My Journey with Agoraphobia

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Story of Antra Dasgupta

I still remember my first panic attack and after that, there was no way, things could be the same again. Trapped in a financial crisis, my father decided to send me and my twin sister to our hometown back to Kolkata, to our extended family that consisted of aunts, cousins and a granny. And it was the solution to the financial crisis my father had been going through, which eventually became the beginning of my struggle with me and the world around me.

My world revolved around my mother; separation from her was no less than death to me. I still remember

the day she left me and my sister in Kolkata - with tears in her eyes while waving at us. Being a shy person I could not emote what I was going through at that time. The minute she left, I ran into my room, and held her old saree into my hand and broke into tears. This separation actually triggered all my fears and phobias of being with people I don’t belong to, or being in open places, or with new people.

Three years passed and we were back with our parents in Delhi, however my phobia and fears had stayed with me like a best friend I loathed.

It had nearly been 10 years since I was living with my phobia and anxiety. During this long period, I saw a lot of ups and downs in life and yet I managed to complete my graduation in literature honors somehow, after which I transposed to four different jobs in two years for the same reason.

I couldn't understand it, but for last few months I couldn't control my emotions at all. Because of my frequent break downs and my twin sister, and my best friend, I realized that I needed professional help, a psychiatrist. And I was diagnosed with Agora phobia, a fear of open spaces.

My nervousness around people and new places has made me the most infamous person in my family and friends and I have eventually become a loner. But now, I very dedicatedly and sincerely follow my doctor’s advice and medication and have finally started believing in life again (okay that’s a lie), but honestly, I have at least started believing in the quote that says “there is light at the end of the tunnel”.

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