So tired to trying to fight this terrible, overwhelming prob

So tired of trying to fight this terrible, overwhelming problem that a large portion of the general public isn't aware of -- trying to regain some kind of life whilst half of my energy is put into pretending I don't have the problem. It's so negative and makes recovery even harder. Until recently I'd been almost totally housebound for about 6 years -- how do you hide something like that? I have severe social phobia, depression and panic attacks, too, and I struggle massively trying to cope with a voluntary job (with the aim of getting confidence back and some experience so that I can get eventually get paid work). Everyone picks up on my terror and treats me differently because of it, and I have to sit petrified in the staff room wanting nothing more than to run away whilst another employee goes on about mental illnesses being the 'new trendy' thing. I'm just not able to cope in the world, I find it so frustrating, confusing and shameful. I live alone, have no friends and my long-term boyfriend left me earlier on in the year (the only person who I had in my life for years apart from my parents). I just don't know who I am, there's nothing left, no way of me achieving anything worthwhile and I just don't want to be here. The one thing that's keeping me hanging on at the moment is the Open Uni degree in Psychology that I'm doing from home.

1 Heart

people judge what they don't know, it isn't fair or right, but a sad part of reality. I think that you are so courageous for going to volunteer regardless of how terrified you are. we fight our way one baby step at a time, you can do this, 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 (in addition to your schoolwork!) , 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!