Many people who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder may also experience agoraphobia, an intense fear of having an anxiety attack in public. For many people an anxiety attack may lead to being judged or ridiculed, so the person may try and avoid social situations solely because of this fear.
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, “the anxiety associated with agoraphobia is so severe that panic attacks are not unusual, and individuals with agoraphobia typically try to avoid the location or cause of the fear.”
There are several ways to recognize the signs and symptoms of agoraphobia. Most people develop this phobia after experiencing several panic attacks in public, and experiencing the intense feelings of ‘being out of control.’
Someone with agoraphobia is often afraid of being in a situation where they are too far away from home, or being home alone. Some may feel fearful when they are in a large crowd such as at a concert, sports game, theme park or even a shopping center.
Some people experience extreme anxiety when they are traveling in a car, bus or plane. Others may experience extreme anxiety by being in an elevator, underground train, or other constricted space where they have limited options to ‘escape.’
One of the most distinguishing features of agoraphobia is that the person will experience extreme anxiety in any situation where it can be difficult to escape, or it may be embarrassing to leave. This means that the person will avoid situations where they must follow a crowd, or do something where they cannot walk away if they start to feel uncomfortable.
Some of the key signs and symptoms of agoraphobia are: intense, often irrational fear about being in a public place; avoidance of a particular place or situation; cancelling of trips or meetings out of fear of an attack; and social withdrawal.
Ultimately, agoraphobia can take its toll on the person’s emotional well-being and social life, making it very difficult for them to connect with other people in a natural, stress-free way.
Many people suffering from agoraphobia try and manage their feelings by developing another anxiety disorder or problem. Some try and numb their feelings by overeating, drinking alcohol, or consuming caffeine or nicotine. Others may turn to obsessive-compulsive disorder for relief; in this situation, the person becomes preoccupied with rituals and order in order to alleviate their symptoms and feel some level of relief.
Agoraphobia is not a diagnosed panic disorder, but is one of several anxiety problems that plagues millions of people every year. If it is left unaddressed for an extensive period of time, the person may start to withdraw from society, be unable to perform at their job, and have difficulty forming close relationships.
All of these symptoms can be treated with medical intervention, therapy and even natural supplements. A combination of lifestyle changes and changes in behavior can help many people overcome the effects of agoraphobia so that they can enjoy life again.
Agoraphobia Treatment – How to Overcome Fear of Open Spaces or Crowded Places?
Agoraphobia is linked to the experience of panic attacks. This is the fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like shopping markets. It’s associated with leaving a safe zone, such as the home.
Because of feeling vulnerable, people who experience this fear often suffer from panic attacks in these “open” situations. It’s true to say that many people who have regular panic attacks experience different degrees of agoraphobia. Some have a lingering background anxiety about being away from home should they experience a panic attack. Others are so immobilized by this fear that they find it very difficult to leave their homes for even a short period.
When beginning agoraphobia treatment, the primary issue to address is believing in the safe zone. To clarify, when I talk about the “safe zone,” I refer to the zone where the person believes panic attacks don’t occur, or at least where they occur infrequently. Because comfort is found there, it’s where the person tends to spend more and more time. The safe zone from anxiety is a myth sustained by the mind.
The mind has developed a habit of thinking that dictates the safe zone is the only place to feel secure.
If you are seeking agoraphobia treatment, watch as your mind comes up with reasons why it believes only a certain area is safe and another is not. Those reasons range from being near the phone or people you trust to having familiar physical surroundings to reassure you.
The reality of anxiety is that there’s no such thing as a safe zone. There’s nothing life-threatening about a panic attack, and therefore sitting at home is the same as sitting under the stars on a desert island. Of course, your mind immediately rushes to tell you that a desert island is a ridiculous place to be because there are no hospitals, no tranquilizers, no doctors, NO SAFETY.
Review your previous experiences of panic attacks. Aren’t you still here, alive and well, after all those attacks during which you were convinced you were going to die?
Yes, when it comes to conditions that need medical attention—such as asthma, diabetes, and a whole litany of other conditions—then having medical aid nearby is a big asset. But no doctor in the world would tell someone with anxiety that there are only specific safe zones in which he or she can move.
I know more than anyone how terrifying it can feel to move out of your safe zone as the feeling of fear wells up inside, so I don’t wish to sound harsh.
Agoraphobia treatment is not about chastising people for their behaviors. It’s a way of looking together at solutions and seeing through the myths that form prison walls. The goal is to enable you to return to a richer and more meaningful life.
I also realize that people around you can’t understand why a trip to the store would cause you such discomfort. You’ll have to forgive them and try not to be upset by their lack of understanding of your problem.
There’s one thing I’m sure you’ll agree with: the only person who will get you out of agoraphobic thinking is you. These are your thoughts that are creating the prison walls, and only you can begin to bring those walls down.
Agoraphobia treatment can be a slow process at first. But once the results start happening, it moves faster and faster until you reach a point where you find it hard to believe that going out was ever such a difficult task. You will get those results with my program, Panic Away.
For more ideas about agoraphobia treatment, watch these 2 videos –
By Barry McDonagh, who is an international panic disorder coach. He created the Panic Away program to help people around the world deal with their anxiety and avoid panic attacks – a subject that he is personally attuned to because he himself found that he was prone to these issues since he was young. His hatred of his powerless lead him down the path of finding natural ways to treat himself without having to depend on expensive medications.
His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: Agoraphobia Treatment – How to Overcome Fear of Open Spaces or Crowded Places?