The Speakmans Episode 6 - How to Treat Agoraphobia and what if your family are not around you?
Episode 6 of the ITV show The Speakmans dealt with agoraphobia. The fear that stops many people from being able to leave their homes is becoming more and more common and so seeing them work with a sufferer is a wonderful idea for a show. The latest gossip is that The Speakmans are looking to appear on the next series of I’m a celebrity get me out of here, but for now it is business as usual for Nik and Eva.
Nineteen year old Georgia feels trapped in her own home because she is agoraphobic. Her mother and family are concerned that she has never been able to work let alone enjoy a life outside of the home. After a series of panic attacks she has not left her home for four years. Often panic attacks really can take over your life. I work with clients who think that they have to continue having panic attacks because they control you. Being able to show them how to take back that control and end the panic attacks is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Georgia finds that her own sister is unable to have a normal relationship because she does not even want to be around her. Her younger brother Robbie also finds seeing her worry difficult. She explained that when she has panic attacks she feels she is going to die. This is common with sufferers of panic attacks. What you can learn and perhaps already know is that panic attacks always go away. They never last, so once you take back control then you can lose them. The reason that I created a free MP3 on “How to Stop a Panic Attack” was to help people to understand this very thing.
The family meeting
Georgia cannot even visit her nephews. They of course have to learn to understand about her problems and they will be picking up on her worries. We can only hope that they do not inherit the same concerns. After watching several minutes of her concerns it does seem that she really is suffering. I certainly would not want to imply that this television show would pick people who they had not researched, however a quick check on twitter the other day showed that a previous participant who had been unable to leave the house had in fact been on a holiday abroad a few weeks before filming and clearly enjoyed it. I wonder if any tabloids are looking at that. It would be a shame if a few foolish comments on social network undid the good created by talking about and making people aware of how you can change.
The Speakmans visited her at home to have their normal family group session. Rest assured that if you do not have a supportive family around you help is still available.
According to Georgia and her mother the first incident that happened was when her father came home after being attacked. They asked why he was not there and they said that he was not comfortable around cameras. I am not sure that everyone is comfortable having a group therapy session with a TV crew around. Of course this does not mean that the issue could not have been dealt with sooner by the family. This incident happened 14 years ago. When her father was attacked she was told to stay in her bedroom so that she did not see. Now she spends more time in her bedroom than anywhere as it seems safe to her.
Her sister Alex then joined the sofa and explained that her son had not been christened because Georgia could not attend. She explained that her six year old would say he can leave the house so why can his aunty not do so.
As we see every episode the family wrote letters to each other. Again, I have to stress that if you don’t have the support of your family, or they are not around it does not mean that you cannot get help. It has no relevance. I have seen a number of people enquire since the Speakmans began about the fact they do not have a family to sit with and talk through. The vast majority of my clients and those of other therapists are also seen alone. It is fine to work that way and much more common.
After the therapy that took place alone with Georgia the Speakmans were able to help her to see things in a new way. By talking though the reality about panic attacks, and other therapy that we did not see Georgia was able to overcome her fears in the same way that I see clients do week after week.
We were then able to see her leave her home and start to see how she could get her life back on track.
Something to bear in mind is that this programme was not filmed in an afternoon. Georgia herself has been on social media and mentioned at least four days during which she was filmed. This isn't in keeping with the format of the tv programme but the reality is that if you have a fear or phobia and have had it for years it will take longer than an afternoon to let go of it. That is a good thing. Never be in a hurry because these things will take as long as you need them to. You will overcome your fear when you are ready.
How can I get help for Agoraphobia?
If you are suffering from panic attacks, agoraphobia or any other stress and anxiety then please do think about asking for help. Speak to two or three therapists and find the one who you think will be the best fit for you. You really can feel better. If you would like to try my “How to Stop a Panic Attack” MP3 it is available on the Shop link at the top of this page. It’s free and I do hope that it will help to put things into perspective for you and show you a way forward.
If you would like to ask about working with me as your Clinical Hypnotherapist you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07980 233160 without obligation.