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travel & free time

Get the facts

I get anxious when I leave the house. Help!


Everyone experiences anxiety at some point, and these feelings of unease, worry or fear are often perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries.

If you feel anxious leaving home, and perhaps also in crowded places such as busy shops or public spaces, you may have agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is common, but can often lead to your life becoming very restricted as you increasingly avoid certain situations that may cause anxiety.

It is important that you get help.

  • Ask your GP for a telephone appointment, or he/she may come to see you at home.
  • Your GP will then be able to discuss the treatment options available to you or refer you to a mental health specialist.

There are also some things that you could try to help yourself:

  • Try and identify why you’re feeling anxious and find a solution. For example, if you’ve had a negative experience on a certain street, try and find an alternative route.
  • Try some relaxation techniques.
  • Try to reduce your overall anxiety levels by taking regular exercise, and cutting caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol out of your diet.

You may find it useful to carry an Autism Alert Card to help people understand that you are autistic.

FIND OUT MORE

The NAS offers lots of advice for people with autism on how to deal with anxiety:
• http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/anxiety-in-adults-with-an-autism-spectrum-disorder.aspx
• http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/behaviour-common-questions-answered/anxiety-during-break-and-lunch-times-at-school.aspx

The NHS offers detailed information about agoraphobia.

You can also find lots of information and advice at Anxiety Care.

For details of the NAS Autism Alert Card.