Health & Wellbeing

Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment

Agoraphobia A strong and unreasonable fear of being unable to flee a challenging or embarrassing situation describes the anxiety disorder known as agoraphobia. People worry that being confined in a public place will cause panic attacks or other unpleasant symptoms. Agoraphobia is more complex than the common belief that it is an anxiety of leaving the house. Anxiety, a defining feature of the condition, makes people avoid situations where they could feel scared, confined, helpless, or embarrassed. It can exist by itself or in combination with another mental illness, such as panic disorder.Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment

The fear often leads a person to participate in persistent avoidance behaviors, such as starting to avoid places and situations where they anticipate experiencing panic. A person with agoraphobia, for example, might hate driving a car, leaving the comfort of home, going shopping at a mall, flying, or even just being in a crowded place. A person with agoraphobia may engage in these avoidance behaviors, which can severely restrict and isolate them in both their personal and professional lives. For instance, having agoraphobia might make it challenging for a person to travel for business or to see family and friends because of increased worries and avoidance behaviors. Even basic tasks like going to the shop can become really challenging.

Read more: What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Well, in this article we’ll be talking about Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment, whereby the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • What is Agoraphobia?
  • What are the Causes of Agoraphobia?
  • What are the Symptoms of Agoraphobia?
  • How are They Diagnosed
  • When to See the Doctor?
  • How is Agoraphobia Prevented?
  • How is Agoraphobia Treated?


What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a form of anxiety condition (pronounced as “ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh”). Agoraphobia is the fear of and avoiding places or situations that could result in panic attacks and feelings of helplessness, embarrassment, or being trapped. You can be afraid of a current or potential situation. You can be afraid of taking public transportation, being in enclosed or open places, waiting in line, or being among a lot of people.Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment

Fear that there is no simple way to escape or find help if the anxiety gets unbearable is what causes the anxiety. Fears of being lost, falling, or getting diarrhea and not being able to find a bathroom may force you to avoid certain situations. The majority of persons who experience agoraphobia do so after experiencing one or more manic attacks, which makes them fearful of experiencing another attack. They then stay away from potential places.

Agoraphobia often causes sufferers to struggle with feeling secure in any public environment, particularly in crowded areas and strange places. You might think you need a friend or family member to stay with you when you go out in public. It’s possible for the fear to become so fatal that you feel unable to leave your house. Treatment for agoraphobia might be difficult because it requires facing your concerns. But with the right care, including medications and a type of therapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy, you can overcome agoraphobia and lead a life that is more satisfying.

Read more: Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD): Causes & Symptoms

What are the Causes of Agoraphobia?

Biology, which includes genetics and health issues, as well as personality, stress, and learning experiences, may all be factors in the development of agoraphobia.

Risk Factors

Although it can start in childhood, agoraphobia typically appears in the late teenage years or the beginning of adulthood, usually before the age of 35. However, it can also appear in elderly adults. Agophobia is more frequently diagnosed in women than in men.

Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment

  • Agoraphobia risk factors include:
  • Having phobias or another condition that causes intense fear.
  • Excessive anxiety and avoidance in the face of panic attacks.
  • Having difficult life experiences, such as being abused, having a parent die, or being attacked.
  • A worried or anxious personality.
  • Having an agoraphobic blood relative.

What are the Symptoms of Agoraphobia?

What are the Symptoms of Agoraphobia?

  • leaving alone at home.
  • crowds or queue waiting.
  • enclosed areas like theaters, elevators, or little shops.
  • open areas like parking lots, bridges, or malls.
  • using a bus, plane, or other kind of transportation.

These situations make you feel worried because you worry that if you start to feel panicked, you won’t be able to get away or find help. You could also worry about having more paralyzing or embarrassing symptoms, like dizziness, fainting, falling, or diarrhea.

In addition:

  • Your fear or worry is excessive relative to the actual threat present.
  • You can choose to avoid the situation, bring a friend along, or put up with it even though it makes you very angry.
  • Because of the fear, worry, or avoidance, you experience major anxiety or problems in social situations, at work, or in other areas of your life.
  • Normally, your anxiety and avoidance remain for six months or more.

How are They Diagnosed?

listed below are the common ways of diagnosing a patient with Agoraphobia:

  • Thorough discussion with your doctor or a mental health professional.
  • Physical examination to rule out any other illnesses that might be the source of your symptoms.

When to See the Doctor?

Agoraphobia may seriously affect your ability to communicate with others, work, attend major places, and even do day-to-day tasks like running errands. Avoid letting agoraphobia reduce the size of your world. If you experience agoraphobia or panic episodes, contact your doctor or a mental health expert.

How is Agoraphobia Prevented?

There isn’t a sure method for preventing agoraphobia. But as you avoid your fears more and more, anxiety tends to grow. Try constantly going to safe places if you start to feel a little anxious about doing so. This can make you feel more at ease in those situations. Ask a family member or friend to go with you if it’s too difficult to do it alone, or seek out professional assistance.

Seek help as soon as you can if you have panic attacks or anxiety while traveling. To prevent symptoms from getting worse, seek care as soon as possible. Waiting to get treatment for anxiety, like many other mental health issues, might make it more difficult.

How is Agoraphobia Treated?

Psychotherapy, commonly referred to as talk therapy, and medication are typically used in the treatment of agoraphobia. You can recover with treatment, though it can take some time.

Talk therapy

Talk therapy involves developing objectives and learning useful skills with a therapist in order to lessen your anxiety symptoms. The most effective talk therapy for anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia, is cognitive behavioral therapy.

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to give you the specific abilities you need to better manage your anxiety, face your fears head-on, and gradually resume the activities you’ve put off due to your worry. Typically, cognitive behavioral therapy is a quick fix. As you continue on after your initial achievement, your symptoms get better through this process.

You can find out:

  • what causes panic attacks or symptoms that like them to occur, as well as what worsens them.
  • How to manage and handle anxiety symptoms.
  • How to openly challenge your fears, such as by asking if bad things are likely to occur in social situations.
  • That stress slowly subsides and that, if you stay in situations long enough to learn from them, feared consequences usually don’t occur.
  • How to approach feared and avoided situations over time, regularly, in a way that is under control, and again. This essential part of agoraphobia treatment is also referred to as exposure therapy.

You might be confused about how you could possibly visit a therapist’s office if you have problems leaving your house. Anxiety medications who specialize in treating agoraphobia are aware of this issue.

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In the early stages of therapy, choose a therapist who can assist you in finding alternatives to office visits if agoraphobia has made you feel confined to your house. The therapist might suggest seeing you at home, to begin with, or in a location you think is safe. Some therapists may also provide some sessions via phone, email, or video. A more demanding hospital program focused on treating anxiety may be helpful if your agoraphobia is so severe that you cannot get therapy. Intense outpatient treatment frequently involves attending a clinic or hospital for a full or half day for a minimum of two weeks to focus on ways to cope with anxiety.

A residential program might be required in specific situations. This includes receiving therapy for acute anxiety while spending some time in the hospital. You might want to bring a trustworthy relative or friend who can provide support, assistance, and coaching if necessary to your appointment.


Agoraphobia is frequently treated with specific antidepressant kinds. Anti-anxiety medications are occasionally used cautiously. When treating agoraphobia, antidepressants are more successful than anti-anxiety medications.

  • Antidepressants: fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), both antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are used to treat panic disorder with agoraphobia. Agoraphobia may be effectively treated with various other antidepressant kinds as well. Other mental health issues, like depression, are also treated with antidepressants.
  • Anti-anxiety medicine: Your doctor may occasionally prescribe benzodiazepines, which are peaceful anti-anxiety medications, to ease anxious symptoms. In order to treat sudden anxiety, also known as acute anxiety, benzodiazepines are often only given temporarily. These medications are not a suitable choice if you have had ongoing anxiety issues or issues with alcohol or drug abuse because they have the potential to become habit-forming.

The effects of medication on symptom management could take weeks. Before you find the medication that works best for you, you might need to try a few others. Antidepressant side effects might result in uncomfortable bodily feelings or even panic attack symptoms at both the beginning and end of treatment. Due to this, your doctor may gradually raise the amount you take during therapy and gradually lower it when you’re ready to stop taking medication.

Alternative medical care

Some dietary and herbal supplements claim that they have calming effects that lessen anxiety. Speak with your doctor before taking any of these for agoraphobia. These supplements still pose potential health concerns even though they are available without a prescription.

For instance, kava, often known as kava kava, is a plant supplement that has shown promise as a treatment for anxiety. Even with little use, however, there have been reports of severe liver injury. Despite issuing warnings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not forcefully stopped American sales. Until greater safety tests are conducted, stay away from anything that contains kava, especially if you have liver issues or take medications that have an impact on your liver.

Well, that is all for this article where we talked about Agoraphobia: Causes and its Treatment, where we also discussed the following question:

  • What is Agoraphobia?
  • What are the Causes of Agoraphobia?
  • What are the Symptoms of Agoraphobia?
  • How are They Diagnosed
  • When to See the Doctor?
  • How is Agoraphobia Prevented?
  • How is Agoraphobia Treated?

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