Hi everyone, I just joined. I have an issue that has been bothering me for years but has significantly increased in the last few months. I suffer from a very intense, sometimes overwhelming fear of being attacked, particularly in or around my home. I live with 1 roommate in a 2-bedroom apartment. I am constantly checking around corners, down the hallway, in my bathroom, even under the couch, etc for intruders. In fact, my anxiety is rising now just thinking about the possibilities! I have a hard time leaving my apartment, especially at night, when I have to walk through the space between the living room and kitchen and cant see every corner. Out in front of the apartment is just as bad as there are several bushes and other parked cars where anyone could be hiding. More than once I have jumped in my car and sped away like a maniac out of fear. I also get scared often laying in bed at night that someone could be in the room or even standing over me and me not even realize it. Gosh thats scary! I live in a fairly safe, fairly small town and there is little crime, especially of any violent nature. My fear is completely unfounded and I know that, but it's absolutely terrifying. Tonight I walked out to my mailbox, about 50 yards away, and had to control my breathing as to not hyperventilate. It seems to be getting worse recently.
Now, heres my question. I work in the mental health field and have tried to do some reading and self-help things with myself to help this problem, but the phobia things dont really seem on target for me. They often talk about reminding yourself why its completely irrational, which in reality it's not - it doesnt make sense to tell myself to not be careful walking alone, even if the risk is small. They also talk a lot about flooding yourself with the stimuli, but I cant really do that either. Is it possible that this is more of an OCD trait, on the obsession side? I do have some other minor OCD traits. Or would it be a phobia? Because I think it's natural to have some small fear of this - most people just dont let it interfere with their lives.
Thanks for any answers to that question or other advice anyone can give me.
If I am away from home, except for a few very specific locations (banks, 7-11s), I'm perfectly fine.