I began feeling depressed in 2005. But the worst thing in my life was getting panic attacks. Wherever I had one I stopped going there. Went to see the psychiatrist and gave me anti-depressant and Xanax which helped. But I became so scared of having panic attacks I have shut myself in my home and can’t go anywhere. Is this still due to depression, panic attacks or something else. Thanks.
It’s impossible to provide a diagnosis over the Internet. It may be a combination of depression and anxiety that has led to this problem. People who become homebound as a result of severe anxiety are sometimes diagnosed with agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that is highly treatable with medication and talk therapy.
When it comes to severe anxiety and phobias, avoidance is your worst enemy. Each time you avoid leaving your home because of fear, it strengthens your phobia. If you still have a connection to your psychiatrist, ask for their help. Perhaps they can prescribe a medication that could ease your fears long enough for you to leave your home for therapy. In the meantime, try joining an online support group for individuals with severe anxiety. Psych Central has many support groups that may be of interest to you.
In order to get better, there will come a time when you have to leave your home. Most therapists do not provide home-based care. The first time you leave your home, it may be difficult. But it is important that you know that high states of anxiety are very short-lived. Getting better will require tolerating unpleasant feelings for a short time but they will naturally pass and relief will follow. Many people have overcome anxiety disorders and you can too. I wish you well. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle