Anyone dealing agoraphobia here? Would you talk about it? | INFJ Forum

Anyone dealing agoraphobia here? Would you talk about it?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by PintoBean, May 18, 2015.

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  1. PintoBean

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    Not to delve into special snowflake syndrome issues, but I wanted to know if any other INJFs see agoraphobia as a significant theme/problem in their lives? Been dealing with it for years myself. It is worse and better. I see it all as a problem stemming from living too much in my mind and feeling comfortable isolating, than developing severe social anxieties. Not the other way around. Please don't cast mean judgement this way. I am not collecting benefits for my problem, mooching or looking for pity. An odd fact is that I've never been further than a few miles from my house these past few years (I traveled all over the world in previous decades, so it is a change). I do get out, just not far. Any experience and insight appreciated. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
     
    #1 PintoBean, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  2. Gaze

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    INFP here, but I think I can relate to what you are describing. I prefer solitary or small scale interaction with people, although my job requires the opposite. However, I do tend to be avoidant of crowds, or large groups of people due to extreme self consciousness. I prefer small groups, and low key interactions. Outside of immediate family, there is only one person I interact with regularly, and I've come to like this because it keeps me sane. Too much social interaction with drive me bonkers.
     
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  3. OP
    PintoBean

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    Thanks Gist. Sometimes I am left wondering if agoraphobia can stem from extreme introvert tendencies. Like I am comfortable not getting enough regular exposure that I fall out of practice completely. Thanks again for replying.
     
  4. Free

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    I can relate, absolutely. Even though we as INFjs have a need to be alone in our seclusion, we also have a need to connect emotionally with people. My job also made me be out there in the public, and I was relieved to get in my pj's at the end of day and just be in my calm and quiet space with my family.
    However, I have taken some extended time off work to care for a family member and sometimes it was days before going outside, or having a meaningful conversation with another adult. I noticed my agoraphobia, when usually mostly in check, was increasing day to day. Our insecurities arise from being disconnected from reality for too long. We are not complete dreamers. We need both the physical and metaphysical worlds to be healthy.
    What worked for me was forcing myself, and I mean forcing, to take a walk everyday. It made me get outside, and that little bit of activity was actually helpful in releasing some of my pent up stresses and emotions. It doesn't even have to be a long walk, and as a bonus, the whole time I'm walking, I'm both in the physical world and inside my head at the same time. I prefer to walk alone, however having a trusted companion to walk with you may also be beneficial. Just walking past kids playing, people walking their dogs, cars zooming past, was enough to feel connected to the greater whole while still maintaining my cherished solitude.

    I hope this helped, and good luck to you :)
     
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  5. Eventhorizon

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    Do not have a lot of experience with this. However my initial thought is, have you thought the issue my in part be caused by an over focus of yourself? Meaning you cant just be you?
    Unfortunately I think the only way for you to overcome this (assuming thats what you want to do) is to put yourself in situations where you are in public. In this way you will see that everyone is human. When younger I used to be so focused on how I saw myself through other people's eyes I literally could not walk past people and feel normal. I would ask myself am I walking normally? Then I would focus on how I was walking and feel like I couldnt walk normally. :)
     
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  6. Angela

    Angela Community Member

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    I also seem to have this. Now I do get out to go to work, but a task as simple as the grocery store seems super daunting to me. When I was married I refused to go alone, now I have no choice, and if it were not for my son, i would just stock up on canned veggies and that's how i would feed myself. It is what i did before i was married, but i want my son to have a good diet. but going to the store, going to get gas, really doing anything that i dont automatically HAVE to do on a DAILY basis, no sir... I dont like it.
     
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  7. hardeeflag

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    I'm dealing with this to some certain extent. I left a job about a year ago. I always avoided conflict and having to interact with as little people as possible. When going to social events (which I hate) I insist we never park in a driveway where I can get blocked in. I am always planning the getaway before we even get there and the social queue that I'll give when I've had enough and it's time to go. The longer I have not had a steady job the more I'm feeling closed in. Don't get me wrong, I can fake it and fake it well. But I am an extreme introvert. I am also however very spiritual Christian. I don't go to church as I can't stand the religious institution and hypocrites, but the teachings of Jesus just do it for me.

    I need to find another career because being at home is closing in on me and the kids are going back to school. So I will retreat further in my head. I need to get back out there doing something for a living and something meaningful.
     
  8. flower

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    I suffer from this. I have lot of social anxiety problems, just simple things as going to grocery, bus, library, movies, café etc. is really hard for me. But I go anyway or then it gets even worse. Need to face my fears, other people are mostly far more busy with their own stuff than watching me. Because I think it's a bit about that... I am scared that people watch me and think something bad about me... But... I also try to be positive and think ''so what?'' since does it really matter? Why it matters, really? I am just like everyone else... No reason to be so scared. Places with lot of people make me really anxious and panicked, so I usually try my best to avoid those. Sometimes it's good to come out of the shell, though~! :)
     
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  9. Misadventure

    Misadventure butt fros and asian purrs

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    this is exactly me
     
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  10. Siimplicity

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    I can get agoraphobic feelings often too. I no longer let them dictate what I do though. I got fed up with that and the more I ventured out, the better I felt. finally I just told myself that it's not worth it to care. I wonder sometimes, if it's caused by the intuitive predominance -- maybe there ARE things to be concerned about that are not evident at surface level but there nonetheless floating about nearby. and something in our makeup makes us ultra aware of them. there's got to be a reason why many of us are experiencing this.

    I can keep it at bay when I'm really focused on something external that causes me to forget myself completely.. like several others mentioned a grocery shopping scenario.. i'll look into ingredients and pricing per unit and that sort of thing and usually it goes away. but I wonder sometimes, I think I see people giving me sidelong looks -- am I really so strange?? I'm just being me! Stick out like a sore thumb much? lol
     
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  11. Stu

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    While I tend to keep in a small circle (like 8 miles from home) I love getting far away. If I can get up into the mountains on a familiar trail far from the noise of the mechanical world I am very happy. I also love being out in the farmlands or floating in the ocean.

    Driving cross country is another fav, getting on a jet, and just going, I love that!
     
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  12. Gaze

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    Yeah, this is me pretty much. I have extreme self consciousness, and it can be debilitating. I remember when I'd rather face death than face a group of people any day. To deal with the nerves, I would give my attention to one person. It made me feel less anxious, knowing I wasn't alone. I hate attention, so that doesn't help. Driving in the crowded traffic on the highway is Nightmare on Elmstreet for me. :D I've come out of my shell, but I don't feel the compulsion I once did, to be some kind of social butterfly to prove that I can overcome it. Rather, I manage it the best I can. Not a fan of the noise and business of the city. Calm and quiet rejuvenates me, too much social engagement drains me, which is probably why I feel so mentally and emotionally overloaded when I get home even if I've just worked for a few hours.
     
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  13. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    I had agoraphobia at certain periods of my life. the feeling has diminished a lot in recent years since I started developing my spirituality because it helped me gain perspective on my fears instead of fearing facing my fears. Like depression it tends to be cyclical. When I stopped seeing my introversion as a problem and started honoring my need to be alone at times; the "pressure" to always be out there has diminished. I also don't feel guilt or lack when I'm hibernating and isolating myself and do not see it as a weakness. I think introverts should define their intrinsic needs and not let outside perspective dictate their inner happiness no matter the pressure from outside. But feelings of agoraphobia is high when I'm stressed or tired and not allowing myself time to adjust to new situations or environments and if one is empathic then it can feel worse.
     
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  14. invisible

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    I've wanted to get away from people more and more, especially groups of people. I find social dynamics confusing and unpredictable, there always seems to be some sort of conflict being willfully generated in the social group, usually to do with people sharing details of their unhappy intimate relationships, or with business matters getting mixed up in friendships. I am afraid of how I will act or whether I will hurt others. I've come to the point of wanting to stay inside all the time. Going anywhere leaves me exhausted. I do not want people to be introduced to my social acquaintance, I don't trust them and I don't have the energy to interact with them. It seems strange that I have gone from bartending shirtless 3 nights a week in my early 20s to being a virtual recluse.
     
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  15. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I'm less about agoraphobia and more agorahatea.

    Edit:
    It's not even that. It's just that people drain me and make me uncomfortable. I don't like to see people. I don't like to hear people. I even turn the cams off on everybody when I happen to visit TC because looking at people is weird.
     
  16. OP
    PintoBean

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    Wow, so it's been around 7 months since I started this thread. Since then my husband and I moved across the country and my life is gradually changing. I am kind of loath now to pathologize my preferences. I guess I just really hate being out of our apartment most of the time! I get what I need done, I even do a fair amount of fitness...but with rare exceptions I'll choose to stay in rather than be out. I guess it's just how I am. Maybe it's not so much a phobia, but rather a strong preference since it doesn't really impair me in life, but rather informs my decisions. As in I know what I like and what I don't like and where I'll be comfortable
     
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  17. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Sounds like me.

    I wouldn't even know this was a problem if I didn't have other people telling me it is one. I think it's just the granularity for social expectations being a bit coarse.
     
  18. OP
    PintoBean

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    Haha yes, my social relations outside the home (so that's with everyone except one person and some pets) have suffered.
     
  19. Elegant Winter

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    I'm not sure that I have agoraphobia. I'm generally pretty calm and clear unless a space is too crowded. I do have a rather extreme preference for solitude though. I like being alone and doing things alone a lot. I'm comfortable "isolating," as you said. I suppose I do develop a degree of social anxiety because of this, but I don't think it's significant enough to warrant attention. It doesn't prevent me from doing what I want. I think that's the telling measurement here. If you're still able to do what you want, you're fine. That's my opinion, anyway.
     
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  20. Mungbean

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    Yes. I have a somewhat anxious disposition and have always been at least slightly agoraphobic. A year ago it became so extreme I failed to turn up to work a few times and stopped visiting my friends and family who live only minutes away from my place.

    In my particular case I think it is caused by genetic predisposition. My entire family on my Dad's side have anxiety problems, including agoraphobia. I am much better now because I talked to my doctor about this and she recommended I take medication which I do and now I feel normal. But I don't see why agoraphobia couldn't also occur due to spending a lot of time alone and then getting out of practice being around people. That makes sense. And for that reason I make an effort to go out and do things with my friends and family also. That said, I don't feel there is anything wrong with preferring to spend time alone.
     
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