Generally, Agoraphobia is a fear of being in large public spaces, but in reality it’s usually a combination of different fears and anxieties associated with being in those places. This includes fear of entering shops or crowds, travelling on public transport, being on bridges, being in lifts, being in places where there is no easy exit, or being anywhere far from home.
The severity can vary, from people who cope quite well but would rather stick to familiar routines and areas, to those who can’t leave the house without extreme anxiety. People typically develop agoraphobia between 18 and 25 years of age however it can develop at any age, and it can become a lifelong problem if untreated.
Agoraphobia often co-occurs with other anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder social anxiety disorder and Panic disorder.
Agoraphobic people suffer a range of anxiety symptoms when they’re in an unfamiliar or crowded place, especially if there’s no easy way to escape or if they feel that they don’t have control over the situation. Triggers include wide open spaces, crowds, travelling, or enclosed public spaces (such as trains or lifts).
When they’re in these areas, people suffering from agoraphobia may experience:
- Fast heart rate
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Chest pain
- Stomach pains
- Fast breathing
- A feeling of having a ‘knot in the stomach’
- Panic attacks
As with most phobias, when untreated people cope with the symptoms by avoiding triggering situations. In extreme cases, this can lead to being completely housebound.
How We Treat Agoraphobia
As with any other phobia, we treat the condition by discussing your feelings, any associated traumas, and working through exercises and counselling to help you beat your fear.
Our unique AES program is the ultimate recovery tool. Its straightforward, easy to implement and understand. It is also available here to purchase and use as a self help program with support.
CBT is another option as we are CBT specialists, We can discuss your options, either way we will help you recover as long as you follow what we tell you, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t make a full recovery
As with all anxiety disorders, Agoraphobia can be eliminated permanently.