The Homecoming 2016 - Archived > Gategoers at The Homecoming

An Agoraphobic Goes to Gatecon


As we're getting closer and closer, I thought I'd take a moment to offer up some information about me and the peculiarities of helping an agoraphobic manage the con experience.

For those who don't know, agoraphobia is the extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public spaces.  At it's most extreme, it keeps a person housebound.  For me, personally, what it means is that when I am in a crowded place, particularly a place I don't know well, I am prone to panic attacks.  They can hit without warning, but I can sometimes feel them coming.  I am usually very stubborn at a con or a gig and fight to control the panic so I can stay and enjoy what is going on (which isn't the wisest solution, but like I said, stubborn).   :'(

This is me! 

How you can help me:  for starters, don't be afraid to approach and say hi.   :)   Please do not offer physical contact unless I initiate.  Unexpected hugs can trigger an attack.  Do not touch my back. This goes double if you can see I am using controlled breathing, I am sweating or my face is red. These are signs I am already fighting off panic. Touching me when I can't see you can make it worse.   :(

If I am obviously in distress, the best thing to do is give me space.  I tend to focus inward while I'm working through it.  I will look up and make eye contact with people around me when I am able to be social again.  If you try to talk to me while I am in the midst of an episode, I can be snarky, even cold and sometimes mean.  I don't mean it and I won't remember it after.  So I apologize in advance if I do that.  I'm not evil. 

I am, in spite of all of that, a rather friendly person with an outgoing personality when I am not dealing with self care. So please do come talk to me.  I promise I won't bite.

And, if you're a reading person, someone who likes vampires and the like?  I published a book this year titled, "Forever".  I will have a limited number of copies on me (likely in my room or car), so if you're interested, hit me up and I'll make you a deal.   8)

Thank so much for letting us know a little about you!
Looking forward to meeting you!
Hopefully see you on Thursday morning at registration! :)!

Thanks for letting us know.
I, too, am agoraphobic and suffer from MST PTSD, so coming to this con is a big deal for me.   Luckily  medication
keeps me pretty balanced and I know when to take myself out of a "trigger " situation.
So, I guess 8 you see someone running from the room with a wild look on their will be on of us.....☺

My daughter suffers from it too and gets very angry and agitated unexpectedly as well if she needs to get away from a crowd so I understand. She too is a lovely friendly person people love being around ironically lol! It's good to know what to look for if you are having a panic attack and hopefully as Gatecon has such a friendly atmosphere you'll feel relaxed and those attacks will not get you this time.  Hopefully I get to meet you at some point during the weekend to say hi! :)


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