Agoraphobia: Are You Suffering From It?

Agoraphobia is a disorder that develops when a person begins to avoid situations associated with anxiety. It arises from an anxiety condition that has become so intense that the person suffering is afraid to go places or to do anything where an episode of panic has happened in the past.

A person with Agoraphobia may fear having an anxiety attack, losing control, or embarrassing themselves in a certain situation.

Many people remain in a state of anxious anticipation because of their fears. Some become restricted or even housebound, while others can function normally. But, sadly, most have great difficulty, often trying to hide their pain from everyone.

Agoraphobia can be a chronic, disabling condition which causes people to suffer in silence, and unfortunately, individuals around the person don't understand.

An Agoraphobic may experience severe panic attacks during situations where they feel trapped. Sometimes, with severe bouts of anxiety, the agoraphobic is confined not only to their homes, but to one or two rooms, and they may even become bed bound.

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The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one out of three people with panic disorder will develop agoraphobia also. There are 3.2 million people ages 18-54 who are living in fear of agoraphobia every day.

Along with all other anxiety disorders, there is a treatment for agoraphobia. Treatment usually involves desensitization or exposure therapy. Exposure therapy can reduce or end phobic reactions. Real life exposure in increasing levels has also been used to help overcome their fears. Medications and other therapies are used for treatment also.

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