Agoraphobia Relapse Fears

I am familiar with agoraphobia, not just as a mental health crisis responder but because my own mental illness has manifested into periods of debilitating anxiety. What I now refer to as the breakdown of 2007, was a period of my life where I was struggling with many issues and my mental health suffered greatly as a result. I found it difficult to leave my house and the comfort zone of my home. Staying home as much as possible was the only way I could maintain some sense of sanity, when I was feeling anything but sane. I lived in this state of chronic agoraphobia for many days. This turned into many months and eventually it passed the one-year mark.

I left my house only when I absolutely had to, and it felt exhausting both mentally and physically. The process of trying to convince myself that I could leave my house, be okay after I leave my house, and get through the task of whatever I needed to do outside of my house was draining. Reflecting back, I feel a deep sadness for that time in my life that I felt tortured by my own brain. 

Eventually, I got out of that dark place that I felt cemented in for so long through counseling, self-care, my 12-step recovery program and sometimes sheer determination not to live the rest of my life that way. I had to engage in exposure therapy and be an active participant in the world that I was finding so scary to be part of. It was not an easy mission and there were times I felt suicidal, but I knew that I had to fight for my life. 

The agoraphobia subsided and eventually life returned to a somewhat normal rhythm. When I say normal

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Study gives insight — and advice — on picky eating in children – Harvard Health Blog

As a pediatrician, I hear it again and again from parents: “My child is a picky eater.”

All children are picky eaters at some point or in some way during childhood; it’s part of how they assert their independence. But some children are pickier than others, stubbornly refusing to eat everything except a few chosen foods.

So what is a parent to do? A new article published in the journal Pediatrics gives some insight into picky eating — and into how we can prevent it and help.

What does this study on picky eaters tell us?

Picky eating starts early — and stays. Researchers looked at the habits of children ages 4 to 9, and found that picky eaters tended to stay that way. That means that parents need to start early to prevent picky eating, preferably before their child turns 2 (and that independent streak really sets in). So offer lots of different foods, including lots of different fruits and vegetables. Don’t cook a separate kids’ meal. Let your child eat what you are eating (with one important exception: no choking hazards). That obviously works best if you are eating a variety of foods, so be adventurous yourself.

Temperament plays a role. Sometimes picky eating is part of a bigger problem, as opposed to its own problem. The study found that children who had difficulty controlling their emotions tended to be very picky eaters. What does this mean for parents? If your child has behavior challenges along with picky eating, talk to your doctor. Behavioral health problems are just as important as physical health problems — and as with physical health problems, it’s always better to tackle them earlier rather than later.

Picky eaters are usually not underweight. They are often thinner than their less picky peers, but not

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