need some advice

by brett

Question: I have been struggling with anxiety for a couple of weeks now. I was prescribed Celexa, I want some advice, I have been having an agoraphobic feeling when I ride my bike and I wonder why. Just getting up the courage to go knowing how I will feel when I get back is tough enough, Thanks.

Answer: Sometimes anxiety can start randomly, with no apparent reason or trigger. In other cases, there may be a reason for the anxiety - something that is bothering you, a stressful event, an important decision, a change in routine, etc.

It sounds like you are aren't sure why the feelings of agoraphobia have come up, and you are wondering if there is a reason. I suggest you talk it through with someone face-to-face (a trusted friend, a counselor, a pastor, or someone else you feel comfortable talking to) and just see if you are able to identify any potential causes. Think about any changes that have happened in your life over the last while, any events that upset or worried you (especially ones that you didn't discuss at the time and kept your feelings to yourself), or anything that has been bothering or worrying you.

You may find David Burns' book "When Panic Attacks" helpful. The book discusses the "hidden emotion technique," which is a technique that involves identifying any underlying (hidden) emotions that could be at the root of anxiety. I suggest this technique because it sounds like your anxiety came on fairly suddenly over the past couple of weeks and you aren't sure why. Anxiety that starts suddenly with no apparent cause could be an indicator that unexpressed emotions are involved. There is no guarantee this will help, because maybe your anxiety symptoms are unrelated to any hidden emotions, but it's worth a try!

"When Panic Attacks" has a number of other helpful techniques for dealing with anxiety, and I highly recommend this book.

You may also find the following relaxation scripts helpful:

Generalized Anxiety Relaxation

A Relaxing Walk

Emotional Awareness Sensory Relaxation

I will be recording a new podcast for Overcoming Agoraphobia, which might be relevant for your situation, and it will be available soon. You can subscribe to my podcast for free and get this episode automatically when it becomes available, or just keep checking back on the podcast page to play new episodes right from there.

I hope this helps!


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