General Knowledge

What is Agoraphobia? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Agoraphobia is a fear of being in a place/situation that makes you feel like you are trapped and there are no ways to escape or any help that would not be available. Many people perceive Agoraphobia to be a fear of open spaces, however, it is a more complex fear that the people having Agoraphobia might face traveling in public transportation, visiting a complex, visiting unknown places or leaving home.  Some people with Agoraphobia might visit only a place which they are familiar to and some would never leave their home.

Causes of Agoraphobia

The name Agoraphobia is taken from an ancient public space in Greece named Agora and the phobia is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition is said to run in families and can be stressful and traumatic. It can also be caused due to panic attacks with places/situations which make one feel to avoid the place.  It is said that some people might not face panic attack however issues like fear of getting lost, fear of getting robbed, terrorism, illness makes one feel safer to stay home.

Symptoms of the Phobia

A person with Agoraphobia will experience rapid heartbeat, hyperventilating, feeling hot, sweaty or feeling sick when he/she finds themselves in the situation. In some cases, due to the fearsome people avoid going out to explore or get out of the home. Sometimes, other common phobias might affect Agoraphobia which makes one feel comfortable staying at their place.

Treatment for Curing Agoraphobia

Similar to other types of Phobia’s even Agoraphobia can be diagnosed when visited a doctor via various treatment options. This includes:

1. Therapy: A person can attend individual or group therapy classes that will be conducted where they use a method called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which exposes the patients to all possible situations or objects. Relaxing technique is another method where one can relax by taking meditation classes, deep breathe and trying to concentrate on positive can help overcome the phobia.

2. Medication: A person with Agoraphobia in case of experiencing it severely can undertake anti-depressants, these medications will help a person to overcome fear however, this is to be taken with a doctor’s prescription.

3. Exposure: A person can overcome Agoraphobia when he/she tries to put themselves in the atmosphere like a person can visit a nearby store, explore the area around their home, try to visit a new city/place, etc.

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