I was just diagnosed with agoraphobia a few days ago. I was I was just diagnosed with agoraphobia a few days ago. I was

I was just diagnosed with agoraphobia a few days ago. I was a bit surprised when I was diagnosed; I thought the reason I was terrified to go to class or why I always made excuses not to go out or the reason that I wouldn't leave my room was something everyone dealt with. Now I know and I don't know what to do. How am I supposed to cope with this? I'm scared to go to my college classes, to go on the school website, so much so that I'm failing most of my classes and I've been unenrolled and all I can do is cry and panic and I don't know what to do.

remember that a diagnoses is just a label. It isn't the label that means anything, it is what we decide to do with that label. Sometimes seeing what we are dealing with, can give us a push to figure out which way we need to go for recovery. You can do this, you are stronger than you know. We are here for you.

I'm so glad you found the group here. Everyone is at different "stages" of recovery. I can tell you from my experience, I understand what it's like to be afraid but the good news is that any phobia, including agoraphobia CAN be overcome. The important part though is it is overcome through your own work to get better. It takes changing thoughts and behaviors to overcome!
I first came on SG during my hardest days kind of like you're describing.
I have traveled and want to go places but I still feel on heightened alert sometimes, I think that's just because once again our brain is trying to protect us if anything in the setting reminds us of a previous time we got scared to the point of panicking. So, when anyone is scared, whether a person or animal, we must re-train ourselves, that we are indeed safe and can do what we need to be doing (working, shopping, driving).
I'm glad you found a degree to work on from home....Some people do jobs from home. Perhaps that could help you with earning money, feeling productive , and proud of yourself. You don't "have to" stay the way you are! That's the good news! Change is totally possible, but you have to do the work to change.... Do you have a therapist who is helping you with changing your thoughts (you could also find books with examples about changing your thoughts related to panic attacks and avoidance) The other part is changing behaviors....that's "Exposure therapy" you can do it with a therapist or someone else but it is a gradual process of doing a small task until that is no big deal and then adding on and so on til you're doing your goal of ____________.

Ask me or anyone questions anytime! I'm sure we can relate more!
Also, these are some helpful websites to read thoroughly...they helped me understand panic attacks and more so I felt like I can overcome this....and I have made progress.
Check these out in addition to talking here: www.paniccure.com (he's not selling something) and www.anxietycoach.com Seriously, read both of these really well....whenever I understand the reason for something, I feel better because the good news is you can get better too! You don't have to stay "this way". Have a good evening.

I had the same diagnosis last year. I was also diagnosed with general anxiety and panic disorder. I just returned from a trip abroad. Yes I was home bound. But let them all kiss your ***. Labels aren't worth a penny. Read about panic attacks and learn not to fear them. Accept them. They will go away. I didn't use any drugs or medications. Just a tranquilizer like Xanax 0.5mg as needed. But never took them. Kept them on my side at the first phase. I decided to face my fears. Baby steps. You will be amazed what fear can do. But you are much stronger than that. Take a break from school. Focus on your pleasure and thoughts. Take care of yourself. You will near that fear. It is just a fear of having panic attacks. But what is it worth when you no longer fear panic attacks? Nothing. I got there, you will get there. You are intelligent and strong. It is a just a fear. Forget the labels. You will be a much stronger person when you decide to face it. But for now, give yourself a little break. And start facing the panic attack fear. It is just a sensation. You will master it. You will beat it and all the labels will fall.

taylorjo726,
I had the exact same experience, although at the time they did not really identify agoraphobia and panic attacks. I would sleep all day, only go to the first day midterm and final exam. If I tried to go to class I would break out in a sweat and have a bad feeling that I would have to flee the class.
First of all don't make the same mistake I did. I thought there was a shabby nobility in doing bad in a class. If you are at the midterm and you have a D or F drop the class. Most students do this. There is nothing to be ashamed of. [It sounds like you took care of this]
Second if you are at a larger University (or smaller ask), see if you can find the disability center. They can help with having someone take notes for you. Let you take tests in the teachers office where it is more comfortable - a large classroom can be intimidating. As well as help you in other ways.
Good for you for going and getting a diagnosis. Check out therapy as well ... cognitive therapy works well for many, and there are others as well. Getting an MD on board as well is good. Are there places other than school that you feel ok going to ie a cafe or movie or all places? Keep going to the places you can and have good experiences. Don't push yourself yet, that is done with help. But if there are things you can do and enjoy make sure to keep doing them and concentrate on that joy. Don't get into drinking to much or drugs, ie self medicating...it just will make more issues to deal with. You have done the bravest things and taken the right steps finding out what is wrong..stay on that path of how to fix it. The brain has an amazing way of making new neropathways, and it is not hopeless. I know of a number of things having gone a long journey to get through school, and have been right where you are, but not with the knowledge you already have.