Hello. My name is Annie. I’ve been struggling with agoraphobia ever since I was about 9. It didn’t used to be so bad, I had panic attacks here and there, but they were rare, and triggered by specific things. Over time, I’ve developed more and more panic attacks, to the point where I have to force myself to leave my house. It’s really hard. I’m 17. I’ve had this since I was 9, so I’ve never gotten to experience really being a teenager. I’m homeschooled, so I have no ways of really making friends other than online, and even that’s really difficult. I stopped being able to do things, so I dropped out of touch with almost all of my childhood friends. I have one friend now, my best friend. They’re 18 and is going into college this year. I know I should be happy for them, but it hurts. I would love to be able to go to college. Have a job. I want to make friends, go to the mall with said friends, do normal teenager things. I’ll probably have to do online college next year, if I even do college. My parents don’t think there’s much point, I can barely leave the house, I wouldn’t be able to get a job with any degree. But I hate being behind. I hate having never done anything. I want to beat my agoraphobia. Its so hard. I can’t stay home alone, I have to have someone home with me at all times, or I’ll freak out. “What if I have a panic attack while someone is gone? Who will comfort me?” I think. It’s stupid. My parents complain about never being able to go anywhere without a ‘babysitter’, because of me. But they can go places. Sure, not as often as they would like, and I know it’s entirely my fault, and I feel awful about that. But they still get breaks. They get breaks from my agoraphobia. I never get a break. I just want a break.

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