Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This is agoraphobia folks, read and study

I think I've pinned down why agoraphobia is the least socially acceptable illness in existence. People simply don't believe you have it. Not being able to go to certain places is simply seen as a weakness, one which with a little effort can easily be overcome, and force yourself to travel abroad, sit in concerts and spend days on courses. Offer any other variation, depression, fear of heights, spiders or even OCD and people can just about sympathise to some degree, but if you can't visit the local supermarket or cinema without a panic attack it's somehow your own fault.

The friends you could lose as a result is the major issue, while most of the family who can't actually dump you just think you're weird and see it as a burden any time arrangements need to be made. Decent friends of course would understand, but the normal strategy is simply never to tell anyone until you really have no alternative, and once they know half don't believe or understand, while the others react like you've just said you're a career criminal or psychopath. It's such a rare condition compared to the rampant depression and schizophrenia it barely ever gets mentioned and then most people think it's something to do with being outdoors (it isn't), simply as they learnt two Greek words and assume that covers it. I expect there are also people scared of being outdoors (there would be for anything really) but it probably has a different name, but it's not me.

The next little spin on it is when you say you've gone out somewhere, and they say 'But I thought you were agoraphobic?' (Translation, you want it both ways, you were when I invited you over but you're suddenly OK now), which again has no comprehension of the condition. I don't want anyone to suffer to learn, but if they had it even for a day then the questions and judgements would stop. How it works is: There are boundaries, they change long and short term, and when I get decent tablets they go away 60-80% at times. Where I can go on a Monday can be different on a Friday or five years ahead. I never really know till something turns up whether or not I can manage it, and that's its nature. In fact I'm now the least bothered by it as as long as I'm not forced to go across those boundaries I'm no different from anyone else, like putting someone in a lift and then stopping it between floors. Same person, same lift, different situation. Put me in an audience or restaurant and that lift is stuck, and if the performance lasts two hours that's a heck of a long time in a stuck lift, even with the best tablets in existence.

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