Hi ! I am Roz and thought I would share some of my own experiences of living with agoraphobia with you.

I am in my 40’s and have suffered from anxiety since I was age 13, when I started suffering a school phobia and the cause was emitaphobia. With struggling for a couple of years I managed to get back to schooling and although continued to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks got through school and college ok. I started work and it wasn’t until I started work that they became a problem. I got through till I was about 30 with managing to do things ok but there was a huge amount of avoidance behaviours going on and after a couple of treatments of cbt I finally admitted defeat and gave up work. Then the agoraphobia started little by little I started to avoid places where I might feel panic until my world became so small the only safe place was my house.

I had always wanted to be a mum, my partner and I got married and at the right time I feel pregnant. I wasn’t going out far but was doing ok. I had a very traumatic birth, and suffered quite badly afterwards and became very fearful of everything, and actually strangely my emitaphobia was no longer the focus. Since then I really have struggled with bouts of agoraphobia on and off. The last few years have probably been the hardest where I have very much stuck to my safe place home but the anxiety attacks were still happening very often and the rest of the time I lived in fear of those attacks. I had a few attempts at tackling it started little walks but then would have a setback and find myself hiding back in my bed again.

I got to the point where I didn’t want anybody in the house, (apart from my family) and when I was having the attacks I was always worried I might lose control in front of the girls (I have never lost control by the way). Xmas was very difficult and I had a huge amount of anticipatory anxiety but then I suddenly decided enough was enough.

I know the CBT techniques well, I know exposure therapy is the way and I know what I have to do. I started up a blog www.photogiftsandlife.com and have started blogging everyday. I have a good following on twitter and bloglovin where I post and a huge amount of support. Every success I get cheers which is wonderful, what has surprised me is just how many people have messaged me as they are struggling with some form of anxiety or their partner is. All looking for help and support, most too scared to speak out and so many suffering in silence. I hope that maybe by sharing my blog, my thoughts that it might just help others. Don’t get me wrong, I suffer with anxiety still everyday, I get all the symptoms, fear and afraid to go on but I am absolutely determined and know that I can win my fight and so can you!!

by Roz Edwards

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