When Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Keep You Housebound


Bipolar disorder and anxiety keep me housebound, and many people do not understand. I am in such a fragile place that even a trip to the grocery store is difficult. My anxiety has become so out of control I have trouble leaving the house even to walk my dog with my fiancé. I begin to shake and hyperventilate before we’ve even left the house. There are some days when I can overcome my anxiety and walk the dog. However, more often I become so overwhelmed that it is no longer an option.

While battling bipolar disorder, I have lost a lot of strength and find it difficult to function. During the worst of my illness, I’ve had depressive episodes that can range from really bad to mild. On my really bad days, I cannot leave my bed, and all I want to do is sleep. On my mild days, I can walk to our home office and distract myself with the computer. I barely leave the top floor of my house while having a depressive episode, and that’s OK.

However, during manic episodes, I have too much energy. I am all over the house, cleaning and baking. I want to leave the house. The only thing is my mind has been trained to think the world is scary. My anxiety keeps me housebound.

When I feel severe anxiety, I cannot pinpoint why or what actually causes it. For me, battling bipolar I disorder not only means extreme shifts in mood, but it also means delusions and hallucinations. This increases my anxiety levels, and I fear the response from others in the event that I do hallucinate.

I have reached a point where, to avoid the severe stress levels, I stay home where stress is more manageable. My psychiatrist once told me to listen to my body. I know I never give myself a break. I hope by giving my body a rest, my treatment options will help me to become stronger and I will have the courage to leave the house.

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