01 May 2014

Agoraphobia and Panic Attacks

I was in London recently, and it was my first time to visit the city. I didn't realize it was that crowded. And perhaps because of that, I think I don't deal well with crowds, to the point that I think I am having these miniature panic attacks.

See, I was in London for five days a couple of months ago. And it was a weird experience. I hated the fact that Oxford Street as well as Trafalgar Square was so full of people, that I just have to surrender my willpower when it comes to moving, and simply follow the crowds. It's like I need to just go where the person in front of me goes, because otherwise I'd be trampled and walked over. If I want to turn left or right, I would have to cut someone off his path.

There were so many people, and they all spoke English. It felt like I was hearing voices in my head, except those voices were outside. I am so glad that Berlin doesn't get crowded like this, and that my German is in that level where I am not really proficient in it and therefore I still am able to tune it out.

We went to Harrods one of those days, and went up and down the Egyptian escalators. It was so surreal, and I just followed the people go up and down the escalator, until I said that I cannot be in here anymore, since I couldn't breathe, so we went outside and caught some fresh air.

I rarely experienced these things in the past, mostly only when I was in New York City, or in malls during sale season or after Thanksgiving. I hate crowds, and yes, there were several times in London when I just thought I needed to escape and go away to somewhere more quiet and less populated.


  1. I usually don't mind crowds but I developed a mild case of agoraphobia these past few years. Weird. I hate feeling trapped as well, although I don't mind elevators.

    1. Zhu,

      I guess there are many ways to feel trapped. I was trapped in an elevator once, in Quito, for 2 hours. I didn't mind that, just sat in there in the dark until they were able to open it. But crowds, on the other hand, I don't like it.