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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Agoraphobia

There are many different anxiety disorders a person could develop. These disorders are usually characterized by intense anxiety leading to panic attacks. Under the umbrella of anxiety disorders fall the category of phobias, which as intense and irrational fears that lead to panic. Agoraphobia is one such fear a person could have, and it is the most commonly treated phobia in the mental health world. It may not be the most common, but its symptoms are severe enough that treatment is almost always necessary.

Agoraphobia is the fear of leaving one’s home or safe area and venturing into the outside world. It is also found in combination with other phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorder. People suffering from agoraphobia usually have panic attacks when they feel unsafe, and these unsafe feelings include when the person is trapped, out of control, or too far from a personal comfort zone. Many people suffering from agoraphobia are confined to their homes or even to a specific room in their home.

There are many misconceptions surrounding people with agoraphobia. First of all, agoraphobia is not a fear of open spaces, nor is it a fear of crowded spaces. While these conditions may exist within a person as well, agoraphobia is specifically a fear of being too far from a normal area, regardless of the crowd. Many people welcome visitors into their home, even if they themselves do not leave. Agoraphobics usually simply need to be in complete control of a situation.

Women!
Agoraphobia can affect any person, regardless of gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, or economic status. The disorder is about twice as common among women than among men, however. The conditions usually begins with generalized panic attacks or slight phobias, and develops into a more and more serious condition. Thankfully, treatment is available. A gradual process of exposure is usually recommended, along with anti-anxiety medication including benzodiazepines like alprazolam. Anti-depressants can also be used. Some therapists will make house calls to help patients with agoraphobia, and alternative treatments like hypnosis are becoming more and more popular in the medical world as a treatment for agoraphobia and other anxiety conditions.

A number of famous people have suffered from agoraphobia in the past, including celebrity chef Paula Dean, actress Kim Basinger, director Woody Allen, and Nobel laureate for literature Elfriede Jelinek. The key here, however, is to realize that there is hope. If you suffer from agoraphobia, ask for help and you can begin the healing process.

10 comments:

Joan Joyce said...

had this early 2005, i feel cold then sweating a lot when im away from home so that i hurriedly ending up going home again but im happy to say i overcome it after more than a year just by going to crowded places and beating the fear.

Nissa said...

I struggle sometimes with this problem. I am most prone when staying at home for long periods. Most people get 'antsy' - I become reluctant to go anywhere.Small doses of Lorazapam help me through those times.

Mark Foley said...

An agoraphobia sufferer will go out of their way to avoid places and situations where a panic attack and anxiety symptoms may occur. They may even end up being housebound as they avoid being in crowded places. This unhealthy lifestyle can in itself trigger agoraphobic attacks to occur in everyday normal situations. http://www.buy-xanax-online-now.com/

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nwtsbtr said...
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