The idea of the false identity comes from the book titled Home Coming written by John Bradshaw and even though it’s not the main focus, I found it a very interesting concept in terms of agoraphobia as well.
The phenomenon of the false identity is rooted in some kind of an overwhelming toxic shame, experienced some time in our past. According to Bradshaw, shame is the master-emotion, modifying our original emotions, needs and drivers, thus creating a false framework for experiencing emotions, which basically means a false identity.
So having experienced a toxic dose of shame would result in a false identity at a later stage. Often the result is being out of sync with our own emotions and thus trying to numb them out. Obsessions can be a good indicator of this problem. Obsessions don’t require feelings, actually they can serve as a tool to fill the gap left by the unexpressed feelings.
Another indicator of the false identity is self-isolation and the fear of depending on someone. This can be caused by several aspects of our past, but the one related to this concept is that once we experienced toxic shame and subconsciously interpreted it as the failure of our caregivers, which resulted in the inability of trusting others to take care of us.
Now the message here is absolutely not that every person suffering from agoraphobia is fake or doesn’t have emotions. However, maybe we need to pay a bit more attention to understanding what it really is that we are experiencing, why we are having those feelings and how we can accept them as they are and not worry about how the word sees them.