Facts about Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia, or fear of crowded places,is a phenomenon manifesting through people feeling great discomfort,or even fear when exposed to places where there is a large number ofother people around. People suffering from agoraphobia fear that theymight get hurt in such situations and tend to feel very uncomfortableevery time they are standing in line, or visiting places like trainstations, public events etc. Exposure to crowds triggers a panicattack in these people, and, thus, in order to protect themselvesfrom these, agoraphobic people avoid such places altogether. What ismore, in extreme cases, people with this phobia may even be reluctantto leave their house, unless a familiar person they can trust isaccompanying them. All in all, many people suffer from agoraphobiaoccasionally, and, in order to understand this phenomenon, we mustknow how it manifests, what causes it and how one can deal withit.
Reasons behind Agoraphobia
In most cases, agoraphobia is triggeredby having a panic attack in a public place. People who experiencedthis, connect the attacks with the situations, and, thereby, believethat places with a lot of people around trigger their panic attacks.However, this is not necessarily the case since agoraphobia maystrike out of nowhere, without any panic attacks in the first place.In fact, agoraphobia is more common than panic attacks are.
Manifestations and Characteristics ofAgoraphobia
This condition affects people between18 and 35 years of age. It manifests through fear, terror, panic,horror and similar emotions and sensations, making one incapable offunctioning correctly under certain situations. Interestingly, manyagoraphobic individuals are aware of their phobia and its groundlessconduct. Yet, once the panic attack strikes, they cannot forcethemselves out of it. Rather, they feel their heart beat is goingwild; they experience breathing difficulties and have a great desireto leave the place in question as soon as possible.
For all the reasons mentioned above,and many others, if you are unable to deal with agoraphobia, and thecondition itself fails to stop occurring, it is best to seek medicalassistance.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Upon visiting a doctor, he/she will askyou questions or give you some tests to solve. This will help himdifferentiate your condition from any others, similar to agoraphobia,like, for example, social anxiety etc. Also, the doctor will test youto make sure that your panic attacks are not caused by certainmedications you might be taking. Once agoraphobia is proven,treatment is suggested.
The treatment involves behavioraltherapies which can either help people deal with agoraphobia byrelaxing and breathing correctly, or can make them more used tocrowded spaces by exposing them to these as often as possible.Specific medications may also help.