Login      Sign Up

Agoraphobia - Fear of Leaving Home

Author: Dr. Vasantha K S - Emotional and Mental Health  

Agoraphobia is a progressive condition where a person initially fears a place where he or she previously had a panic attack. They then start to avoid other places which might be crowded, or where help might be unavailable when they have another attack. This includes potentially harmless places like shopping malls and marketplaces as well.

In its severe form, the person is unable to even leave their house or room due to fear of going outside their comfort zone, where there is the least chance of embarrassing themselves.

So, agoraphobia includes fear of:

- Leaving home.

- Enclosed spaces (like tunnels).

- Open spaces (like parking lots).

- Crowded places (like markets).

- Using public transport vehicles (bus, train, etc.).

In short, it is a fear of any place or situation that they visualize as threatening or inescapable from in case of embarrassment or distress.

Symptoms

  1. Avoiding places and situations that could trigger their panic attack.
  2. Not having left the house in an unusually long period of time.
  3. Dependence on others for procuring basic necessities and getting their work done.
  4. Hesitating to leave the house even in case of a medical emergency.
  5. When they do get out, they experience panic attack symptoms such as
  • Feeling distressed.
  • Pounding of the heart.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Excessive perspiration.
  • Feeling faint.

Causes

Agoraphobia, like most mental health disorders, is not caused by a single factor, but a combination of various factors such as:

  1. Past experiences.
  2. Personality traits.
  3. General temperament.
  4. A family history of the same.

Treatment

Educating yourself about the condition is the first step in getting better because you know you are not alone in this struggle. Treatment modalities include:

  • Self-help techniques.
  • Lifestyle changes.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Systematic desensitization.
  • Medications.

The treatment of agoraphobia decided on for the individual depends on the severity of the symptoms experienced. While some find they are able to comfortably travel a certain distance, some remain housebound or even room-bound, while some others feel safe to venture out when they are accompanied by a friend or someone they are close to. So, it is vital to consult a healthcare professional for this condition, who will ask you some questions to assess the severity accurately and treat you accordingly. With proper treatment, there is a good chance of improvement in the overall lifestyle of the affected individual.

For more information consult a phobia specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor/phobia

Image: Agoraphobia - Fear of Leaving Home Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

RATING

19
 


Do you have a question on Panic Attack or Social Phobia?
 
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
 

Related Questions & Answers


Since my childhood I suffer from social phobia.Suggest some ayurvedic medicine.
Query: Hello doctor, I am 65 years old and since my childhood I suffer from social phobia. In spite of trying to control myself, I am unable to keep up my confidence. Suggest some ayurvedic medicine.  Read Full »
Dr. Vinod Kumar
Yoga Specialist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. There are virtually no medicines for social phobia.  Following things may help you come out of this phobia. More and more exposure to such situations where you feel this phobia. Avoiding the situation is not the solution. Facing the problem is the real solution. Make ...  Read Full »
 
What can I do to manage anxiety attacks?
Query: Hi doctor, I get a type of anxiety and fear of going out somewhere. Six years ago, when I was in high school some guy gave me something to smoke. I did not know what it was. That day, I went home and I was high. The next morning I woke up fine and went to school. After some time, I started to feel l...  Read Full »
Dr. K V Anand
Psychiatrist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I went through all your details. No panic attack itself is a positive development. This also shows that you are able to manage your anxiety disorder. There are many aspects to your issue. The first substance abuse and resultant anxiety, relationship problems with yo...  Read Full »
 
Please suggest the best drug for GAD and social phobia. What are its side effects?
Query: Hi doctor, I will first summarize my case, and then I will put my query. I had been diagnosed to have GAD and social phobia before 10 years, and I was taking Paxil 20 mg daily in the evening along with CBT. The result was excellent. The anxiety and depression went away, but with a very high level o...  Read Full »
Dr. Maneesh Gupta
Psychiatrist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I read your query. Out of the three options, the third option would be the best possible concerning the balance between the effectiveness and side effects. Zoloft (Sertraline) and Lexapro (Escitalopram), both are almost equal regarding the side effects and efficacy. Ba...  Read Full »
 
What can cause panic attacks?
Query: Hi doctor, I have been having panic attacks for the past 13 years. I have been to the hospital on multiple occasions and have been diagnosed with anxiety attacks every time. I have had EKGs and blood work done. All the reports are fine. Sometimes, I am having multiple panic attacks in a day and also...  Read Full »
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
Psychiatrist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. For panic attacks and persistent anxiety, there is a need to get a medical checkup done. Hyperthyroidism, cardiac issues like angina, etc., could cause increased risk of panic attacks. So, if the panic attacks are persistent, then get one ECG done to rule out heart cause...  Read Full »
 
Suffering from anxiety, and panic attacks for the last 3 years. Need second opinion on the prescription.
Query: Dear Doctor, I am suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for the last 3 years. I went to a neurologist 2 years back and he advised me to take REXIPRA 10 for 3 months, SOLTUS 50 for 6 months, HEMIDAP PLUS for 9 months & ZEPAM .5 for 12 months. Upon following these medications, I was improvin...  Read Full »
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
Geriatrician

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I read your query and understood your concern. As per your diagnosis of anxiety and panic attacks, there should be no doubt whether you need neurologist or psychiatrist. Both these conditions come under the domain of psychiatrist and they are more able to treat these ...  Read Full »
 

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Related Tags