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Chuck Palahniuk's Life with Agoraphobia

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Holli Foster

on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of Chuck Palahniuk's Life with Agoraphobia

Work Experience
Status Update
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Shared His Story
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Chuck's life is detailed in his work, from his inspiration of the events that occurred during his time spent at the Cacophony Society the imspiration for his most famous work "Fight Club". He, before the onset of his disorder was a huge member in community service projects, but since the onset, he has become home bound and stays in, and devotes most of his time to writing novels, and music for bands like Pablo Honey.
Soon after he graduated from college, he experienced a street fight that permanently changed him. He could not find a way to avoid the incident, but he soon saw that this was his father and step mother being murdered by the step mothers ex husband. This sensation of helplessness forever affected the way he could interact. He became afraid of public transportation, and walking alone on the streets. He can no longer go alone, otherwise he experiences a panic attack. This overwhelming fear he experiences is depicted in his novel Lullaby. Chuck now requires a companion to accompany him on any outings.
In his twenties, Palahniuk attended the University of Oregon School of Journalism, and graduated in 1986
Palahniuk is the author of the famous novel
Fight Club
and the later adaptation
The Pursuit of Happiness
. After writing for the local newspaper for a short while, he began working for Freightliner as a diesel mechanic, continuing in that job until his writing career took off. During that time, he also wrote manuals on fixing trucks and had a stint as a journalist. Palahniuk performed volunteer work for a homeless shelter; later, he also volunteered at a hospice as an escort; he provided transportation for terminally ill people and brought them to support group meetings. He still writes and inspires, but is limited in what he can do, due to his disorder.
Lives In
Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington. He currently still lives there and in Oregon when he is writing.
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It's not just a fear. It's a lifestyle.
Chuck Palahniuk's Life with Agoraphobia
Here is a video describing what it feels like to live with Agoraphobia, and what the panic attacks feel like.

"Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It’s all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary."
More about Agoraphobia
The essential feature of Agoraphobia is anxiety about being in (or anticipating) situations from which escape might be difficult or in which help may not be available in the event of having a Panic Attack (or panic-like symptoms). Oftentimes, when in this situation, an individual may have the vague thought that something dreadful may happen. Such concerns must persist for at least 6 months and occur virtually every time an individual encounters the place or situation. Agoraphobic fears typically involve situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile.
How To Become Diagnosed
More specifically, the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 requires that an individual experiences intense fear in response to (or when anticipating entering) at least 2 of the following 5 situations:
1) using public transportation, such as automobiles, buses, trains, ships, or planes

2) being in open spaces, such as parking lots, marketplaces, or bridges

3) being in enclosed spaces, such as shops, theaters, or cinemas

4) standing in line or being in a crowd

5) being outside of the home alone

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