Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a disorder of anxiety which causes an excessive fear of certain events. Many people are even unable to going out. Through medication, cognitive behavior therapy and lifestyle adjustments patients can overcome the condition and be able to participate in activities they love. The earlier the disorder is identified and treated, the better are able to work.

OVERVIEW

What is the definition of agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a disorder of anxiety which causes a fearful anxiety of being overwhelmed, or being unable to escape or seek assistance. Because of anxiety and fear those suffering from agoraphobia tend to avoid unfamiliar places and situations, for example:

  • Spaces that are open or enclosed.
  • Crowds.
  • Places outside your home.
  • Public transport.

How many people suffer from agoraphobia?

Between 1% and 2percent of adults across the United States have been diagnosed with agoraphobia. Around 2% of adolescents suffer from it. Agoraphobia is more frequent for women. It typically begins before the age of 35.

What are the risk factors that can cause agoraphobia?

Risk factors for developing agoraphobia include:

  • Being afflicted by anxiety attacks or other fears.
  • Being faced with stressful life events like the loss of loved ones or being attacked or being victimized.
  • A nervous or anxious temperament.
  • In response to panic attacks, you must show excessive fear and anxiety.
  • Have a family member who suffers from agoraphobia.

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SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND OTHER REASONS

What is the cause of anxiety?

It is unclear what causes agoraphobia. It is however often connected to an already existing fear-based disorder. The disorder can trigger short violent attacks of anxiety without a reason. Around a third of those suffering from panic disorder suffer from agoraphobia. However, agoraphobia can also occur by itself.

What is the feeling of agoraphobia?

Everybody experiences anxiety at times. An anxiety disorder may cause an excessive anxiety that impacts everyday routines. Agoraphobia can cause intense anxiety and stress and can cause you to avoid certain situations.

The symptoms of agoraphobia are similar to panic attacks. You may experience:

  • Chest discomfort or a rapid heart rate.
  • Feeling of fear or shakiness.
  • Trouble breathing or hyperventilation.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • The sudden chills or flushing (red facial hotness).
  • Extreme sweating ( hyperhidrosis).
  • Upset stomach.

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DIAGNOSIS and TESTING

What are the signs of agoraphobia?

If you believe you are suffering from agoraphobia and that the fear affects your day-to-day activities it is recommended that you talk to your primary care physician or psychiatrist. If you’re afraid to go to a medical facility personally, then you might be able to make an appointment by phone or via video.

The doctor may be able to ask you:

  • Are you stressed when getting out of your home?
  • Are there any locations or situations that you avoid due to fear? Why do you feel scared?
  • Do you depend on others to shop or run other errands?

A doctor is able to diagnose agoraphobia on the basis of your symptoms, the frequency at which they occur and the severity of them. It is essential to be honest and open with your health care providers. Your doctor may be able to be able to diagnose agoraphobia if you satisfy certain standards set from the American Psychiatric Association. To be diagnosed with agoraphobia, one must be afflicted with anxiety or fear at least in 2 of these circumstances:

  • Public transport.
  • The feeling of being in an open area.
  • In a closed space like the movie theater, a meeting room, or even a small store.
  • In a line or being part of the middle of a crowd.
  • The feeling of being away from home all by yourself.

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Treatment and Management

What are the treatments for agoraphobia?

Treatment for anxiety usually includes a combination of treatments such as medication, therapy and lifestyle modifications.

A therapist can assist you to overcome your anxieties. Through CBT, or cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) A mental health professional will help you identify anxieties that are causing you to feel. You’ll also learn how to respond more effectively.

By using relaxation techniques and desensitization the doctor might help you think of a frightening situation and control the emotions. In the end, you’ll be able to participate in situations that trigger anxiety and be able you can manage emotions. With time, therapy can teach the brain to think in a different way.

Your healthcare provider also may suggest medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These drugs can be used to help treat anxiety or anxiety disorders..

You can treat agoraphobia by making modifications to your lifestyle

  • Be careful with alcohol, drugs and caffeine (coffee tea, soda and coffee for instance).).
  • Consume a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do breathing exercises.

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PREVENTION

What can I do to reduce my chance of suffering from anxiety-related phobia?

There is no way that is proven to stop agoraphobia. But, it’s much easier to control at its earliest phases. The more you stay away from circumstances, the more frightened you’ll be. People with extreme agoraphobia can’t move out of their homes and are completely dependent on other people for assistance. Agoraphobia can lead to other health issues if left untreated, like depression as well as alcohol or drug use and other mental health issues. This is one reason why it is important to seek out help with mental health promptly.

Outlook / Prognostise

What are the chances of recovery (prognosis) for those suffering from agoraphobia?

A third of those who suffer from agoraphobia conquer the disorder and go through a period of completely symptom-free. A large portion of them manage their symptoms more effectively, but they still experience anxiety.

Your loved ones and you are required to be patient while you recover from agoraphobia. A majority of people require between 12 and 20 weeks CBT (talk therapy) in addition to taking medications. With no medication therapy could be a full year.

LIVING with

How can I deal with anxiety?

Be sure to take health care, take your medication as directed and apply the techniques you learned from your counselor. Also, don’t avoid places and situations which can cause anxiety. This combination will allow you to perform activities you enjoy without fear.

A note from the Cleveland Clinic

A lot of people are reluctant to talk about anxiety problems. The condition can cause you to feel anxious and lonely. However, with the right treatment it is possible to manage the symptoms and live an enjoyable life. If anxiety or an condition affects how you live make an appointment with your physician. A candid, open conversation can help you get the treatment you require to live an active life.

Ref..: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15769-agoraphobia

Disclaimer:

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