What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is 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. You fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd
A person with Agoraphobia will have extreme fear of being in at least two of the following situations. Public transport, closed places, open places, leaving home, being in a crowd. The person may not leave home due the fear and cannot function normally. He will be totally dependent on others to go out to get his work done. Activities outside of the home such as work, school and exercise are very difficult for them. This fear causes them difficulties while going to work in-turn causes hindrance in socializing leading to problems like depression. The person perceives the worst case scenario if he goes out.
Symptoms of Agoraphobia. Some of the symptoms of Agoraphobia are anxiety, panic attack, breathlessness chest pain, excessive sweating, fear of dying, feeling a loss of control, dizziness, fast heart rate, choking sensations, nausea, and feelings of extreme fear, lightheadedness, Upset stomach or diarrhea. This makes it very difficult to function normally with Agoraphobia.
Causes of Agoraphobia. It is not easy to know the exact cause of agoraphobia. However, there are several factors that are known to increase your risk of developing agoraphobia. Family history of agoraphobia is one of the causes, others include Depression, Anxiety and other phobias. It could also be due to physical or sexual abuse or abuse of substance.
Diagnosis of Agoraphobia. To receive a diagnosis of agoraphobia, a healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and check for any underlying medical conditions that might be causing those symptoms. You may be asked about your medical history and you will be asked about the nature, duration, and severity of your anxiety symptoms.
Treating Agoraphobia. You can manage agoraphobia with lifestyle changes exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine(coffee/tea), alcohol, maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet. It is important to get in touch with a healthcare professional psychiatrist or counselor. They would suggest therapy, medication or a combination of both.
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