Agoraphobia is an anxiety problem that involves a person who feels intense fear and tries to avoid places or situations from which it would be difficult to escape in case of a panic attack. This situation can even occur in homes or in situations or places where the person feels helpless or ashamed. The anxiety the person feels is caused by the fear of not having an easy way to escape or of getting help if the anxiety intensifies. Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, which makes them worry about having another attack and for this reason they try to avoid places where it can happen again. Agoraphobia is also more common in women than in men. It usually begins in adulthood, with 20 years being the average age of onset. However, symptoms of the condition can arise at any age.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety attack that causes the sufferer to avoid places or situations from which it would be very difficult for them to get out or escape, or to get some kind of help if the problem intensifies.
The word agoraphobia comes from the Greek and is formed by the words: “agora”, “square”, and “phobos”, “fear”, and is related to the panic and anxiety disorders, being very common that the two symptoms manifest and interact.
The exact cause of agoraphobia is not yet known with certainty. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of developing agoraphobia. These risks include
There are many different treatments for agoraphobia. A combination of these methods will most likely be needed:
The first important thing to do is to learn breathing exercises. When there is an attack, breathing can be affected so this type of exercise helps relaxation and improves lung capacity. Meditation exercises can provide a state of inner peace by controlling the mind. Relaxation exercises are widely used by people with agoraphobia and physical exercise is vital, as it helps to improve the general condition of the body.
Some antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), may be used to treat panic disorder with agoraphobia. Other types of antidepressants can also effectively treat agoraphobia.
Anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines are sedatives that, in limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe to temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms. They are usually used only to relieve acute anxiety in the short term. Because they can create habit, these drugs are not a good choice if you have had long-term problems with anxiety or problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Agoraphobia. Recovered on 2 June, 2023, de Euston96: https://www.euston96.com/en/agoraphobia/