Book Review. On Agoraphobia by Graham Caveney.

I thought sometimes the fiction blurred into the non-fiction, as Graham Caveney blends his life experiences with examples from literature in On Agoraphobia. It was startling to me, to think of people like Emily Dickinson used as examples in On Agoraphobia, of having that affliction because I just have never thought of it before. Without using the name Agoraphobia, people in literature that stay in their homes and never leave has passed me by as struggling with the same anxiety that I do. I have been looking for more books on the subject, for solidarity more than a cure and I got both. This line ‘it is less a confidence than a confession, a coming out,’ made me realise how much shame I hold and my Agoraphobia is not something I can talk about. Shame festers and I know that but I always forget until I can physically feel the weight of something on me that needs dropping. As for cure, Graham Caveney writes about something called Flooding, a term coined by a researcher called Dr Isaac Marks. The method involves dropping the afflicted right into their fear, instead of gradually being exposed to it. That sounds very counterproductive to me, a way to make me never want to leave home again.

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