General Question

soarwing11's avatar

Why do I feel panicky in open, flat places like large fields?

Asked by soarwing11 (602points) July 16th, 2010

Do I have a phobia?

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11 Answers

augustlan's avatar

It could be Agoraphobia. Does it dramatically interfere with your life? If so, please consider seeking treatment. There’s lots of help out there. Good luck!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I agree with @augustlan – agoraphobia is a possibility. Your keywords include “panic attacks”, which is a bit unsettling. It might be useful to talk to your doctor, panic and panic attacks are no certainly no fun.

MacBean's avatar

I’ve been diagnosed agoraphobic because of this. Places don’t even need to be that open for me to get anxious. Even a cloudless sky on a sunny day starts to freak me out; I do much better at night/evenings or on cloudy/rainy days. A couple of years ago I drove across the midwest by myself and found all that flat sameness absolutely terrifying. And just looking at this makes me feel like a panic attack is approaching, even though I’m completely safe in my bedroom.

Like @augustlan said, if it interferes with your life, try to get help before it escalates. You don’t want to end up basically housebound. It’s not fun.

Aster's avatar

Did you have a life-altering experience before this agoraphobia began? Do you panic in malls? Relief for Nervous Suffering has helped millions with panic disorder; it’s old but a wonderful self-help book. Clair Weekes is the author.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

all round you someone could be watching you and you cant see them. if they chase you you have no where to run. you cant throw things at them to slow them down and no were to hide

loser's avatar

I get that, too. I was told it’s Agoraphobia.

Jabe73's avatar

I get something similar to that except that only when the open areas are crowded with people. No matter what I’ve tried I just can’t seem to shake that phobia off. Amusement parks, fairs, and ballgames do not bother me as much with this but large malls and stores do bother me for some reason.

soarwing11's avatar

Lot’s of people don’t bother me much. My troubles are when I’m somewhere that’s very flat. My girlfriend and I went to Nebraska and Wyoming last year and there were times when I didn’t want to get out of the car. My heart starts pounding, I get sweaty, etc. I’m a pilot and I’m never bothered by flying, which seems odd, but I’m in the plane so I don’t feel like I’m out in the open.When I’m watching television, I don’t even like to watch someone walking out in flat places. It’s weird.

augustlan's avatar

Yeah, I would definitely think it’s agoraphobia. Interesting that the plane makes you feel safe (I have a fear of heights, and planes are no exception!). Welcome to Fluther, by the way. :)

soarwing11's avatar

Thanks augustian. I’ve been suffering with this problem since I was about 11 years old or so. I have a friend who swears it’s because I was abducted by aliens. She says the open places are just a reminder of the trauma I experienced – that maybe I was abducted in an open field. I suppose that’s just as good an explanation as any.

Dreamwright's avatar

Aliens. That’s such an interesting explanation. But if I were scared of large flat land, it would be because of the lack of anything “safe.” There aren’t any buildings or houses to enter, there aren’t any trees to take shelter under, and there aren’t even hills to hide behind or valleys to hide in. If a dangerous situation were to occur, like an attack, violent weather, etc. you would be at a disadvantage.
Also, another explanation is the inability to see an end, if you will. If you wound up in the center, there are no big landmarks to show you the way out. There would be no indication that it was even possible to get out. For all your subconscious knows, the field could be infinite. You’d most likely be lost. And that would be scary.
Of course, I say these things as if they are valid concerns. In a typical situation, if you’re careful you’ll be fine. But some things are too deep seated to change, and while I encourage you to try and overcome, I don’t blame you if you choose not to. As long as it doesn’t interfere with daily life and normal functioning in society, you don’t have a disorder/phobia.

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