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What is Agoraphobia? Is it a problematic issue?

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Lots of people commuting daily on the street
Lots of people commuting daily on the street
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What is Agoraphobia? What do you know about it? Has anyone around you suffered from this mental and behavioral illness? Under what circumstances do they experience fear and anxiety? In this article, we examine Agoraphobia. And we will discuss the cause of fear of people who have this disease to become more familiar with it.

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a mental and behavioral disorder. Agoraphobia can also be considered an anxiety disorder. This disorder is associated with anxiety symptoms, and the person with this complication will become anxious when he is in unsafe situations. These situations are not generally unsafe, but mental and behavioral disorder finds them unsafe. For example, he becomes anxious when he is in open spaces or public transportation or goes to shopping malls and leaves home (Svenaeus, 2013).

Such a person may experience a panic attack if placed in these situations. Therefore, these people try to avoid being in such situations as much as possible (Svenaeus, 2013). In acute conditions of this mental and behavioral disorder, a person may refuse to leave home.

Lots of people skiing on snowy ground
Lots of people skiing on snowy ground

Why do people get Agoraphobia?

People have Agoraphobia for two reasons: genetic and environmental factors both affect the incidence of this complication.

You can often see this mental and behavioral illness in families. Sometimes stressful or traumatic events such as the death of a parent can cause such a complication. Agoraphobia, of course, is also considered a phobia and is classified into specific phobias and social phobias.

Of course, other conditions are also effective in causing such a psychological complication. They may cause similar symptoms, which if we want to mention the most important of them, we can name separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depressive disorder (Shin et al., 2020).

There are several factors for diagnosing Agoraphobia, such as depressive symptoms in the behavior of people who abuse drugs and the presence of suicidal thoughts in the minds of people with this mental and behavioral disease (Teismann et al., 2018).

Agoraphobia in acute conditions

Keep in mind that this anxiety disorder is not about people being in crowded places and situations. Instead, they avoid being in any condition that causes them to experience negative emotions such as being trapped, helpless, terrified, ashamed, and afraid.

People with Agoraphobia will often experience panic attacks, such as rapid heartbeat and nausea, when they are in such situations because they experience negative emotions when they are in such stressful situations. In acute cases, people with Agoraphobia avoid daily activities like banks or other crowded environments. They prefer to stay home most days.

Two women with Agoraphobia and fear of being in the store
Two women with Agoraphobia and fear of being in the store

It is also very debilitating in the acute condition of this mental and behavioral disease. Most of the time, people with Agoraphobia will realize that their fears are irrational, but they can not improve them. Even the development of Agoraphobia in people can disrupt their relationships and functioning, such as being at work or school.

Do you know about panic attacks? Panic attacks are symptoms seen in anxiety and other mental health disorders. People with panic attacks experience a wide range of severe physical symptoms, the most important of which are:

  • Chest pain
  • heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vertigo
  • Suffocation
  • nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • And other items

Interestingly, some people with Agoraphobia refuse to leave home and see a doctor even in a medical emergency because they are terrified of being outside the areas where they feel comfortable.

Factors influencing the incidence of Agoraphobia

Tell your doctor if you are chronically taking sedatives and sleeping pills, such as benzodiazepines. Because regular use of such drugs can lead to mental and behavioral disease of Agoraphobia (Counselling: The BAC Counselling Reader: Volume 1, 1996).

The sooner you try to reduce benzodiazepine dependence, the less likely you will develop Agoraphobia. Alcohol consumption also leads to Agoraphobia. Prolonged alcohol consumption will cause distortions in the brain process (Cosci et al., 2007). Smoking, like alcohol, plays a role in people with the disease (Cosci et al., 2009).

Finally, you should know that early treatment of panic disorder will essentially prevent Agoraphobia. If you see such behavior in family members or friends, it is better to take these people to a doctor or psychologist as soon as possible so that the treatment period can start more quickly. Taking the proper steps can reduce the harmful effects of this mental and behavioral illness and significantly prevent panic attacks.

Metro station without passengers
Metro station without passengers

Strategies to improve agoraphobia anxiety

Changes in the lifestyle of people with agoraphobia symptoms can significantly improve. Lifestyle changes reduce the daily anxiety among people with Agoraphobia.

Doctors recommend practice because of its effect on improving brain function and increasing the production of brain chemicals. Practice makes everyone feel happy and relaxed and is suitable for people with Agoraphobia.

We all know that following a healthy diet has a very positive effect on our health and quality of life. People with Agoraphobia should also eat a healthy diet.

Their diet should include whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. Changing your diet and developing a healthy habit such as exercising will generally make you feel better about yourself.

Practicing daily meditation and concentrating, and practicing deep and deep breathing will help reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks from starting.

Conclusion

This article will introduce you to a mental and behavioral disease called Agoraphobia. Our whole effort was to write an essay with valuable and practical information. We work on various social networks such as Twitter, Telegram, Instagram, and Facebook, and we will also publish content there. Follow us on the social networks we mentioned and write us your comments. Thank you for reading the articles.

Resources:

  1. Svenaeus, F. (2013). Diagnosing mental disorders and saving the normal. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 17(2), 241–244. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-013-9529-6
  2. Shin, J., Park, D. H., Ryu, S. H., Ha, J. H., Kim, S. M., & Jeon, H. J. (2020). Clinical implications of agoraphobia in patients with panic disorder. Medicine, 99(30), e21414. https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000021414
  3. Teismann, T., Lukaschek, K., Hiller, T. S., Breitbart, J., Brettschneider, C., Schumacher, U., Margraf, J., & Gensichen, J. (2018). Suicidal ideation in primary care patients suffering from panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. BMC Psychiatry, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1894-5
  4. Counselling: The BAC Counselling Reader: Volume 1. (1996). Sage Publications Ltd.
  5. Cosci, F., Schruers, K. R. J., Abrams, K., & Griez, E. J. L. (2007). Alcohol Use Disorders and Panic Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(06), 874–880. https://doi.org/10.4088/jcp.v68n0608
  6. Cosci, F., Knuts, I. J. E., Abrams, K., Griez, E. J. L., & Schruers, K. R. J. (2009). Cigarette Smoking and Panic. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(05), 606–615. https://doi.org/10.4088/jcp.08r04523blu
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