What is agoraphobia?

agoraphobia disorder

Agoraphobia is an anxiety-related disorder characterized due to an intense fear of finding oneself in situations or places where escape could be difficult, or where there is no help in case an anxiety crisis occurs. This disorder can affect the quality of life of the person who suffers from it.

In the following article we are going to talk in a more detailed way what is meant by agoraphobia and the treatment to follow to overcome such disorder.

What is meant by agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is mainly characterized by the intense fear of being in places or situations where escape could be difficult, or where help could not be given if you suffer an anxiety crisis. People who have this disorder often avoid these places or situations, something that, as is normal, ends up influencing daily life.

Reasons or causes of agoraphobia

Agoraphobia can occur for various reasons, whether genetic, biological, psychological and environmental. Some people may have a certain genetic predisposition to developing anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia, while others may develop the disorder as a result of traumatic experiences. Chemical imbalances caused in the brain, especially related to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, can also be the reason for suffering from this disorder.

Situations in which agoraphobia usually manifests itself

There are a number of situations in which a disorder such as agoraphobia usually appears:

  • Open spaces or places such as parks, squares or fields.
  • Too crowded places such as shopping centers or public buses.
  • Travel situations as is the case of traveling by plane or on a boat.
  • Closed places such as cinemas, shopping centers or supermarkets.
  • Finding yourself alone outside the house Without any help it can lead to a panic attack and agoraphobia.


What are the symptoms of agoraphobia?

There are a series of symptoms that will indicate that a person suffers from agoraphobia:

  • Intense fear or anxiety by being in specific places or situations.
  • Avoid places or situations where escape is difficult.
  • Feeling trapped in places with too many people or open.
  • Suffer symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, heart palpitations or difficulty breathing.
  • Excessive dependence on other people to accompany them in these situations.
  • Avoid social situations for fear of suffering an anxiety attack.

The relationship between panic disorder and agoraphobia

Many people who suffer from agoraphobia often also have panic attacks. panic disorder It is a type of anxiety disorder in which the person has the feeling of extreme fear that increases in crescendo and gives rise to a series of quite intense and important symptoms. The panic is such that the person may believe that he is having a heart attack and that he is dying.

Regarding the symptoms typical of a panic attack are the following:

  • Acceleration of the heart rate
  • Difficulty to be able to breathe well.
  • Strong pain on the chest.
  • Excessive sweating
  • dizziness and feeling of fainting.
  • Pain in the stomach area.
  • fear or fear of dying.


How agoraphobia is diagnosed

The diagnosis of agoraphobia is based mainly on in a complete evaluation of all symptoms and the patient's medical history. A mental health professional, who may be a psychologist or a psychiatrist, will be in charge of examining the patient in order to verify that the symptoms she has are similar to those of the agoraphobia disorder.

How agoraphobia should be treated

In relation to the treatment of agoraphobia, it should be noted that it will involve a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) along with certain medication and techniques to manage stress. CBT is a type of therapy that will help people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety. Exposure in a gradual manner to feared situations, known as exposure therapy, is an integral part of CBT to treat agoraphobia.

Medication will consist of taking medications such as antidepressants and anxiolytics. Antidepressants will help regulate the chemical imbalances in the brain that contribute to anxiety, while anxiolytics can provide temporary relief from the anxiety symptoms suffered by the patient.

Is it possible to overcome agoraphobia?

In addition to the treatment established by the mental health professional, there are different strategies that people who suffer from agoraphobia can use to help overcome their fear and regain control over their lives:

  • Practice relaxation techniques as is the case of deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. These techniques can help reduce anxiety symptoms and promote a feeling of calm and tranquility.
  • Set a series of achievable goals and objectives. Setting goals that can be achieved can help increase a person's confidence and self-esteem.
  • Seek social support such as Talk to friends or family. This support can be comforting and motivating in terms of overcoming this disorder.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle such as exercising regularly, following a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. All of this will reduce stress and improve general well-being.
  • Full attention or mindfulness can help people be present in the moment and accept their thoughts and feelings without judging them.

In summary, agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can have a significant and important impact on the daily lives of those who suffer from it. However, with proper treatment and support, many people are able to manage their fear and lead happy, seemingly normal lives. The help of a good professional It is essential when combating this anxiety-related disorder.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.