Family and friends can find it very difficult to fully understand any kind of mental health illness and this can in fact cause more anxiety for the sufferer. It makes them feel under more pressure, or a burden to the family and a failure to themselves. This of course isn’t intentional but simply a lack of understanding and an attempt to help.
Comments such as “pull yourself together – nothing will happen” are not beneficial for the person on the receiving end, or in the midst of grips of agoraphobia. Some family or friends feel angry with the person but if the sufferer detects this it can be very damaging and cause the sufferer to retreat further. The agoraphobic needs to feel safe, secure, needs encouragement for even the smallest of achievements made and although one day they may manage something small it needs to be realised and accepted by family that another time the same achievement may be too frightening to undertake.
When ready to talk about their fears, the sufferer may find it beneficial to have small goals to attempt. Don’t be offended though if they look to someone else for that help. The reason behind this could be that we already feel a failure; we already feel we are letting our friends and family down, so in order not to feel under more pressure outside help is sometimes needed for that extra encouragement. By having help from the outside sufferers don’t feel judged and worry about failing as much as they would with someone close to them.
Please don’t feel second best if we avoid your help it’s not like that at all it’s to try to cause less hurt and pain to those we really care about and it’s because of this we sometimes look to outside help from therapists or counsellors.