Home Bound or Agoraphobia?

I call for my chips, I call for my dips

image courtesy internet

I call for my cup of tea… very much like old king, though I’m not really a very merry soul right now. The trouble being I’m away from home… the familiar decor of Mango meadows, the fragrance of beverage brewing of course coffee, it’s like the phases of the moon, the Robusta and the Camellia (Sinesis). Essentially think of these there are people who love to get dirty and fix things, they drink coffee at dawn and beer after work. Then there are those who stay clean, just appreciate things, at breakfast they milk and juice at night. Then there are those who do both, they drink tea. In my current situation I do both…

Now I can no longer call for my cup of tea, I have to pick my heavy gluteus maximus and brew one for myself!! And this is the place that I have social- economic –environmental –religious pressure to call home, its brick and mortar.

Let’s check what my buddies Merriam-Webster mean by home…

It’s a place of residence ‘domicile’ a social unit formed by a ‘family living together, familiar congenial environment. Place of origin, habitat, an establishment providing residence and care for people with special needs, an objective in various games. Being relaxed and comfortable, in harmony with the surrounding. Being on familiar grounds. Ultimate objective like a goal or finish line, a vital sensitive core, safe space.  When used as an adjective it could me a relating to a place of residence, place of origin or operations. While as a verb it could mean returning to the place of origin, moving towards an objective following signals or landmarks. To proceed or direct attention towards an objective.

Everybody has a home team, think of it … the person you call when get a flat tire, or when something terrible happens. No matter where they are, they know everything that is wrong with you and love you anyways. They are ones who stand by you, thick-thin-sick-sin, they brew their tea in your house they lend their shoulder when you cry they are your people middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people. A home is essentially like that.

The issue is … How the pandemic has changed my idea of home…

Interestingly I’m beginning to believe that home is perhaps not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

I had a patient telling me, “Over the year I began living in my own little world. But its okay they know me here. It’s with the college’s opening again that I’m stressed” it’s not just this young man there are so many others.

I know of woman in her mid-fifties who refuses leave the house. The only thing she does is to follow covid news. I realize people are more or less isolating themselves in houses. This condition is called agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder, where the person is afraid to leave an environment that they know is safe. Though it means fear of the marketplace that is any crowded public space, the agoraphobic could also feel threatened in quiet or empty spaces.

It begins off as mild anxiety about events, or particular places or situations, and escalates, over the year however the stages have escalated very rapidly.

Symptoms could vary from mild anxiety to sweating palpitations, dizziness, fast breathing, choking sensation, nausea, cold and clammy feeling.

Underlying issue is anxiety, the person does have a low self-esteem, and there is loss of self-confidence.

It begins with usually a trigger event, it could be a job loss, or broken relationship or something that put the person in an uncomfortable position, this distress pushes them into avoidance behaviour where they limit their contact with the outside world until they eventually confine themselves to the house.

To many agoraphobics the life stress triggers a panic attack which is so unpleasant that they avoid any situation that could trigger an attack.

Implications of agoraphobia is a severe reduction in the quality of life, all outside activities get out of reach. Financial hardships, isolations, loneliness, boredom leads to distress and increases the risk of depression so the cycle continues. The person may recognise that their fear is irrational, but feel powerless to do anything about it. They could also be angry and frustrated with themselves causing damage to self-esteem. Sometimes people take refuge in comfort eating, drinking or other unhealthy options that could cause further health issues.

Managing agoraphobia does require medical support. It usually involves therapy.

For the past four months I have been group sessions and one-on-one sessions for people who are dealing with agoraphobia.

Ps if you want to know feel free to buzz: 8010705766

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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