Agoraphobia - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a feeling of fear to escape from a place if any emergency occurs. It can be a shopping mall, a crowded bus or train or standing in a queue. 


Anxiety is a natural feeling of anxiousness and fear in response to stress. We all feel it in different stages of our life, but it is temporary. Sometimes it can become worse if it hastily affects your life. 


In anxiety disorder, fear and restlessness are not temporary. It gets worse by the time and affects the person’s health so much that they become home-bound, or even they do not come out from their rooms. Those who suffer from anxiety attacks find it so difficult to deal with them. But along with supportive and symptomatic treatment, one can control the symptoms of anxiety.



Symptoms


The symptoms of agoraphobia include fear of;


  • Leaving home alone

  • Crowds or waiting inline

  • Using public transportation, such as a bus, plane, or train

  • Enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters, elevators, or small stores

  • Open spaces, such as parking lots, bridges, or malls


You may have fear in these places because you won't be able to escape quickly as the panic attack comes or when other embarrassing symptoms come. 


Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder


Agoraphobia may be accompanied by a panic attack. It is a feeling of intense fear that brings anxiety and is often accompanied by palpitations, sweating, chest pain and you may feel like choking. Having a panic attack may make you avoid the places or situations where it occurred previously. 


The signs and symptoms of a panic attack may include;


  • A feeling of choking

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

  • Upset stomach or diarrhea

  • Feeling a loss of control

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Trouble breathing

  • Fear of dying

  • Feeling shaky, numb, or tingling

  • Excessive sweating

  • Sudden flushing or chills



Causes


The exact cause of agoraphobia is unknown. However, factors that can exacerbate it are;


  • Having a history of family history of depression

  • Having other phobias, such as claustrophobia and social phobia

  • Having another type of anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Having a history of physical abuse

  • Having a history of sexual abuse

  • Having a history of the substance abuse problem

  • Having a family history of agoraphobia


Complications 


Agoraphobia can lead to;


  • Drug or substance abuse

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Personality disorders


Treatment 


Your healthcare provider will prescribe the treatment depending upon the severity of the anxiety. They may prescribe antidepressants, anxiolytics, and psychotherapy to cope with anxiety disorders. 


Conclusion 


Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a feeling of fear to escape from a place if any emergency occurs. It can be a shopping mall, a crowded bus or train or standing in a queue. If you have the same problem you should visit a healthcare provider. 

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