Like it on Facebook, +1 on Google, Tweet it or share this question on other bookmarking websites.
What worked for my social phobia was when I experienced an anxiety attack I completely relaxed and let the feeling wash over me, instead of trying to fight or resist the anxiety which is a battle you will never win. It is very hard to do this at first after years of being dominated and held hostage by the feelings of anxiety but if you have the courage it works, or it did for me. What you have to remember is your body is only reacting to the messages your mind is sending it and this is done in a prescribed manner. Your mind or body cannot invent new senarios each time so there are no surprises coming. Have the courage to completely relax and even challenge your mind to do its worse. With each passing anxiety attack your mind will weaken and the panic attacks will reduce in intensity until it fades away. I've explained all this in detail and my experience overcoming social phobia in my blog http://phobiairaqlove.blogspot.com if you are interested. They main thing to remember is you can overcome it because it is purely a state of mind not a fault of your body.
You may wish to seek both a counselor and a life coach to help carefully walk you through this situation. I think it would be the most supportive situation that would ensure the most positive outcome. Of course, I almost never leave the house so, take my reply with a grain of salt if you will.
Every day. Do not feel guilty. But, do not give in. Each day, do not be complacent. Do not say because yesterday I could only do so much today I will only do so much. Instead, do just a little more than what feels comfortable.
If you do not always push outwards on the envelope at least a little, the envelope will shrink a little.
If you feel guilty about life. There is no purpose to that other than feeling bad which makes it harder to do anything. Feeling guilty only makes you hurt and when you hurt, it is harder to make the most with the gifts you have been given. Imagine being given the greatest toy in the world, but not being able to play with it, because, you worry that you are doing something wrong... even when the toy is freely given to you just so you can enjoy yourself with it. That is what guilt does. Guilt is the pain you inflict on yourself.
Perhaps we can not cure ourselves, but, we can work on not harming ourselves at least.
We can work, on keeping that envelope from shrinking. And then, when we are doing that... perhaps actually push it outwards. Especially when we realize we are holding it at bay.
I am not saying I am a success at it. But... I have reached to over half a century. I have friends and family that love me. I have people that respect me. I can love myself. So I am successful at least in some areas. Other areas will come... and maybe, I shall get out to shop tomorrow.
I think the best advice i could give you, is to work closely with a therapist such as a Hypnotherapist. I myself am a hypnotherapist, and actually got into it because i had so many fears, phobias and anxieties, and it helped me to at least get mental clarity as to what was going on. However, because everyone is so unique and different, you really need that professional support, and as many have echoed on the site, you need a therapist that is going to listen to you, respect you, and really understand how this problem is affecting you. One thing you could try is to explore different techniques and see which one works well for you. You could explore your beliefs about your Agoraphobia, and just get a sheet of paper, write down all those negative beliefs about Agoraphobia, and then when you have done that write, those positive beliefs about how you would be if you never had this phobia and you were okay with spiders, and spend a few minutes enjoying that feeling of freedom and peace from being free from your phobia.
Much of working with fear and anxieties is about making a firm committment to yourself to really let go, or be okay with where you are now. I have a phobia of loud noises, and even with the knowledge i have, i still can't go to a firework display or anything like that. So be gentle on yourself, and everyday, just write down one or two good things that happened that day, and really give yourself credit. I know this sounds crazy but, when you actually get okay with you having x phobia, it's funny how it doesn't become as stressful. With me, i just find a way round my phobia. In the UK November 5th is Fireworks night, and the weeks leading up to it, is crazy. All i do is just stay indoors in the evenings, and that works fine for me. Your always going to get people who don't understand your situation, and say it's all in th head etc, but hey, i wonder how they would fare if they had what you have?? Probabaly not so well.. Hope that helps:)