Q: After 40 years Betty and I are still in love, but I’m worried, especially about this festive season. I’m gregarious, and Betty’s a little shy, but we’ve always had an active social life. She enjoys gardening, reading and cooking, so her home is her world, but – since we’ve retired – she’s increasingly unwilling to leave it, coming up with excuses to invitations, or backing out at the last minute, but encouraging me to go. If I insist that I’d prefer her to accompany me, she gets agitated or emotional. A: Being vision-impaired, I empathise with Betty’s experience. If one is not careful, a love of being in a safe and familiar environment can turn into social anxiety or agoraphobia, a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed, […]