What is the definition of agoraphobia? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety 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.”
What is agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a situation or situations in which a person may find escape to be difficult or that if things go wrong help would not be available. Some have wrongly assumed that agoraphobia is simply a fear of open spaces but it is a much more complex condition.
It is considered “common” with more than 200,000 diagnosed US cases per year. It is a chronic condition can last for years or be a lifelong condition. Not everyone who suffers from agoraphobia have panic disorders in addition. Panic disorders are a type of anxiety disorder in which you experience sudden attacks of extreme fear that reach a peak that can trigger intense physical symptoms.
While agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder, not everyone experiences panic attacks.
- Fear of leaving home alone
- Fear of crowds or waiting in line
- Enclosed spaces, such as stores, elevators, and etc.
- Open spaces like bridges, malls, parking lots
- Using public transportation methods such as, busses, planes, or trains.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilating)
- Feeling sick
- Feeling hot or sweaty
Things like lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthier eating, avoiding alcohol and drugs, avoiding drinks with caffeine can all have improvements to your everyday. The recommended treatment for agoraphobia combines medication with a type of mental health treatment called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). While there is no cure, treatment can help.
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