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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Confronting necessary social obligations - January 11th 2014, 04:35 AM

Hi there,

I haven't been online in a really long time...balancing two jobs and school

Here's my problem. For Christmas, my boyfriend's mom got us great tickets to a Broadway show. Normally, this would excite me.

Except under these conditions: A) his sister and her friend are coming along B) I need to ride the train with them C)I need to make it around NYC and D) I had my wisdom teeth out 3 days ago and feel crappy.

These are issues for me because I have agoraphobia- I'm extremely anxious to be on a train, and to sit for 3 hours in the middle of an extremely packed theatre. Not to mention NYC is super crowded. And on top of this, I'm with two girls I feel uncomfortable around.

How can I deal with this? I'm really nervous about confronting these situations, as I haven't in over a year, but I feel like a bad girlfriend for copping out last minute.

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Re: Confronting necessary social obligations - January 14th 2014, 10:32 PM

Hey there! I don't know when the show is running, so I'm going to assume you haven't gone yet and still need ideas on how to deal with this specific situation.

First, it's great that you're trying to overcome this issue, vs. choosing to avoid the issue. In the long run, avoiding the issue would do more harm than good, as it would just reinforce the agoraphobia.

Second, I'd start thinking about ways in which you might be able to make this trip easier on yourself. For example, if you can take an earlier train with your boyfriend (so you don't have to be around his sister and friend for the entire time), or if you can arrange for alternate transportation, that might ease some of the anxiety.

Third, no matter WHO you go with, the theater is going to be packed... so remind yourself that the trip is worth it, despite the discomfort (you said it yourself... before you knew about the other conditions, you were excited about being able to see the show!). Your reward for following through is being able to enjoy the show - don't lose sight of that! =)

Finally, if you haven't already begun to seek professional support for the agoraphobia, I encourage you to contact psych services at your school and look for referrals to people who specialize in treating phobias. If your school isn't helpful, then your regular physician should be able to provide a referral, or your insurance company should be able to provide you with a list of people who will accept your insurance. Regardless of what happens with this event, it's important to keep looking forward, and professional support can help you begin to overcome the challenges you're facing.

Last edited by PSY; January 14th 2014 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Moved thread to the Anxiety sub-forum.
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