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  • What
  • Types
  • Causes
  • Who is at Risk
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosed
  • Treatment
  • Prevent

What is Agoraphobia?

Anxiety disorder is what defines agoraphobia. People who are victim to agoraphobia need to avoid these situations which would make them feel:

  • Vulnerable
  • Fear
  • Trapped
  • Terror
  • Helpless
  • Panic
  • Embarrassment

To be precise, less than 1% of adult population are victim of agoraphobia.

Different Types of Agoraphobia

There are basically two types of agoraphobia which are people with and without the history of panic disorder.

Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia

People who are victims of panic disorder with agoraphobia experience recurring panic attacks with respect to their agoraphobia. Panic attacks are simply few episodes of intense fear which drastically destroys the victim mentally. Panic disorder with agoraphobia is the most common cases of agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia without a History of Panic Disorder

As the name implies, the victims do not experience any sort of panic attacks and this type of agoraphobia is not commonly found.

What Causes Agoraphobia?

People who are victims to agoraphobia link anxiety with respect to few particular situations and victims avoid those situations. Victims are terrified that they will feel uneasy and fearful or have a panic attack if they face those situations again.

Who Is at Risk for Agoraphobia?

A person might be at risk of developing agoraphobia if the person has:

  • Panic disorder
  • Experienced or experiencing stressful situations in life
  • History of physical or sexual abuse during childhood
  • Anxious or nervous behaviour
  • Alcohol or drug abuse problem

Agoraphobia is generally found common with women rather than men and are first appears to the victim during their young adulthood. Unfortunately, agoraphobia can take place at any age.

What Are the Symptoms of Agoraphobia?

If the victim is with or without a history of panic disorder, victim may experience the following symptoms:

  • Dependence of others
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of being at places where its difficult to escape
  • Fear of losing control at public places
  • Fear of leaving home for a long time
  • Feeling helplessness
  • Detachment and isolation from others
  • Detachment from body, as if it’s not their body
  • Detachment from the surrounding, as if it’s not real
  • Anger & disturbance

When the victim undergoes panic attack, victim may experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Breath shortness
  • Dizziness
  • Choking
  • Trembling
  • Feeling faint
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling sensations


How is Agoraphobia Diagnosed?

Consultant psychologist will ask the victim to know if the victim suffers the symptoms of agoraphobia. Consultant psychologist may examine the victim and on occasions conduct blood tests.

If the psychologist needs the victim to be diagnosed with agoraphobia, then the victim should meet certain criteria. Victim may not be diagnosed with agoraphobia if the symptoms are because of any illness, drug abuse, alcohol consumption, or because of any other disorder.

For diagnosis for panic disorder with agoraphobia, victim should have frequent panic attacks. These panic attacks should have following behaviours such as:

  • Fear of having more panic attacks
  • Worries on the consequences of panic attacks which includes but not limited to heart attack, losing self control or going mad
  • Behaviour change after the panic attacks

How is Agoraphobia Treated?

When it comes to the treatment for agoraphobia, there are numerous methods.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help the victim to recognize the twisted feelings and better perspective on agoraphobia. Cognitive behaviour therapy can help the victim to slowly swap their twisted feelings with healthy thoughts.

With exposure therapy, victim can gradually conquer their fears. The methods in exposure therapy, slowly introduces you to situations which causes fear and gradually helping you to get acquaintance with it.

With the help of service dogs or animals may help the victim to reduce their fear when they go out in public.

Medication can help you to relieve from panic attacks and agoraphobia symptoms.

Agoraphobia Prognosis

With the help of a good therapist, victim has a better change to regain normal state. Treatment is much effective when treated at early state.

Preventing Agoraphobia

When it comes to preventing agoraphobia, there is no guaranteed ways. However treatment at early stage for panic disorder may help to a great extend.