Running out of excuses
I'm not a doctor. Always good to put that out there, so it's great that you have actually found a nice GP.
What you describe sounds like me, or "used to be me", or "sometimes still is me but not as often as before". Anxiety, if not Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) then perhaps a Social Phobia (don't want to go out) or Agoraphobia (don't want to go out in case I have a panic attack). Those are certainly things to ask your GP about rather than just taking the "know-it-all" advice of a random blogging stranger.
My experience with drugs was it took two weeks for the drugs to make any difference at all, at which point I felt very sick, upset, and ready to shed blood (it didn't matter if it was mine or someone else's), two weeks more to get back to normal (as in, where I was before I started on drugs) and then four more weeks until I leveled of at a new, happy normal. Well, happiER normal, I'm still not happy, but I'm no longer sad. So, keep your GP informed, but know that it does take time for meds to get there and it gets worse before it gets better.
But it does get better, and for many people it gets fantastic. It's not fantastic for me, but it's better.
And hopefully, once you're a bit better, you'll feel safer when you are in public and more confident to do it more often.
It might help, if you can access it, to get some psychology around "Cognitive Behaviour Therapy" where you learn to talk back to yourself. "So why don't I want to go out? No, actually I think that's a poor answer so I'm actually going to go." type of thing.
Dear Lidia & Damian,
Maybe having to have a reason is the real pressure.
If you go back to prehistoric times most of society's main reason for doing things was survival. But, if we decide NOT to go to a restaurant nowadays we will still survive. Maybe some family members will feel let down or embarrassed. But we'll all survive.
Having a heart attack feeling / blacking out whilst trying to fit into a social scene......... just guessing here, but maybe it's your subconscious telling you to "prove" how disabled you are. The old "I really am sick - LOOK !" then stumble to the ground.
Cos the last thing an anxious person needs is someone telling them what to do.
PS Dear Damien, Kind of true this whole "feeling safe" in public as most hospital emergencies are caused by home accidents. LIke that other statistic about driving accidents mostly happening when we are 1km from home. I was walking my dog last week and a driver went through a brick wall, garden gnome collection and ended up half way through the lounge. But then it was the neighbours house. (Sorry, couldn't be bothered to respond separately - too many clicks !).
Wow U sound like u have it bad you poor thing. Have u tried anti anxiety herbal supplements and tried that when u have the attacks? It sometimes works or even chew the pastilles when u r feeling bad? I do and it seems to help.......and try that when u go out.
i have told one girl at work how I am feeling as I do cold calling to clients all day and my attacks have been cos of my job......and now I have trouble swallowing which I guess is another part of anxiety (hope it is).......
maybe do meditation......or something that will help u switch off??..