Thursday, September 07, 2006

Agoraphobia Recovery Tip: Never Give Up!

Setbacks can be one of the most discouraging things during your recovery from agoraphobia. They can make you feel like you have lost weeks, months, or years of hard-won progress and that you are back at square one. Fortunately, this is not the case. Don't give up when you experience a setback.

My recovery from panic disorder with agoraphobia didn't happen overnight. It was a hard fought battle with many setbacks. But it did happen, and today I am totally free from panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Your recovery may not happen overnight either, and your progress toward recovery may not all be forward. You may experience some tough setbacks along the way. I am writing you today to tell you not to make too much out of these setbacks.

I can remember working really hard with my desensitization program and getting to where I could go to four high school classes in a row before going home. It had taken me the better part of the past year to achieve this and I had started by going to only one class per day and slowly added classes over time.

Then one morning early in my junior year of high school, I had a major panic attack during first period and had to go home. I was devastated. I thought all of my hard work had gone down the drain and I would have to start my recovery over from scratch. I was so consumed by these thoughts that I didn't go to school at all for the next couple of days.Looking back, I am glad to be able to tell you that my thinking was totally wrong. This happened in September. By mid-November of that year I was playing on my school basketball team and attending almost a full day of school on a regular basis.

My encouragement to you is that all progress toward your recovery from agoraphobia may not be forward progress. There may be days when you experience so much panic or anxiety that it feels like you are right back where you started. But take heart, days like this do not mean you are starting your recovery over.

Each time you reach a new level in your recovery, you can get back to that level fairly quickly no matter what setbacks you face. It's best not to gauge the progress of your recovery from agoraphobia on a day to day basis. In most cases, recovery from panic disorder and agoraphobia is more like a marathon than a sprint. You can best measure progress toward your recovery over longer intervals of time.

Because of this, don't take setbacks too seriously no matter how bad they may feel. In fact, it might be better just to expect to have some setbacks along the way. In the end, if you persist in doing the things you need to be doing to recover, you will recover from agoraphobia and get your life back, no matter what happens on any given day.

Take it from someone who went through lots of setbacks but ended up overcoming a case of severe agoraphobia with panic attacks. Persistence wins in the end. I know this because I did it – and if I did it, so can you.

Always remember:

“Being defeated is a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” (Anonymous)

Never give up on your recovery!

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Thank you for your encouraging words. I needed to hear this today. :) God bless.

 
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