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Un-Agoraphobic
Overcome Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Agoraphobia for Good: A Step-by-Step Plan
Hal Mathew
ISBN: 9781573246392
Book (Paperback)
Conari Press
$18.95
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
256 pages
October 1, 2014


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“Using his own experience and what he’s learned in support groups and counseling sessions, journalist Mathew sets out to assist victims of agoraphobia overcome their panic attacks and anxiety. After giving basic information about the condition, he proposes a highly structured hour-by-hour plan for each day, which entails journaling, performing relaxation exercises, learning a new skill, and rewiring one’s brain. The author’s advice on seeking help from therapists and lawyers as well as dealing with partners and bosses rounds out the text. VERDICT: Mathew not only delivers assurance to those suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia but provides a way through difficult situations.” —Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal

If Hal Could Do It, So Can You

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that nearly 1.5% of the population of the United States suffers from agoraphobia at some point in their lifetime. That’s 4.5 million people.

You are not alone. No matter how alone you may feel, you are not alone.

Former journalist, social worker, and amateur actor Hal Mathew knows exactly what it’s like “to fear fear,” which is how he describes the dread feeling that kept him from leaving home (or at least leaving sober and at ease) for nearly 30 years. Then, slowly but with grit and determination, he began to piece together a plan for overcoming his phobias and resuming a regular life. And it worked. And then he started teaching other people how to do it. Now he has written this book to share his self-care plan with you.

“Un-Agoraphobic is designed to help you make discoveries—many every day—that will help you realize a new way to think about and/or take control of everyday problems you couldn’t manage as recently as this morning. …Once you get the ball rolling, you won’t be able to stop it until you are completely and forever free of panic disorder and everything that comes with it. You are going to be free, my friend. Totally.” –from the Introduction

Hal will guide you through writing practices, visualization techniques, even cooking and eating routines to help you feel anchored and safe and ready to take your first trips out of the house. He’ll answer your questions, offer general survival tips, and even includes a special chapter for your spouses and loved ones.

No one knows exactly what causes agoraphobia or panic attacks, but miscommunication in the brain is certainly involved. The good news is that recent neuroscience research shows us that the brain is retrainable—at any age. You can stop feeling like this. You will stop feeling like this. With Hal’s help, you will be able to retrain your body and brain so you can take your life back. Totally and forever.

Hal Mathew was born and raised in Billings, MT. He began his writing and editing career at The Billings Gazette. Despite being plagued by panic disorder and agoraphobia, his journalism career included several other newspapers and a wire service. With Un-Agoraphobic he has created a way for those suffering with continual anxiety and panic attacks to reclaim their lives. He makes pottery, gardens, and writes in his adopted home of Salem, Oregon. Photo credit: Alishe Maher
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