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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,As I posted yesterday I'm extremely agoraphobic with having IBS. Well I was determined to drive myself to my parents house which is about 40 mins. from our house.I new when I left the house I wasn't going to make it. I only got about 5 miles away from home.
Makes me mad! Even on meds for anxiety I can't do it. I keep asking myself what if I get sick? And I'm driving by myself. That's what keeps me from living my life. I'm so afraid to be alone and get sick.Oh well, I will try again another time, until then if any of you have a strategies on getting to where you what to go, please fill me in. This is a great board. :love: Valerie
 

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Valerie,As someone who suffered from anxiety in different forms and definitely have some anxiety about my IBS, I can totally relate. I'm sitting here getting ready to go out with some friends and my boyfriend, and I'm a little freaked because we're going into Manhattan (I live in Brooklyn) and, though I'm driving, I always get a little freaked out by the experience of leaving the house when I don't absolutely have to. Like going to work for instance. I think the question that you need to ask yourself, very honestly, is "What is the worst thing that could happen?" I don't want to minimize your fear. But if you're driving to your parents' house and you have an accident, what's the worst thing that could happen? You'll either find a restroom at a gas station or something and go and clean yourself up. Or, if it happens very close to your parents' place, you'll clean up when you get there. I have some fear about having accidents in public. I think the best thing you can do is realize that this sort of thing happens to most people at some point in their life. I had an accident last year on my way to the train after work. I returned to my office building, cleaned myself up as best I could and then called a friend who lived close by. My friend was home and I went to her place, took a shower, washed my clothes (I had thrown my undies out
) and, eventually, went home. It was definitely a gruesome experience but it wasn't the end of the world. In fact, it wasn't until months later (after 9/11) that I started to get phobic about having accidents in public. What I'm saying to you is, driving to your parents house is a great way to overcome your anxiety. I worked with my therapist for several months on just this issue and now I can psyche myself up for just about any trip. I've also been reading "Breaking the Bonds of IBS" and it deals with a lot of these issues. Ifyou don't have a therapist, you may want to get it. It deals with the issues of avoidance. Anxiety, etc.Good luck to you, :love:
 

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Hi Valerie,I don't have the specific issues that you do, but I do deal with anxiety attacks while going on long trips in the car (I had a very serious accident, and have had problems since). Anyway, I used to not be able to go far at all, I would begin freaking out, even on strong benzodiazpenes. What I was doing wrong was not taking the pills far enough in advance. I would start freaking out days before and then of course taking pills an hour before I left was NOT doing the trick! Now I start them the day before (in the AM) I leave. It's very helpful in preventing the anxiety from reaching "fever pitch". I don't know if you are driving or not, if you are driving that's a whole different situation!!I also learned deep breathing/relaxation techniques from my psychologist while going through systematic desensitization. After doing them for awhile, practicing everyday, I can now induce an extremely calm feeling. It's hard to explain how to do them, but a Psych of any kind should be able to help you. Again, I don't know how safe this is to do while driving, it might be distracting.Take care!Kristin
 

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Valerie,Have you tried going places with someone else? Maybe you need to start with smaller steps. Go to the grocery store in your neighborhood with a friend a few times, then go alone. When you are comfortable doing that alone, then try going someplace further away (with a friend first if needed).Christian had a very good point in that you need to think of what is the worst thing that could happen. You tell yourself, "what if I get sick?". Well, you need to answer yourself. What if you get sick? You pull over and take care of it. Then if you keep saying "what if", make sure you answer yourself each and every time. You will soon see that the unanswered "what if's" are so much worse if they remain unanswered. I don't know if you watch Oprah, but Dr. Phil McGraw calls this the what if game. If you are going to play, you need to play to the end. Keep answering your what if's until there are no more to answer.I also have problems leaving the house sometimes and I do tend to stay close to home if I am alone and I also know that what goes on in my mind is ALWAYS much worse than what ever happens in reality!I wish you luck. You can overcome this!!!!!Laura
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have to say first of all that God has been answering my prayers. I had prayed about finding a board that would have kind and understanding people. People who Know what IBS is, what Anxiety is and what Agoraphobia is. And I have found it in all of you.
I do "what if" Everything. I think right now I'm having a major set back. Because on Mother's Day weekend, on Saturday night my DH and I were having dinner and going to the movies right after. I was very excited to go as I hadn't been to the movies in ages. Anyway, I'm doing the dishes and before I knew it I was in the bathroom with the worst cramps, D, and Sweating and almost (passing out). I was sick the whole night and all Mother's Day.Now chances are that may not happen again in my lifetime, so severely. I have had that happen before actually, but it was about 11 yrs. ago. Back then I wasn't as afraid. But now my fear is what if that happens to me and I'm driving alone. I wasn't be able to get up off the floor by myself that night.I guess I'm not as worried about messing myself, even though I wouldn't want that to happen, but more worried about not being able to take care of myself if that kind of illness stickes again. So that's the worst thing that could happen. The embarrassment of it all! I can go further in the car with my DH because he can take care of me if anything happens. DH and I just moved in our house 1yr. ago today and don't really know anyone I can count on up here. I live about 1 1/2hrs N. of NYC.I am currently searching for a therapist again. I want to help myself. I don't want to regret my life. Every suggestion that any of you post I'm going to try. I can't thank you all enough.
 

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Valerie,Yes, you have found people here who have been there and who understand! I, too, have had bad attacks like you describe. I reassure myself that they rarely happen and I now have the skills to deal with them if they do again. We moved here three years ago, away from my family and friends, and I know how you feel not having anyone else you can count on but your husband. I also have learned since we've been here that people are much more compassionate than we ever think they can be. We spend our time worrying if we will embarass ourselves if we have an attack in public. I can reassure you that MOST people will help you, not laugh at you. Shortly after we moved here, my son got caught in an escalator at a store and was nearly thrown from the second floor to the first floor. He was caught by strangers and was rather scraped up and bruised. I was screaming and hysterical. After it was over, I was amazed at how many people stopped and helped. ALL of them were concerned and ALL of them were very compassionate. I know it's not the same as a panic attack, but we have to believe in the good in the people around us. I guarantee that regardless of what happens while you are out, you will find people to help you and see you through.I also wanted to direct you to the anxiety forum. At the bottom of the page is a hop to box. Take it to the hypnotherapy, anxiety and CBT forum. There you will find more information on anxiety and how it relates to IBS. There you will also find info on "Mike's tapes". Those are hypnotherapy tapes designed specifically to deal with IBS. The neat thing is that they also work to calm anxiety. It is a 100 day program. I am on my second time through and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Please read up on them. They have helped many people. There is a thread on that forum called success stories. You may like what you see there!As long as you learn how to cope, you will never again have an attack as bad as the last one. If you can recognize it and let yourself flow through it instead of fighting it, it will go away and you will be ok!LauraP.S. I will go to the hypno forum right now and bump up the success stories thread. Let me know if you have any trouble finding it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found it, Laura! Thanks for the Bump! lol Wow,for the first time in my life I feel hope. I'm about to cry. I'm so happy! I read through a few of the posts and will read all of it tomorrow, getting late here. I appreciate everyone's comment's. Laura, I'm sorry about what happened with your son. I would have been hysterical also had it been my son. Thank you for telling me that story to help me believe in people, in public. I do not want to be afraid of the public. That will be one of my Biggest obstacles!Valerie :love:
 
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