Woman Faces Agoraphobia With Facebook

Learn how one mom cured herself from a debilitating illness using social media.
5:33 | 01/10/12

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Transcript for Woman Faces Agoraphobia With Facebook
-- of people log on to FaceBook to reconnect and stay up to date on friends and family. But -- keeping up with all your friends actually help -- turn your life around ABC's -- -- -- that woman put her life on the line defined -- a serious problem she does and -- is an incredible story George according to the national institute of mental health. About 5% of Americans ages eighteen to 54 have a -- phobic symptoms in any given year with women twice as likely to be diagnosed with -- as men. You're about to meet one woman who has battled the illness for more than thirty years and who finally decided to tackle her peers by meeting nearly two. 300 friends all over the world in just one year. -- -- Needless what -- -- -- sold what you are watching is Arlen press -- a mother of two enduring a debilitating panic attack. Eric and -- fifty year old romance writer suffers from the anxiety disorder -- -- phobia. -- -- -- -- -- -- She's terrified of social interaction and public places the condition has ruled her life for nearly thirty years the severe panic attacks land her in the -- I don't I started to get -- to three times a week and then pretty soon I just couldn't go anywhere and I felt that I was. Avoiding world and nine was fifty people my sons had left for school. Miami. Marriage was -- And I work at my house. And so. It became known recently the house. And site AT that was your safe place -- -- placement safe places right here. But on December 31 2000 intense pressure made a resolution to confront her greatest fear -- -- -- And every year and -- going to. -- -- This sounds. More organized. -- -- to -- -- mr. Rattner. That's -- -- -- touch it's instead Arlen resolved to leave her home and go meet all of her FaceBook friends and one year. Prayers. Marking Phillips. That is -- and Mexicans it's Christie is an Alaska. There's. A -- in -- She's in New York I have no she. 365. Days 325. Friends and ambitious goal for anyone but for someone with the -- phobia. By the next morning I thought I have made a huge mistake I have made the biggest mistake of my life -- have to take down that post. And roughly 10% of my friends authority weighed in with we can't -- -- -- supporting your. She walked out her front door and hit the road meeting friends across the US Canada Alaska and Mexico. Thirteen countries and some 39 fleiss and her son with her reporting her experiences along the way. There was one woman -- she was very into wine and she wanted to teach me accountable for -- -- And that was so fun -- you yeah yeah. She largest single -- -- -- -- a little karate. -- even some fishing. I thought she but it was not without anxiety panic attacks on the road were comments. This I think one of the worst -- -- -- and I was in Bellevue Iowa and -- gotten lost in it was during a tornado I really thought. I'm this is it for me. Thank -- -- that it's okay. A year later she -- met 292. Of her friends and while she says she'll likely always suffer from a -- phobia. She's no longer afraid. And now she wants to use her experience as a way to help others in her condition I want people to feel -- To message -- to say. I can second my house for year. You know what do I do what did you do and how can I do. I want them to do that Arlen admits that her decision to travel the world is not the conventional treatment for those battling the -- phobia. But wouldn't say two to naysayers out there that this -- this is just crazy woman at the crazy -- holy -- -- I'd say -- Absolutely. It it is it is something kind of crazy but it worked for me. Just that -- spinning. -- -- Com that -- yeah that's right there in Thailand -- Garland says she is still a -- a phobic and had a panic attack the day before I met her. Which makes what she did all the more astounding she says she didn't do this to cure herself. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And she said that national market and she's more comfortable with that and she's more comfortable -- managed -- try to talk about her she just kept pushing the envelope attacked it's -- -- -- thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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