Understanding Agoraphobia

byAlma Abell

Agoraphobia is considered an anxiety disorder and will lead to intense fear that can be brought on by a number of situations. Often it can be caused by crowds but is very commonly triggered when the patient feels they are unable to escape an area. As many as 1.8 million Americans potentially suffer from this disorder including thousands in the El Paso TX region.

What You Should KnowThere is no known cause of agoraphobia which tends to develop following the occurrence of panic attacks in patients. Those with agoraphobia will often find it hard to leave the safety of their home and can trigger many other fears including crowded rooms, small spaces and even wide open spaces. The disorder will make people feel helpless and often like they are not in control due to their anxiety. The fear and anxiety can be so extreme it can lead to physical symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness. Some people might even gasp for breath or appear that they are choking. Agoraphobia treatment is available and can begin with a discussion with your doctor or by contacting a mental health clinic.

Agoraphobia TreatmentAnxiety reducing medications or antidepressants are often prescribed to those with severe symptoms of agoraphobia. However medication alone is not always the best approach. A combination of medication and psychotherapy can do wonders for those suffering from this disorder. In some cases patients might prefer trying therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy before being prescribed medication.

Symptoms of AgoraphobiaIf you are worried you or a loved one has agoraphobia watch for growing fear of the following:

• Being alone• Crowds• Open spaces• Public transportation• Elevators• Death

Other issues might include a feeling of detachment from others and feeling a sense of helplessness due to fear. This can lead to signs of agitation and in many cases the person might have a loss of control when faced with certain situations that might trigger their feels. Patients might also express a feeling that they feel their body or their environment is not real.

A patient with severe agoraphobia may find it impossible to leave their home on their own. They will often require the assistance of a friend or family member to take them out to doctor’s appointments or shopping in order to avoid panic attacks. Even with help patients might still have physical symptoms of panic when they leave the home. Speaking to a doctor or a clinic offering agoraphobia treatment will help make functioning easier for patients.

If you are seeking agoraphobia treatment in El Paso TX, University Behavioral Health can help. Visit Ubhelpaso.com for more information on their services.