My friend does not want to go out

Q: My friend is not going out anymore and says she gets panicky when she does. What can I do to help her?

A: You are a good friend. She may be suffering from agoraphobia, a fear of being in situations they can’t leave or they don’t feel in control of.

She may get panic attacks and then avoid these situations even more because she worries about having a panic attack.

Agoraphobia can occur with general anxiety, or for stressful past experiences or low mood. Try and persuade her to see her doctor who can chat to her about relaxation training, CBT or medications.

Being aware of the problem can really help. There is some great advice on the NHS website.

Dr Radha Modgil

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