Beating Agoraphobia and Unemployment

Dear Arthur,
My emotional state has reached to a critical point. I have been taking anti-anxiety drugs for the last 20 years.

I’m unemployed, almost running out of unemployed insurance coverage, which means that soon I will have no financial resources left. I do have some savings that will allow me to pay for your fee.

Let me explain to you why I feel skeptical toward a scientifically unknown (Rowshan) method which could be complementary to my pharmacological treatment that during the past 20 years was supposed to help me. But it did NOT help me feel free because I continue to suffer from anxiety and agoraphobia. I can cope with the situations that cause me anxiety, but almost always I avoid them which increases my fears. I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it and I don’t know what to do.

If you believe that you can help me, please do so. I trust honest people like you. Help me!
Yours truly,
John


On receiving this email from John, I replied that I could indeed help him. He immediately made an appointment to see me.

John was a big tall man in his forties. He said that over the past 20 years he had suffered from agoraphobia, panic attacks, fear of driving, of being alone and of dying. He also said that he had doubts about his health and he was probably a hypochondriac because he had gone to see several doctors and specialist to rule out a heart condition. Of course all the doctors had confirmed the psychiatrist’s diagnosis that he had anxiety. But John was not convinced. He suspected that he actually had a heart problem that could lead to his death.

He would go out of the house to take his daughter to school but when he did, he followed a precise route in order to always maintain a hospital, a doctor’s office or a health clinic nearby – just in case he had a panic attack. His worst panic attack occurred in a crowded sports stadium when a soccer player failed to make an easy goal! He felt like he was going to have a heart attack and became very scared. This episode added to his fears and made him worry about dying of an anxiety attack.
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A Terrorist Negotiator with Agoraphobia

agoraphobia
Source:Daniel D’Auria

Bill, a sixty year-old man, came to see me upon his doctor’s referral. He was a respected and admired politician in Spain. His career included negotiating on several occasions with the terrorist members of ETA (the Basque separatist organization) to cease sending extortion letters to Spanish businesspeople. He said that in his negotiation meetings, he only carried a pen and a paper meanwhile those sitting across the table brandished their guns. Even in such tense situations, face to face with violent terrorists, Bill was a fearless negotiator. However, he was afraid of something most of us don’t give any thought to: walking alone or leaving town.

“My agoraphobia started around 20 years ago”, he explained to me. “One day as I was walking down the street in my town, I suddenly felt cold and had a tingling sensation on my face. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing and I had a lump in the back of my throat. I got very scared. Later I realized that it was my first panic attack.”
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