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Trying not to leave house

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I have been having really bad anxiety lately. I don't know whats causing it, but I've been trying not to leave the house. I get really upset for no real reason and immediately feel really sick. It's like the whole inside of my body clenches and I feel like I'm going to throw up. It's also really tiring. A lot of time when I'm trying to calm down I fall in and out of... sleep I guess. It's as if I'm really exhausted by it anyway. When its all over my body is in physical pain for several hours. I assume I strain my muscles. It's embarrassing when I'm with other people and It's been happening more and more right before bed. I have been under the assumption that these are panic or anxiety attacks. If not let me know, but is there something I can do to help myself calm down quicker and if it's not going to stop I'm curious about treatment options. The thing is, I hat medication... the idea of being medicated, and being around doctors irl is terrifying for me.

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replied July 27th, 2009
Anxiety and Stress Answer A7000
I am so sorry to hear that you have been experiencing such symptoms. It must be frightening for you. Your symptoms are consistent with a Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia because you do not want to leave the house. I highly recommend that you have a physical exam completed to rule out any other conditions that may be responsible for your symptoms. If your diagnosis is panic attack with agoraphobia, you should consult a psychologist that specializes in treating panic attacks utilizing exposure-based therapies. This therapy is highly effective in treating panic attacks. From a biological standpoint your body is activating a fight or flight response without a real threat in the environment that manifests itself in panic.

In addition, your diet plays a huge role in your mental and emotional state. The foods and liquids you consume create your brain chemicals which influence how you think and feel. Alcoholic beverages along with caffeinated products can make your panic more intense. I would recommend eliminating such products from you diet.

Your psychologist can determine whether you should be referred for a medication evaluation. There have been many cases where individuals have been treated with the exposure-based therapies without relying on medication.

I'm not sure what your experience has been with doctors, however it is important that you find a doctor that is a good fit to ensure your level of comfort and alleviate your terror of doctors.
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