Agoraphobia : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes excessive fear of certain situations. Some people may even resist leaving the house. With medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes, patients can overcome the disorder and do things they enjoy. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better the treatments  work.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that includes an extreme and irrational fear of being unable to escape from a difficult or embarrassing situation when panic-like or other disabling symptoms are present.The disorder is characterized by anxiety that causes people to avoid situations that might make them feel scared, trapped, powerless, or ashamed. It can occur alone or with another mental illness, such as panic disorder.

This fear often leads to persistent avoidance behaviors, in which the person begins to steer clear of places and situations where they fear panic may occur.1 For example, a person with agoraphobia may avoid driving and the comfort of their home Leaving home, shopping at a mall, traveling by plane, or just being in a busy area.

Because of this avoidance behavior, the life of a person with agoraphobia can become very restrictive and isolated, greatly affecting their personal and professional lives.For example, increased anxiety and avoidance behaviors can make it difficult for a person with agoraphobia to travel to work or  visit  family and friends. Even small tasks like going to the grocery store can become extremely difficult.

Fear and avoidance can become so strong with agoraphobia that the person with the phobia becomes housebound. Fortunately, agoraphobic symptoms can be treated.

  1. Nervous system

Medical terms

  • Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by a fear of public and open places, like marketplaces and streets, where escape can be difficult. People with agoraphobia often feel powerless and vulnerable in such settings, and may develop a fear of leaving their homes. This fear can be so debilitating that the person struggles to go out of the house alone or even with a trusted companion. The symptoms of agoraphobia can vary from one person to another, with some experiencing only mild symptoms, whereas others may experience more severe symptoms.

  • Agoraphobia is defined as an extreme fear of open or public places. This phobia is often characterized by a feeling of helplessness, fear, and panic when exposed to a situation that may cause the individual to feel trapped or unable to escape. People with agoraphobia will often avoid crowded places, public transportation, and even leaving their home in extreme cases. Often, the fear of having a panic attack in public is the main contributor to agoraphobia.

  • Agoraphobia is a type of Associate in Nursing Anxiety disorder during which you are concerned and avoid places or things that may cause you to panic and cause you to feel trapped, facilitated or embarrassed. You fear an actual or anticipated situation, comparable to victimization of public transportation, being in open or closed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd. The anxiety is caused by fear that there's no simple way to escape or get help if the anxiety intensifies. Most people who have a phobia develop it when having one or a lot of panic attacks, inflicting them to fret concerning having another attack and avoid places where it's going to happen again. individuals with phobia often have a tough time feeling safe in any public place, particularly where crowds gather. you will feel that you simply would like a companion, comparable to a relative or friend, to travel with you to public places. The concern is therefore overwhelming that you may feel unable to go away from your home. Phobia treatment can be difficult as a result of it always suggests that you endeavor your fears. however with psychotherapy and medications, you'll escape the lure of agoraphobia and live a lot of pleasant life. 

  • Agoraphobia often begins slowly and can worsen over time It affects approximately 2 million Americans according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America This condition usually develops as a result of panic disorder during which sufferers experience short-term intense anxiety As agoraphobia worsens its sufferers may become afraid to leave their homes or other safe place for fear of having another panic attack.

  • ts Causes and Treatment Agoraphobia a fear of being in public places affects almost 7 million Americans In addition to having the standard phobias that make people afraid of heights or spiders people suffering from agoraphobia become terrified at the thought of leaving their homes Agoraphobia interferes with work school and relationships and can be very difficult to treat because the patient may lack insight into his problem.

Types of Agoraphobia

Although many of us with phobic neurosis also will have panic disorder, it's doable to be diagnosed with agoraphobia while not having a history of panic disorder.3 Once this occurs, the person still encompasses a worry of being stuck during a scenario wherever escape would be tough or humiliating. However, they typically don't fear having full-blown panic attacks. Rather, they will be frightened of having another sort of distressing anxiety symptom or other intense physical issues, akin to innate reflex or having a severe migraine. For instance, the person is also afraid that they're going to lose management of their bladder publicly or faint with none facilitate being available. around tierce to 1/2 those diagnosed with anxiety disorder also will develop phobic neurosis. The National Institute of mental state (NIMH) reports that agoraphobia happens to approximately 0.9% of adults within the U.S. population in any given year.1  This condition generally develops in adulthood, although it will emerge earlier in adolescence.

Agoraphobia vs. Other Phobias

The avoidance behaviors present in agoraphobia differ from the diagnostic criteria of a specific phobia. For instance:

  • A person with agoraphobia may avoid traveling by airplane due to a fear of having a panic attack on a plane and not necessarily due to aerophobia, or the fear of flying.

  • A person with phobia could avoid crowds, fearing the embarrassment of getting a fright ahead of loads of people. Such a fear isn't identical to social anxiety disorder, that may be a separate mental state condition that involves anxiety concerning being negatively evaluated by others. 

Symptoms Agoraphobia

Typical agoraphobia symptoms include fear of:

  • Leaving home alone

  • Crowds or waiting in line

  • Enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters, elevators or small stores

  • Open spaces, such as parking lots, bridges or malls

  • Using public transportation, such as a bus, plane or train

These situations cause anxiety because you fear you won't be able to escape or find help if you start to feel panicked or have other disabling or embarrassing symptoms.

In addition:

  • Fear or anxiety almost always results from exposure to the situation

  • Your fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation

  • You avoid the situation, you need a companion to go with you, or you endure the situation but are extremely distressed

  • You experience significant distress or problems with social situations, work or other areas in your life because of the fear, anxiety or avoidance

  • Your phobia and avoidance usually lasts six months or longer

Panic disorder and agoraphobia

Some folks have an anxiety disorder additionally to agoraphobia. anxiety disorder may be a sort of mental disturbance within which you experience unforeseen attacks of maximum fear that reach a peak at intervals of many minutes and trigger intense physical symptoms (panic attacks). you may suppose that you're losing control, having an attack or maybe dying. worry of another fear will result in avoiding similar circumstances or the place wherever it occurred in a shot to stop future panic attacks.

Signs and symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Trouble breathing or a feeling of choking

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

  • Feeling shaky, numb or tingling

  • Excessive sweating

  • Sudden flushing or chills

  • Upset stomach or diarrhea

  • Feeling a loss of control

  • Fear of dying

When to see a doctor

Agoraphobia will severely limit your ability to socialize, work, attend vital events and even manage the small print of daily life, love running errands. Don't let phobic disorder build your world smaller. decide your doctor if you've got signs or symptoms listed above. 

Causes Agoraphobia

Biology — as well as health conditions and biology — temperament, environmental stress and learning experiences may all play a role within the development of phobic neurosis.The actual causes of agoraphobia aren't known, however there are a variety of risk factors that will increase your risk of developing this condition. These include: 

  • Having another anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder

  1. Another phobia

  2. A family history of agoraphobia

  3. A history of abuse or trauma

  4. Brain chemistry

  • Learned associations may play a role in the development of agoraphobia. Experiencing a scare in an exceedingly bound scenario or setting can cause a fear that such a reaction will occur once more in the future.

Risk Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia can begin in childhood, however typically starts within the late young  or early adult years — usually before age thirty five — but older adults also can develop it. ladies are diagnosed with phobic disorder more often than men are.

Risk factors for agoraphobia include:

  • Having panic disorder or other phobias

  • Responding to panic attacks with excessive fear and avoidance

  • Experiencing stressful life events, such as abuse, the death of a parent or being attacked

  • Having an anxious or nervous temperament

  • Having a blood relative with agoraphobia

Complications Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia will greatly limit your life' activities. If your phobia is severe, you'll not even be ready to leave your home. while not treated, some folks become shut-in for years. you'll not be able to visit with family and friends, visit college or work, run errands, or participate in different traditional daily activities. you'll become enthusiastic about others for help.

Agoraphobia can also lead to or be associated with:

  • Depression

  • Alcohol or drug abuse

  • Other mental health disorders, including other anxiety disorders or personality disorders

Prevention Agoraphobia

There's no certain thanks to forestall agoraphobia. However, anxiety tends to extend the more you avoid things that you simply concern. If you begin to own gentle fears regarding going places that are safe, try and apply aiming to those places over and all over again before your fear becomes overwhelming. If this can be too laborious to try to go on your own, raise a loved one or friend to travel with you, or look for skilled facilitators. If you experience anxiety going places or have panic attacks, get treatment as presently as possible. Get help early to prevent symptoms from getting worse. Anxiety, like several different mental state conditions, may be more durable to treat if you wait.

Can a person with agoraphobia be cured?

Yes Studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for people with agoraphobia This form of psychotherapy helps people to understand their condition and teaches them how to face their fears During CBT sessions patients practice skills they need to overcome agoraphobia in realistic situations until they gain confidence and are comfortable enough to leave the safety of home CBT can also help anxious people learn relaxation techniques which will be useful when faced with unavoidable anxiety-provoking situations or events such as crowded public places or traveling alone on a train.

How do doctors treat agoraphobia?

If your doctor has diagnosed you with agoraphobia be prepared to try a variety of treatments You may explore cognitive behavioral therapy first which teaches you how to face the situations that trigger your anxiety so that over time you can learn how to cope with them in a healthier way and avoid the trap of avoidance If this method isn't effective for you or if it takes too long for your symptoms to improve then antidepressants may offer relief from your overwhelming fear of panic attacks and social situations A number of medications help people with agoraphobia -- including SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) MAOIs.

Agoraphobia is a mental health condition that involves anxiety in certain situations where help is not readily available It can start suddenly or develop over time Agoraphobia which comes from the Greek word meaning "fear of the marketplace," may be triggered by any number of things including: Fearfulness - Some people are afraid of being outside because they're fearful of heights being alone or encountering strangers - Some people are afraid of being outside because they're fearful of heights being alone or encountering strangers Panic attacks - If you've experienced panic attacks in public places and have tried to avoid them for.

What should you not say to agoraphobia?

What should you not say to agoraphobia? Agoraphobia can be sufferers' greatest adversary and they are likely to hear comments ranging from "try your best" and "take it one day at a time" to simply being told that what they're experiencing is all in their head Sufferers need support rather than judgment; tell them about your own experiences or listen without offering advice.

How do you stop agoraphobia fast?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder where people have a fear of being in places or situations that may be difficult to escape or public places and crowded spaces The fear can take many different forms but usually it will involve the fear of having panic attacks alone in a public place with no help available Agoraphobia symptoms often lead sufferers to feel trapped and helpless Sufferers often restrict their lives to try and avoid the situations they are afraid of which can make them feel even worse about themselves The main treatment for agoraphobia is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a form of.

Does exercise help agoraphobia?

Yes exercise helps agoraphobia When you exercise your body releases endorphins These hormones reduce pain and boost your mood Exercise also helps you sleep better at night and boosts your overall energy level As an added bonus regular physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety Just make sure to take it easy when you first start moving again Talk with your doctor about how gradually increase the intensity or length of time you spend exercising each week until you're doing what's comfortable for you without causing symptoms to return.

How is agoraphobia treated without medication?

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which people become so anxious about being out in public that they limit or avoid going out altogether The symptoms of agoraphobia can significantly impair a person's life as even short trips to the grocery store may become difficult To successfully cope with and treat agoraphobia without medication it is important to talk with a trained counselor who will help you learn some new skills.

Diagnosis Agoraphobia

To receive a diagnosis of agoraphobia, an aid supplier will assess your symptoms and check for any underlying medical conditions which may be inflicting those symptoms. you'll be asked regarding your case history and you may be asked about the nature, duration, and severity of your anxiety symptoms.

  1. Palpation

Agoraphobia is diagnosed based on:

  • Signs and symptoms

  • In-depth interview with your doctor or a mental health professional

  • Physical exam to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms

  • Criteria for agoraphobia listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association

Treatment Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia treatment sometimes involves a mix of treatment methods: medical care, medication and life-style changes. A healer will assist you go through your fears. victimization psychological feature activity therapy (CBT), a mental attention supplier can help you acknowledge thoughts that cause you anxiety. Then you’ll learn ways in which to react productively. victimization relaxation and decrease techniques, your provider might have you ever imagine an alarming state of affairs and manage the feelings. Eventually, you'll be able to participate in activities that manufacture anxiety, and you will have skills to manage your emotions. Over time, therapy can train the brain to suppose differently. Your attention supplier additionally might recommend medications known as selective monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Those medications will treat depression and anxiety disorders. If an individual will develop phobia with panic disorder, symptoms usually begin to occur inside the primary year that the person starts having continual and chronic panic attacks. phobia can aggravate if left untreated. For the simplest outcomes in managing agoraphobia and panic symptoms, it's necessary to hunt treatment as long as symptoms arise. Treatment choices typically embody a mix of each medication and psychotherapy.

Agoraphobia treatment usually includes both psychotherapy and medication. It may take some time, but treatment can help you get better.


Psychotherapy involves operating with an expert to line goals and learn sensible skills to cut back your anxiety symptoms. psychological feature activity medical aid is one in every of the foremost effective styles of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders, together with agoraphobia. Typically a short-run treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to higher tolerance anxiety, directly challenge your worries and bit by bit come back to the activities you've avoided due to anxiety. Through this process, your symptoms improve as you ride your initial success.

You can learn:

  • What factors may trigger a panic attack or panic-like symptoms and what makes them worse

  • How to cope with and tolerate symptoms of anxiety

  • Ways to directly challenge your worries, such as the likelihood of bad things happening in social situations

  • That your anxiety gradually decreases if you remain in situations and that you can manage these symptoms until they do

  • How to change unwanted or unhealthy behaviors through desensitization, also called exposure therapy, to safely face the places and situations that cause fear and anxiety

If you've got a hassle from your home, you'll marvel; however , you may probably move to a expert' workplace. Therapists who treat phobic disorder are cognizant of this problem. If you're feeling homebound because of agoraphobia, explore for a therapist who will assist you notice alternatives to office appointments, a minimum of within the early part of treatment. He or she may envision you initially in your home or meet you in what you concentrate on in a secure place (safe zone). Some therapists may offer some sessions over the phone, through email, or mistreatment laptop programs or different media. If the phobic disorder is so severe that you simply cannot access care, you may get pleasure from a lot of intensive hospital programs that specialize in the treatment of anxiety. you'll wish to require a trustworthy  relative or friend to your appointment who offers comfort, facilitation and coaching, if needed.

  1. Psychological rehabilitation
  2. Child medical and psychological care
  3. Rehabilitation of The Brain and Nerves


Certain types of antidepressants are commonly used to treat agoraphobia, and anti-anxiety medications are sometimes  used on a limited basis. Antidepressants are more effective than anxiolytics in treating agoraphobia.

  • Antidepressants. Certain antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), are used for the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia. Other types of antidepressants may also effectively treat agoraphobia.

  • Anti-anxiety medication. Anti-anxiety medication referred to as benzodiazepines are sedatives that, in restricted circumstances, your doctor may visit to quickly relieve anxiety symptoms. Benzodiazepines are typically used just for relieving acute anxiety on a short-run basis. As a result of habit-forming, these drugs aren't a decent selection if you've had long-run issues with anxiety or problems with alcohol or drug abuse. It's going to take weeks for medication to alleviate symptoms. And you'll have to be compelled to strive for many completely different medications before you discover one that works best for you. Each beginning and ending course of antidepressants can cause aspect effects that create uncomfortable physical sensations or maybe fearfulness symptoms. For this reason, your doctor seemingly can bit by bit increase your dose throughout treatment, and slowly decrease your dose once he or she feels you're able to stop taking medication. 

Alternative medicine

Certain dietary and seasoning supplements claim to have calming and anti-anxiety benefits. Before you're taking any of those for agoraphobia, speak together with your doctor. Though these supplements are offered while not a prescription, they still create doable health risks. For example, the herbal supplement alcohol, conjointly referred to as kava kava, seemed to be a promising treatment for anxiety, however there are reports of great liver damage, even with short-run use. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings but not prohibited sales within the United States. Avoid exploiting any product that contains kava till more-rigorous safety studies are done, particularly if you've got liver issues or take medications that have an effect on your liver.

Coping and support

Living with phobic neurosis will build life difficult. skilled treatment can assist you overcome this disorder or manage it effectively in order that you don't become unfortunate to your fears.

You can also take these steps to cope and care for yourself when you have agoraphobia:

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed. Keep medical care appointments. Communicate frequently along with your therapist. Consistency will create a giant difference, particularly once it involves active skills and taking your medication. 

  • Try not to avoid feared situations. It's arduous to travel to places or be in things that cause you discomfort or that bring forth symptoms of anxiety. however active aiming to additional and more places will create them less scary and anxiety provoking. Family, friends and your expert can assist you work on this.

  • Learn calming skills. Working together with your therapist, you'll be able to find out how to calm and soothe yourself. Meditation, yoga, massage and mental image are straightforward relaxation techniques that conjointly could help. apply these techniques once you aren't anxious or worried, and so place them into action throughout nerve-wracking situations. 

  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. Also limit or avoid caffeine. These substances can worsen your panic or anxiety symptoms.

  • Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, be physically active every day, and eat a healthy diet, including lots of vegetables and fruits.

  • Join a support group. Support groups for people with anxiety disorders can help you connect to others facing similar challenges and share experiences.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have agoraphobia, you will be too afraid or embarrassed to travel to your doctor' office. take into account beginning with a telephone call to your doctor or a psychological state professional, or raising a trusty loved one or friend to go with you to your appointment.

What you can do

To prepare for your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you've been experiencing, and for how long

  • Things you have stopped doing or are avoiding because of your stress

  • Key personal information, especially any significant stress or life changes that you experienced around the time your symptoms first developed

  • Medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions that you have

  • All medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements you're taking, and the dosages

  • Questions to ask your doctor so that you can make the most of your appointment

Some basic questions to ask your doctor may include:

  • What do you believe is causing my symptoms?

  • Are there any other possible causes?

  • How will you determine my diagnosis?

  • Is my condition likely temporary or long term (chronic)?

  • What type of treatment do you recommend?

  • I have other health problems. How best can I manage these together?

  • What is the risk of side effects from the medication you're recommending?

  • Are there options other than taking medications?

  • How soon do you expect my symptoms to improve?

  • Should I see a mental health professional?

  • Are there any printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor can doubtless raise a variety of questions. Be able to answer them to order time to travel over any points you wish to focus on. Your doctor could ask:

  • What symptoms do you have that concern you?

  • When did you first notice these symptoms?

  • When are your symptoms most likely to occur?

  • Does anything seem to make your symptoms better or worse?

  • Do you avoid any situations or places because you fear they'll trigger your symptoms?

  • How are your symptoms affecting your life and the people closest to you?

  • Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions?

  • Have you been treated for other mental health disorders in the past? If yes, what treatment was most helpful?

  • Have you ever thought about harming yourself?

  • Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs? How often?

General summary

  1. Agoraphobia is best treated with a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy Involuntary treatment such as hospitalization is sometimes necessary if the person has attempted suicide or continues to be a danger to himself or others due to reckless behavior Psychiatric medications are often used to reduce symptoms of agoraphobia that may not respond well to behavioral treatments alone Medications commonly prescribed include fluoxetine (Prozac) clonazepam (Klonopin) and alprazolam (Xanax).

  2. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of certain situations or places. These situations can be so extreme that the person with agoraphobia avoids leaving the house and may even struggle to leave their bedroom. Those who suffer from agoraphobia can experience panic attacks in places or situations that make them feel trapped, helpless, embarrassed, or alone. Agoraphobia is usually treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.

  3. Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that can be severely debilitating and can make it difficult or even impossible to leave home. It is a condition that often runs in families and is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common symptoms of agoraphobia include a fear of being in public places, feeling uncomfortable in crowds or large groups, having panic attacks, and feeling overwhelmed by certain situations. Agoraphobia can also lead to feelings of isolation, lack of trust in others, and social withdrawal.

  4. Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of being in public places, particularly those that are unfamiliar or in which escape might be difficult. People with agoraphobia can experience intense anxiety and discomfort when they even think about leaving their homes or when they are in a public place. Symptoms can include dizziness, rapid heart rate, nausea, trembling, and fear of being in certain environments. Agoraphobia is most commonly treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Next Post Previous Post