Question: I suffer Panic Attacks regularly and it seems as though they are increasing. Now I am starting to avoid certain public transportation routes, for fear of having an attack--especially the bus routes that I have had them on before-- I fear I am becoming agoraphobic. What should I do?
Answer: The key to overcoming agoraphobia is to first obtain effective treatment for panic disorder (if the reason you are having a difficult time leaving the house is fear of having a panic attack). . The goal of effective treatment for panic disorder is to retrain your brain to learn that a panic attack is uncomfortable but not dangerous. Once your brain learns this, you will be able to break the vicious cycle of fearing fear which leads to more fear. You will get there. Be compassionate with yourself as you do this hard work and if possible, find an anxiety expert to assist you. There are many anxiety experts who will do home based agoraphobia treatment, if it is too difficult to make it to an office visit. Don't let your fear get in the way of getting the assistance you need and deserve.