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Over-worrying has virtually marooned me at home

(45 Posts)
Gma29 Sun 06-May-18 08:40:47

I’m finding it more and more difficult to participate in anything much. I worry about the stupidest things, like refusing a theatre trip because I’d have to drive, & might not be able to find the way or park when I arrive. Even the simplest shopping trip gets me wound up, and I always have to rush back, because I can never quite convince myself I’ve locked the door. My OH is out most of the time, so I am on my own nearly all the time. I end up just reading or watching tv most days & evenings to pass the time. I know I need to get out and join things to have any sort of social interaction, but this worrying is making it very difficult. I’ve always been shy, and found it difficult to join in, but not like this. I know it’s silly to behave like this, but any tips on overcoming it would be appreciated.

Situpstraight Sun 06-May-18 08:51:12

It is difficult, but the only way forward is to start going out to local places. Maybe a visit to a local garden centre for a short while? Then go again and stay for a coffee?
I am determined not to be housebound, but there are always excuses to stay at home!
Sort out where you are going, get ready and then just do it.
I even have to take Diacalm tablets before I go out!
But I’m making myself. I have Vertigo and Asthma and I’m worried that I’ll be unwell whilst I’m out too, but I can’t let it keep me indoors.
I’m due to go on Jury Service soon and it’s scaring me to death!
But I don’t have a choice.
Hope you start feeling less anxious soon, but you are the only one that can do this.

Panache Sun 06-May-18 08:53:08

Perhaps this calls for a little trip to your G.P and a frank discussion just to see if there are any underlying health issues causing all this reluctance to go out and about.
Whilst staying in and pandering to it believe me it will only make matters worse.
I think that perhaps........shy or really need simply to give yourself that almighty push...........dress yourself up and make the effort,get yourself out.......and try forgetting all those niggly thoughts that are trying to interfere with your pleasure.

It will not be easy I am sure but the alternative,staying in perpetually,avoiding all interaction is far worse.
If there are no health reasons for your actions then it is all up to you.

Get yourself in that determined mood and carry it through,I wish you all the best Gma29.

Anniebach Sun 06-May-18 09:10:37

I have never had a problem with going out, now I have agoraphobia, it is not a case of pandering to these things.

Gma, do not tell yourself you are being silly, it is important that you do not avoid going out but chastising yourself doesn’t help,

May I ask? Do you fear leaving the house or don’t want to mix with a lot of people?

Pointless forcing yourself to go places you don’t want to go to, but don’t use - don’t want to for too afraid to.

Ask yourself what you want to do and where do you want to go X

Luckygirl Sun 06-May-18 09:10:50

Oh please seethe doc. My OH has spent a lifetime like this and missed out on so much. It has just got worse as time has gone on. He is obsessed about parking and worries when I go out on my own that I might not be able to find somewhere to park!

Please seek help - this is caused by anxiety which can be treated in many different ways. Honestly, you do not have to live with this - it is horrible.

Luckygirl Sun 06-May-18 09:11:11

"seethe"??!!.....see the

BlueBelle Sun 06-May-18 09:49:42

I wouldn’t personally go down the doctor route as I m not a believer in medication unless really really needed i think this is something you can train yourself to get out of I m not as bad as you because I can make myself do things but it would be so much easier not to
I would take really small steps set yourself a little goal every day and do it ... it may be go for a half hour walk it may be stop and speak to someone or even just smile, I could easily be a checker I want to go back so so badly and have gone back many times in the past, but now i make myself go round and take note of everything i would worry about fire, lights, locks etc and I allow myself one more check if needed and that’s it I then trust myself and if the nagging doubt starts I tell myself quite sternly no you checked that it was fine.
Drive to places and do a recky before an event so you can find the way in way out parking etc ( for me I need to know where the loos are I get totally freaked out if I m going where I don’t know the layout, I ll probably not need them if I know where they are but if I don’t I will, badly)
Mostly you are not alone, our worries and fears can increase as we get older but you can work on it successfully
Good luck x

Jane10 Sun 06-May-18 09:55:46

Re finding routes and parking: I think this is an understandable concern and I share it. Here in Edinburgh, the roads are a nightmare and parking is often well nigh impossible and, if a space can be found, is extortionately expensive.
However, by car is not the only way to travel. I make good use of my trusty bus pass and even taxis at times as I know I must get out and about.
How about deciding to do just one thing each day? Nothing complicated, maybe an afternoon at the library where you might find something interesting on the notice board, or ask a nieghbour in for a cup of tea at your place. Attending church can be a good way of meeting nice people who are likely to make an effort to talk to someone who looks new or shy.
You don't need to pathologise or medical is this. You've taken a positive step by recognising that you have this problem and talking about it here. Good luck!

sunseeker Sun 06-May-18 09:56:06

I sympathise - because I am the same! If I have arranged to go somewhere I listen to the traffic news and if there has been an accident along the route, I don't go as I convince myself the traffic will be bad and I will be stuck in a traffic jam. Whenever I go out I have to know where I can park - if I think parking will be difficult - I don't go.

Today I was planning to go out somewhere but the local football team is playing at home so I have decided not to go as the traffic will be bad!!

Everyone says to join clubs - where I live there are none! I have tried joining things in the local town but everything is held at night and driving along unlit country roads is a no no for me (see making excuses again!)

Anniebach Sun 06-May-18 09:58:09

Good advice BlueBell , setting out one’s own programme is the way forward

Jane10 Sun 06-May-18 09:58:25

That's 'medicalise'. I agree with BlueBelle on this. You're not ill just increasingly cautious.

Anniebach Sun 06-May-18 10:06:15

sunseeker, it isn’t an excuse, you don’t like driving along unlit country roads at night, no different to those who avoid walking along unlit country roads at night

dogsmother Sun 06-May-18 10:10:17

I agree with the others seek help before you have a problem that is too big to manage.
I wonder have you actually spoken to your partner and voiced your anxiety, might get you just a little bit more support xx

Gma29 Sun 06-May-18 10:33:49

Some really helpful tips, thank you. I know the effort can only come from me, but I think as suggested, limit myself to one good “check” of doors etc and start small. My OH is not particularly supportive on this issue unfortunately. Being an extremely outgoing person, he just thinks I’m either being silly, or if it interferes with his plans, just making excuses & being awkward.

Luckygirl Sun 06-May-18 10:34:46

Bluebelle - doctors no longer dole out medicines automatically for anxiety. They have a range of "talking therapies" that they can access; and help online as well that they can direct patients to.

Please do not put this lady off getting the help she needs. That would be such a shame, and frankly irresponsible. Sorry, but that is my view on the subject and I know a bit about this problem!

Luckygirl Sun 06-May-18 10:37:05

Gma298 - I am sorry your OH is not being particularly helpful. It can be very hard for those who do not have the problem to understand.

I feel like that sometimes - I wake up and the first thing I here is a list of things he is worrying about!! It can be a bit trying! - but I try to be understanding as best I may.

If your OH knew you were seeking proper help for this, he might find it easier.

Luckygirl Sun 06-May-18 10:37:31

....or even hear........!

Jane10 Sun 06-May-18 10:38:45

These 'talking therapies' are not exactly easy to access. There are very long waiting lists indeed. What is the OP to do in the meantime? Sit around feeling worse? BlueBelle's suggestions offer immediate and doable help.

Situpstraight Sun 06-May-18 10:44:29

Gma it might help you to do a check list, write down each appliance , doors, windows etc, then tick them off as you seeto them, then take the list with you so that you can see that you have listed everything and ticked that you have turned them off.

Anniebach Sun 06-May-18 10:51:00

We need to realise -one size does not fit all. I remember one lady who visited our drop in centre , she was phobic, saw her GP who arranged treatment with the mental health team, a CPN set out a programme for her , first day she took the lady to Homebase , marched her through the lighting dept, the poor woman had an eyesight problem and couldn’t tolerate too many lights , not a phobia, she tried to explain to the CPN who dismissed it and said - you musn’t find excuses to avoid places, poor lady had a migraine caused by the lights .

Gma29 Sun 06-May-18 11:02:24

The idea of writing a checklist down is great, thank you. It cuts out that nagging “are you sure” feeling.

Eglantine21 Sun 06-May-18 11:20:23

Have you got voice record on your phone? I can tell my phone “You have lockedthe door” as I lock it and then play it back at moments of doubt. It stops me forgetting to take the phone too!

TwiceAsNice Sun 06-May-18 12:28:37

I am usually ok day to day with worrying if I have locked the door/turned things off etc but use a tick off list when I go on holiday so I can reassure myself when I know I can't go back, everyone has mild anxiety issues around something. It is a good idea to set small goals regularly and do the same thing several times before you start a new thing so it feels more familiar. Our brain recognises when we have done things many times and automatically relaxes our responses more. Think of the worst case scenario, what are you worried will happen then think what can you do if it does happen and how realistic is that chance? Then you can decide that you have a solution ready if your need it. Are you better if you have someone with you or better on your own at your own pace? If you don't want to drive unfamiliar places would you feel less anxious using public transport. I would start first with something nearby with little threat, maybe a local cafe nearby, a library or a park you can walk to and sit in. Little steps and record what you have managed to do so you can see some progress. Don't dismiss seeing your GP you don't have to take medication if you don't want to there are online sites to help or voluntary agencies to access. Moodgym is a good site for help with anxiety or low mood it does ask you to pay a small fee to join for a year but has lots of resources you can download, use and keep. I hope this helps good luck .

Craicon Sun 06-May-18 12:41:57

Hypnotherapy is great for resolving general anxiety and phobias and you could sort this out in 3 sessions or fewer, so it need not be too expensive.
You do need to find a good therapist, which can be like driving instructors, they may be qualified but you need to find someone you feel comfortable with.

Lona Sun 06-May-18 12:42:28

I get very anxious too, especially about driving somewhere, parking, and finding my way home if I don't know the area.
I think it's a fairly normal thing as we get older. However, I do make myself get on with it or I would never go anywhere.
Tomorrow I'm going to Stoke on Trent shock fingers crossed! grin