this area and don’t get me started on what it’s like to walk here rather than drive) but it was the first time it hit me – I had developed a mild agoraphobia. My hope is, over time and not being in the area for a long time, I will have healing and be free from that person’s impact on me.
We can understand the impact encounters can have on us. Can’t imagine being subject to such behavior daily.
It was a difficult time but now we’re slowly healing.
Cherilyn Clough said:
Yes, I get this! My deepest fears in church are because I was beaten black and blue at age seven (27 bruises on my legs under my fuzzy tights) for trying to read my Primary Treasure. I have had to chew gum, breathe, drink water and talk to people to make it through sermons before. The only kind of sermon I can handle is if it has stories to engage my mind so I stop feeling like I can’t breathe. And sadly this feeling gets worse at potluck in a crowded room. I am okay in small groups though. I think it is something stuck in my psyche for so long that I fear I may never overcome it.
That said, anytime we find ourselves in a place where there is danger the amygdala gets triggered and the body remembers. Have you read the book, The Body Keeps the Score? Powerful science and ideas in that book. You might benefit from a counselor that does EMDR therapy.
Blessings and peace and freedom!
Chocolate is less expensive than therapy and works really well.
I have not read The Body Keeps the Score but I’m looking it up. It’s on audible – 16+ hours for the full book or a summary that’s under 30 minutes… decisions, decisions…
Cherilyn Clough said:
My husband just read and I have read part of it. He thinks it was a very helpful book!
I got the audiobook and started listening to it today.