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Hi Chilli

Im sorry you have had such a rough time with all of this, especially with so little support from your family :hugbetter: Like you say, the only positive thing is that at least your symptoms over the years have been validated.

Did you know that agrophobia is on the list of the alternative criteria for Lupus as penned by St. Thomas's Hospital.

8. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia/claustrophobia are often present at a time when lupus disease is active. A history of these conditions can be protracted, lasting for months or even years. In many cases the history is not volunteered or the episodes are in the interim considered unrelated to lupus.
Here is a link to the post in question. Its at the top of the Not Diagnosed Yet Forum

When you mention side effects from Plaquenil, do you mean that you think they are increasing your agrophobia or is there something else? If you mean the gastric side effects, then certainly Plaquenil is well known for filling one up with gas. It can be quite uncomfortable and a little bit embarrassing breaking wind all the time:blush: However the good news is that this side effect settles down after a while once your body adjusts to the medication.

It seems more likely that the agrophobia is linked to your disease activity. Have you mentioned this to your doctor? I think it would be a good idea. I dont know about treatments for agrophobia but I believe that cognitive behaviour therapy is something that is known to help. Perhaps you could ask your doctor about this?

I hope you can get this under control soon Chilli because phobias are a difficult thing to deal with. I'm sure you feel over-loaded with stuff right now but if you had a good friend that you could confide in who might help you take some 'baby' steps away from the house and who would make sure to bring you back immediately you got panicky I think that would help a bit. You're right in wanting to fight it. Thats the first big step. Its far too easy to give in completely to phobias and then they end up ruling your life.

The very best of luck with whatever you decide.

Take good care
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