A young woman with her back to the viewer of the image, looking up as a train station arrivals board. The title of the article - Fear Of Going Somewhere New - is across the top of the image

Fear Of Going Somewhere New

Recently, I’ve decided to stop bringing my partner to all my appointments. Partly because they keep getting rescheduled last minute, but also because it’s not fair on them. My partner has to take a lot of time off to come to my many appointments. My fear of going somewhere new, or even just going to a new ward at a hospital I’ve been to before, needs to be overcome.



What Is The Fear Of Going Somewhere New?


Most people that have a fear of going somewhere new, or anywhere, are likely to have agoraphobia. The classic definition of agoraphobia is that people are scared of open spaces, but that’s simply not the truth. You can be scared of leaving your home, getting on public transport, or visiting crowded places like a shopping centre or town centre instead.


Anyone can have a fear of going somewhere new, especially if it’s going on holiday, but it’s not a phobia until that fear becomes debilitating. If you notice your heartbeat or breathing becomes more rapid, you start to feel hot and sweaty, and/or you start to feel sick, then you might have agoraphobia. Furthermore, if you notice that you’re starting to avoid situations and events because of that fear, then you could also have agoraphobia.




My Story


The Fear


I’ve suffered from agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder for almost two decades now. As a result, I’ve had a huge problem with going outside, especially in the earlier years of the manifestation of my anxiety disorders. But after living with them for so long and taking some extreme actions to treat myself, my anxiety disorders still spike when I have to go somewhere new.


The fear of going somewhere new isn’t entirely rational, but it feels like it’s due to the reduced control you have over the situation. If you don’t know the area, then how can you know you won’t get lost? What the best way to get away and get back home? Or where you can go to collect yourself if you have a panic attack? These are the kinds of thoughts that drive this fear.


My anxiety disorders are manageable in areas I’m really familiar with, like going to the shops near my place or going into town where I do my proper food shopping. However, with stuff like going somewhere new or going to an appointment, my anxiety and fear spike.


The reason this is a problem is that my anxiety disorders can cause psychotic episodes. This is thanks to one unfortunate event involving a truckload of alcohol and drugs, and some well-meaning friends, that changed my life forever: Drug-Induced Psychosis And My Anxiety Disorders.


I’ve always known the only reason I asked them to come with me is to make my anxiety easier to handle, but that’s pretty selfish. I also don’t want my needs to damage my partner’s career due to taking too much time off just to come to my appointments.


The picture is split in two with the top image being of a couple looking at a map and the bottom image being of a young white female in summer clothes sitting on the hood of an old mint condition Volkswagen Beetle near the sea shore. The two images are separated by the article title - Fear Of Going Somewhere New


More often than not, I’ve been to these hospitals so often that it’s not like I’m going to somewhere unfamiliar anymore. Yet, I still want my partner to come with me just to make my fear easier to handle.


The Change


Weirdly, I went to my second MRI (Quick Post About My MRI Trip) on my own without really thinking about it. I don’t know why I still prefer to take my partner to my other appointments when I didn’t feel the need to for my MRI appointment.


Thus, I decided enough was enough. I would only ask my partner to come to the really important appointments. For all my other appointments, I’d go on my own.


So far, I’ve done just that. In my last few appointments, I’ve gone on my own, even though my partner has offered to take the time off work to come with me. I went to My Short Synacthen Test (SST) on my own and to the follow-up appointment with my endocrinologist to get the results.


I also went to My Gastrointestinal Appointmentest on my own, as well as to my PIP (Why I Hate Atos And Their Assessments) assessment. Although this was largely because I didn’t want to have to reschedule it due to having to ring them up on the phone. I hate talking on the phone, which is another fear I need to overcome.




I haven’t really used any tips or tricks to overcome my fear of going somewhere new. That work was done a long time ago when I found a way to massively reduce my psychotic episodes. It was just a matter of accepting the fact that it’ll only be a mild discomfort that’ll lessen the more I engage in these actions. Basically, classic graded exposure.


For some useful information on graded exposure, visit my article ‘Trypanophobia: Life With A Fear Of Needles‘ where I discuss how it could be used to overcome a fear of needles.


I do still have a few distractions and “busy” strategies that I use to help manage my anxiety disorders when I leave my place. The one I find most useful is always having my headphones with me so I can listen to music. However, this can sometimes backfire with helping me with my anxiety.


If I’m listening to music but can’t see a display of stops on the train/tube/bus when travelling to a new place, then it can vamp up my anxiety instead. This is due to the fear of missing my stop and looking like a fool if I have to travel back the way I just came. Thus, I normally have it at a level I can enjoy my music distraction but still hear the callout for the stops.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to talk about your experiences with anxiety and the fear of going somewhere new in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


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21 thoughts on “Fear Of Going Somewhere New

  1. I really relate to your experiences. I have agoraphobia as well as SAD. It is an extremely difficult thing to go to a new appointment. Filling out papers, talking more, etc. Not as much of a routine. I still go with my mom to many appointments, but I had to challenge myself to make myself okay with going alone. I’ve gotten to the point where I am and am proud of that. I’m proud of you for taking this huge step!

  2. I hope you are immensely proud of yourself for going to those appointments alone. That is such a beautiful step! I have a fear of going places alone and my husband takes time off work to come with me. I hope I will get to the point that I can go alone. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s very Inspiring ?

  3. Great post, I can really relate! I loving travelling to new places but always get such bad anxiety before I get there. I have found ways to calm myself now once I arrive, but the anxious feel before I leave seems to never go away.

  4. I’m a stranger, but I am proud of you. I’m proud of you for accepting what is and trying to push yourself despite your mental health. I can relate to this somewhat. I don’t ever leave my house without my husband because of how bad my anxiety is. Thank you for showing us readers it’s possible to accept things we can’t change.

  5. What you are doing is amazing! It takes a lot to fight against yourself. Relating here to fear of talking on the phone, I can only do a limited amount of conversations on the phone before I am a mess. It is a normal thing to do but it has really bad affect on me.

  6. It’s great that you took that step to go to appointments alone! I’m also proud of you for that. I wish you continued progress on your journey! 🙂

  7. Anxiety has become a disease of modern society. The are many ways out, but so difficult to commit to them…

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