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Author Topic: Wanting to convert with all my heart and soul, but my situation......  (Read 765 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 14, 2013, 10:32:12 PM »

How can a person who is an agoraphobic "shut-in" with physical and mental problems can become Orthodox? I can give more details as replies come.
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 10:42:50 PM »

Does the problem limit all Church attendance? Fwiw I struggled with anxiety and often found going to something like Vespers much easier to deal with, partly because it was shorter, partly because there were a lot less people, and also because it was just a more laid back and comfortable atmosphere. Some services would seem to me to be better than others, but perhaps this is not an option here.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 11:39:35 PM »

How can a person who is an agoraphobic "shut-in" with physical and mental problems can become Orthodox? I can give more details as replies come.

I still have to take medicine, which sometimes makes me throw up. It hasn't been working lately. Talk to a doctor, and the local priest. I think priests are told to be understanding of medical problems.

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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 05:25:39 PM »

My father has been suffering from agoraphobia for ~15 years and that's probably one of the main reasons that he attends church rarely.

I don't know what sort of agoraphobia you have but e.g if my father is picked up by car to the destination it's not problem for him, so that's one of the tips.

I think that if you have strong will and faith it will be easier for you to attend regularly the church, that in some moment you will get used to this place. And of course, as biro has written, talk with a priest from your possible future parish.

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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 06:55:36 PM »

Your local pastor will be able to suggest  solutions to you. Various services are better than others for many. There are Divine Liturgies available to watch but alas no communion is available unless the priest visits you. Our Pastor assures that there are several areas at the church where one can here the Liturgy and come in when it is time for communion. We have several members who have anxiety and social phobias who do this and commune with some frequency. My grandson's godfather has a compromised immune system and goes to Liturgies during the week when fewer people are present and Great Vespers on the weekend when again their are fewer people.
I hope this will help you on your journey. The Church is for all those who wish to be part of it, psychologically well as well as those who have psychological issues---there is a place in it for you.

Your brother in Christ ,
Knee V
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 01:14:11 PM »

I think that the best plan would be to call/email the nearest priest and ask him for advice about how to engage the Orthodox life with your situation. He can help you with this specific issue much better than we could.

This website can help you find a parish near you: http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/parishes
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 01:04:02 PM »

Hi there.
I can empathize with you to a point as someone who has pretty serious social anxiety. I know a few people who have converted and had similar issues but found that prayer and faith helped them cope with it. Some were even able to stop taking medication.
My anxiety is generally related to panic attacks, so I make sure I take my PRN (that is, the fast-acting sedatives I'm prescribed for panic attacks) with me so it's there if I need it, and knowing I have the option to take it tends to help a lot.
If your medication is making you sick perhaps you should ask about taking something else? I was prescribed xanax for a long time before being taken off it and put onto thorazine.

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