There are lots of different flavours of mental illness, but the one that I hate with the biggest passion is Agoraphobia – which is basically a fear of leaving the house.
My Grandmother suffered from it and only left our house twice in 30 years. Once to move and the second time to vote in a general election. Sadly she ended up confusing the voting booth with the men’s toilets which amused us kids, but did nothing for her condition.
The only view she ever saw was a patch of grass on an estate in an odd town in Cambridgeshire. And while she loved her TV it quite often fuelled her confusion as she had imagined that violent scenes from the middle east/US or wherever were actually being replayed just a few streets away. I swear if there had ever been a fire in the house we would have carried her out completely against her will.
Sadly Agoraphobia, as Ruby explains in this video, is a very hard condition to treat. As the girl in the video says, your mind knows that it is ok to go out, it is just that the rest of your body is begging you to stay in. My Grandmother wasn’t a weak person. She had lived in London though the Blitz and quite possibly some of that baggage stayed with her and affected her mental state. I think it is really positive that at last people seem to be taking mental illnesses like agoraphobia, a lot more seriously.