I'm agoraphobia Still, I continue to play my favorite baseball April 20th, 11:21

"I'm worried when I'm in a large space."


"I'm afraid to get on an airplane or bullet train."



Such a symptom is one of "agoraphobia."



Symptoms such as difficulty breathing occur in places where you cannot escape immediately or where you cannot seek help.



Shoji Nagano (29), who announced this illness during his active career at professional baseball Lotte, was notified last year that he was out of force.



Still, while he worked as an office worker, he decided to continue playing baseball in a working club team.



(Ayari Suzuki, Network News Department)

4 years of professional life while fighting agoraphobia

Mr. Nagano


There is no effect of illness on the work of the company now.

It's rather comfortable.

In professional baseball, there are restrictions on movement, so it's a shame that I couldn't get any results even though I had them use it.

I don't think there is such a stimulating experience.

Mr. Nagano joined Lotte in 2018 from Honda, a professional baseball team, in 6th place in the draft.



He played for four years as a left-handed relief pitcher.



He was out of force last fall and participated in a joint tryout of 12 teams with the aim of continuing his career.



He threw a straight of nearly 150 kilometers, but he didn't speak.



And he decided to play at the Fuchu Baseball Club, a professional club team in Tokyo.



The first thing I heard from Mr. Nagano when I started interviewing him was his own symptoms of agoraphobia.

Mr. Nagano


It seems that he has a seizure like hyperventilation, and he feels tired and tired.

It makes me feel nervous that I couldn't get on the vehicle again.

Your body feels like your heart is pounding and you sweat.

What is agoraphobia?

When you are on public transportation, in a crowd, in a closed space or in a spacious space, you may feel that you cannot escape and you want to avoid it.



The scene where the symptom appears varies from person to person.



Mr. Nagano is difficult to travel by public transportation such as trains, bullet trains, and planes other than local trains, but it is okay to drive by yourself.



However, the highway is not absolutely okay.

The first feeling of strangeness when I was in elementary school

When did Mr. Nagano from Oita Prefecture face agoraphobia?



The first person who felt uncomfortable was in the second or third grade of elementary school.



He was practicing school songs many times in the music room.

Mr. Nagano


Someone played around and was forced to start over, and started thinking "when will it end?"

Then I got scared and ran away from the music room.

Then, even when I was on the bus on an excursion, I started thinking "How long do I have to take this bus. When will I arrive?" And "I want to get off now."

It was painful to be in a car driven by his parents as he went to practice for the youth baseball team.

Mr. Nagano


Every time I went to practice, my father and mother told me that I would arrive in about 10 minutes.

Once I knew the end, I managed to regain my composure.

Junior high school and high school graduated safely

Middle school and high school went to a local school from their parents' home.



At that time, most of the movements were within the range where the road conditions were known, and I was not afraid, and I had no major physical problems.



In high school, I was able to participate in school trips outside the prefecture.



When I entered Kyushu International University in Fukuoka Prefecture and changed my base of life, I became ill.



The opportunity was to move by bus to the baseball club ground.

When I was on the bus, Mr. Nagano


got sick and got off the bus many times.

After consulting with the university director, I was told that I could get a driver's license and started to move by my own car.

So when I learned the way, I was able to get on the bus.

When I was in my third year of college, my calm body became ill again, and when I was diagnosed by a doctor for the first time, I found out that I had agoraphobia.



Even so, when I was in high school, Mr. Nagano, who had no connection with Koshien, was active as a mainstay at the university, not an ace.



There was a one-year ronin era due to the influence of "Tommy John surgery" to repair the ligaments, but it was decided to join Honda, a powerhouse of adult baseball, because the straight of nearly 150 km was evaluated.

Ball speed is further increased to the professional world

Honda had players who were active in Koshien and was not the mainstay from the beginning.



I ran silently to build my body, and the straight went up to 153km at the fastest.



Having experienced the mound of intercity baseball tournament at the national tournament, he has become a focus of attention from professional baseball scouts.



However, when I told all 12 teams that sent the questionnaire about agoraphobia, Lotte and another team showed their intention to acquire it until the end.

Mr. Nagano


Let's talk to Honda's director and tell him about his illness.

It's a big deal if it becomes known after joining the group.

I got a medical certificate at the hospital and wrote "I have these symptoms".

The long-awaited professional entry also suffers from the symptoms of agoraphobia

At the draft meeting in his second year at the company, Mr. Nagano was nominated by Lotte in 6th place and became a long-sought professional baseball player.

I took medicine and was able to fly safely to the spring camp held on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa in February.



It also succeeded in appealing to the leaders and increased the chances of pitching in the open game.



During that time, I had to fly many times, and I lost consciousness because of dizziness that I had never experienced on a small plane from Kochi to Miyazaki.



Still, he was promoted to the 1st army at the end of the season.



He made his first professional pitch in the Seibu match on October 4, and managed to score no goals in the first inning.



In his first year, he pitched in four games and did not allow a goal.

I couldn't participate in the camp in the second year of the game

This is the second year of the camp, where we have been able to get a feel for what we are doing as a professional.



Mr. Nagano will head to Ishigaki Island from Kansai Airport with the team staff.



The reason why it is not Haneda Airport is to reduce the time spent on the plane as much as possible.



However, the first time I turned back in front of the boarding gate.

The next day, I was able to get to the cabin, but as I was walking down the aisle, I was hit by a fierce attack.



"I can't do it,"



I was struck by hopelessness, and the action I took was "escape."



I got out of the hotel near the airport, took the train that stopped at each station and the Kodama of the Shinkansen, and returned to my home in Saitama prefecture.



I was afraid of contact from the team, so I left my mobile phone turned off.

Mr. Nagano


If you can't go camping because you can't fly, it's impossible to go camping anymore.

He wanted to say he would quit.

After that, I was asked to move by private car in order to have a place to talk with the baseball team and concentrate on baseball.

Mr. Nagano


I don't like it, but even if I don't go camping (there are 2 military facilities), if I practice in Urawa, the amount will drop a little, but I was told that I can adjust it myself. ..

Thank you very much.

In this way, in the second year, I did not participate in the camp and adjusted the condition by myself.



In March, when the team's camp was over, we announced that we had agoraphobia.



I also stopped taking medications that I felt would affect my performance.



Instead, hypnosis suggests that you're okay.



How to fast and get hungry.



VR = virtual reality that reflects the situation when you get on an airplane or train.



I tried everything I heard was effective, but the symptoms did not improve.

With the support of fans and people with the same illness

Amid anxiety about the future, Mr. Nagano, who announced his illness, received letters of encouragement from not only Lotte and baseball fans but also people suffering from the same illness from all over the country.



In some cases, a large amount of canned mackerel was sent because it contained ingredients that soothed the symptoms.



Mr. Nagano still keeps the letters carefully.

Mr. Nagano


When I threw it on the mound, he said, "I got the courage. Thank you." That was the driving force for me to do my best as a professional.

If people with the same illness can feel good by doing good pitching, I thought it would be terrible and did my best.

In the second season, I drove my own car to the venue for practice and games.



It is said that he held the steering wheel only for fun in the games held in Osaka and Miyagi.



And in the third year, he went up to the mound in 13 games, which was his most.

Mr. Nagano


I think it's difficult to get people to understand this illness, so I might have been envious of traveling by car all the time.

He was told by the team that he wouldn't say anything if he got results, and he wanted to do his best.

Unfortunate out-of-force notification Tryout participation

Last season, the fourth year that I vowed to make a leap forward.



Mr. Nagano hurt his left shoulder during the voluntary training before the camp.



The injury did not recover as expected, and there was no pitching in the 1st army.



He did not produce any results in the 2nd army and was notified that he was out of force.



After that, the pain in his shoulder disappeared, so he participated in a joint tryout of 12 teams.



He threw well on a straight approaching 150 kilometers, but no team was willing to win.



Meanwhile, Hidenori Kosaka, a coach of the club team Fuchu Baseball Club of working people and a giant scout, called out to me.

Mr. Kosaka


was number one in the list.

He would have been incompletely burned because of his illness, and I want him to hit his regrets.

Mr. Nagano decided to continue playing baseball after working in order to stabilize his life.

Mr. Nagano


I heard from three teams in the independent league.

However, I know the rigors of the independent league, and I haven't had much trouble with professional baseball.

The thoughts of those who supported me nearby

My wife, Saori (25), who works as a nurse, met Nagano's adult baseball era and has supported her by her side.



She remembers feeling uneasy because she would have to travel by public transport once she decided to become a professional.

Even at my wife Saori's


house, there are more and more people saying, "What should I do if I can't ride?"

I thought that thinking only about vehicles would make me stressed because I couldn't concentrate on my favorite baseball game, so I dared to avoid talking about vehicles so that I could spend a relaxing time at home.

And it is said that the life after professional baseball was left to Mr. Nagano.

My wife, Saori


, said she wanted to continue playing baseball, so I wanted her to do as much as she could if she wanted to.

I'm glad I was able to continue playing baseball with my new team.

A new life starts as an office worker

January, about a month after the tryout.



Mr. Nagano became a sales employee of a recycling company in Tokyo that collects and refines precious metals.



He is specially allowed to use his own car for commuting, and he drives his company car to the offices of Tochigi and Ibaraki.

It's been about 3 months since I joined the company.

Now I remember the work flow in pairs with my seniors.



It is said that if you run in a place you do not know, you may be likely to have symptoms of agoraphobia.

Mr. Nagano


There is a road called New Route 4 that connects Tochigi and Ibaraki.

There are few traffic lights and it feels like a highway, so when I first passed, I felt a little unpleasant.

At that time, I was asked by my seniors to say something at the right time, and I was gradually relieved.

Daisuke Torii, a senior at work


I heard from my boss about my illness.

He also checks closely when driving and tries to make sure it's okay.

The heat throw that I showed in the game after a long time

Mr. Nagano's approach to baseball has changed dramatically.



Club team practice and matches are only on weekends.



From Monday to Friday, you can only do weight training and running by yourself after work.



Under such circumstances, the second round of the Tokyo Preliminary Round of the All Japan Club Championship was held on April 10, and Mr. Nagano started.

Once, he walks a runner and gives the first goal with a timely hit by the 4th batter.



Even so, the straight that I put a lot of effort into marked 147 km at the fastest.



After the second time, he recovered and showed a dangerous pitching.



As coach Kosaka said, "Nagano's pitching rhythm was good, which led to the attack," the teammates scored points after the middle stage.



Mr. Nagano is a good thrower who takes 11 strikeouts with 1 goal in the 8th inning.



And since he was in high school, he took 163 balls that he didn't remember, but he became a winning pitcher.

Mr. Nagano's


team told me that it was time for this day, so the number of balls increased, but I'm glad I won.

I think it's good when the amount of practice has dropped sharply compared to when I was a professional.

Even a new team will not lose illness

At the end of the interview, Mr. Nagano told me, "I've had some joy lately."



It is said that there was a person who sent a fan letter to the team's hometown, Fuchu City Baseball Field.

<< Part of the letter >>


Mr. Nagano, who was sick but worked hard as a professional, is really amazing.

He is no longer a Marines player, but let him continue to support him.


I'm grateful to

Mr. Nagano .

It's really the driving force.

He wasn't thrown in the 1st army so much, but the people who are watching this way are watching, so I'll do my best without losing the illness.

I want to do my best together.

Although he is away from the professional world, Mr. Nagano wants to continue his favorite baseball game and give the people who support him the power to live.

Nagano's performance in professional baseball

2018 4 games 0 wins 0 losses ERA 0.00


2019 5 games 0 wins 0 losses 3 holds ERA 4.50


2020 13 games 0 wins 0 losses ERA 5.40


2021


22 games in total 0 wins 1 loss 3 holds ERA 4.30

What is agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is Agoraphobia in English.

"Agora" is a Greek word derived from the ancient Greek "square", so it is translated as "agoraphobia" in Japanese.



According to Hisanobu Kaiya, the director of a hospital specializing in psychosomatic medicine, agoraphobia is a symptom of avoiding situations and situations because of fear of places where people cannot escape immediately or where help is not sought.



The scenes that make you feel scared vary from person to person.



Symptoms appear in vehicles such as trains and planes, crowds, and on the contrary, even when there is only one person in a wide open field.

It is thought to be caused by stress, and it is not a rare symptom because a child may develop in the home of a patient whose father or mother is a patient.


In addition, "panic disorder", which causes symptoms similar to "agoraphobia", is considered to be another disease.

Some people, like Mr. Nagano, are diagnosed with agoraphobia instead of panic disorder, while others develop agoraphobia after having panic disorder.



The main treatments for agoraphobia are drug treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy, which may be done in parallel.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy gradually accustoms you to fear.

The method using VR = virtual reality performed by Mr. Nagano is also one of the cognitive behavioral therapies.

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