I have been battling agoraphobia with severe anxiety for almost 5 years now. I have tried acupuncture and herbs but have not seem to find the right formulation to help me make significant progress. To you have any recommendations to help?
While we don’t treat agoraphobia all that often the few cases I’ve had have all responded well to treatment. How long have you been doing acupuncture for?
Have you done any other forms of therapy? Have you identified specific environmental or situational triggers? Other factors like your diet, activity level, stress levels, relationships, etc. are likely to tie in as well.
Without knowing the specifics of your case some general guidelines are to exercise or do some physical activity daily. Try to eat as natural as possible and avoid greasy and spicy foods in excess. Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes (including electronic ones) and other drugs. Try to maintain a routine sleeping and eating schedule.
This range of conditions is quite commonly treated and generally does quite well. Aspects of the healing process are in most cases longer term - in the sense that it make take years to completely trust your body and mind again. But for the most part a patient with proper treatment, particularly one without a really long history like yourself, should be somewhat stabilized within 5 weeks to 3 months.
I’m not sure how long you had acupuncture and used Chinese herbal medicine (assuming that’s what you meant my “herbs”), but you may not have had it long enough or consistent enough. Treatment can be tough to stick with initially because it can be a bit slow, but you will get there.
In most cases a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, basic meditation, proper acupuncture (possibly Japanese style acupuncture if that is available) along with properly selected Chinese herbal formula(s) - you will do quite well. You will also need to limit, or ideally eliminate, stimulates from your diet more than likely (sugar, caffeine, etc.) - at least for the time being.
It is hard to recommend an herbal formula to someone without being able to physically see them and talk to them about their medical history and how certain issues manifest. I would strongly recommend you go back to an acupuncturist who also practice Chinese herbal medicine and give them a few months to get you on track. If that is impossible due to location or other reasons, you can describe any other relevant symptoms and we can try to recommend something. But, again, a proper herbal formula is only part of the solution and you will do better with comprehensive care.
I’ve brought many patients back from this whether it started from trauma, severe panic attacks, seemingly out of the blue, military service, etc. It is treatable and in most cases essentially resolvable, but it is a process.
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