Published on Apr 18, 2018 and last reviewed on Oct 10, 2019 - 2 min read
Agoraphobia is mistaken by many to be a fear of open spaces, but there is more to this condition. Read on to understand why it is more complex than we think.
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.
Agoraphobia, like most mental health disorders, is not caused by a single factor, but a combination of various factors such as:
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:
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
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 »
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 »
Do you have a question on Panic Attack or Social Phobia?Ask a Doctor Online