Below is an excellent article that gives advice on effective
At the end of this article is a link to an excellent website that
provides more detailed advice and guidance on all aspects of
agoraphobia and agrophobia treatment.
If you would like to go straight to this site, please
“AGORAPHOBIA self help”
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by an uneasiness, fear or dread about leaving familiar surroundings.
This may include a reluctance to travel, particularly on public transport, or to be in crowded places.
It is associated with severe physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.
It is a condition related to anxiety, depression, panic and other phobias.
The word agoraphobia is derived from the Greek “agora” which means ‘market place’ and “phobia” meaning “fear of”.
It was first considered to be simply a fear of being in a public place (e.g. the market place).
However the fear and dread about leaving home (or other O.K.
place) is considered not to be associated with fear of the public place
in itself nor of lots of people but actually the learnt fear from a
previous experience of a panic attack in such a location.
First, a person may have a panic attack (for any number of
reasons including stress) and then a real fear develops that it may
happen again and situations are avoided which remind a person of the
previous panic attacks.
Panic attacks are frightening and embarrassing so it is a
natural reaction to do things to avoid what is perceived to have caused
the panic attack.
A fear can be developed for almost anywhere. It can be open
public places such as shopping centres, railway stations, airports or
closed places like churches, theatres, buses, trains, aircraft or quiet
places such as empty streets or a store at closing time.
The situation can become very generalised from a fear of one place to the point where a person cannot leave home at all.
The onset of agoraphobia can be sudden and unexpected or it can
take months or years for the condition to develop from a mild phobic
anxiety to a feeling of dread of many public situations.
The fear of leaving the house may literally extend even to collecting the milk, mail or newspaper from the front step or gate.
There may be many factors, which play a part in the development
of agoraphobia such as loss, separation or the death of a family member
or close friend.
Sudden life changes may bring emotional stress. Long-term
emotional stress, which builds up gradually, often without its
seriousness being recognised, can trigger panic attacks, which can
gradually develop into agoraphobia.
Once a person develops agoraphobia it is further reinforced by
feelings of hopelessness, anger, frustration and guilt about the
Whilst the symptoms of agoraphobia may fluctuate, they may include:
Feelings of depression
Abuse of tranquillising drugs and alcohol for relief of symptoms
Fear of loss of control
Loss of self-esteem and self- confidence
Frustration and anger with oneself
Anxiety and panic attacks
The physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks may include:
Feeling of light-headedness
Feeling of being detached or distant from surroundings or even from one’s own body
Buzzing in the ears, blurred vision, a dry mouth, tingling in the face and arms
Difficulty in breathing - perhaps breathlessness without apparent cause
Sudden feeling of extreme panic
Severe backache without apparent cause
Headaches and other muscle aches and pains
Weakness of the legs
Fear of fainting
Fear of heart attack
Living with an illness like agoraphobia can be extremely isolating, and can make reaching out for agoraphobia treatment difficult.
It is important to recognise that there is real help available
and that people can unlearn the fear that has developed over time.
Reaching out and asking for help is the first step to managing this illness.
Alcohol and self-prescribed drugs generally do not lessen the
symptoms of agoraphobia, and may well increase the levels of stress and
depression experienced. Whilst there are certain medications, which may
be of assistance, long-term drug therapy is generally not the best
Self-help support groups can play a helpful role in the recovery
process, enabling you to meet other people who know what it is like to
live with this illness.
WHERE TO GET HELP
If you would like further help, guidance and advice on agoraphobia
treatment and all other aspects of agoraphobia then please click here
to be taken to an excellent website.
Click the link above for further information about Agoraphobia Treatment.