The overall goal of each and every medical condition is finding its underlying cause and its eradication. If this is not possible, doctors strive to deal at least with symptoms and signs of the condition, bringing it under control. The overall goal of anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia is their complete overcoming.
Reasons behind Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia
It is essential to identify the underlying cause of each of these medical issues since only then a person can confront the source of their fear and eventually deal with it.
In spite of us feeling anxious from time to time (which is considered normal), some people develop higher degree of anxiety and do not have any solution for getting rid of it. There are many triggers for anxiety attack and a recently experienced disappointment, a constant reminder of disappointments etc. are only some of them. People suffering from panic attract have to deal with even greater fear comparing to individuals who have problems with anxiety attacks. And finally, people suffering from agoraphobia (a sudden and repeated attack of intense fear and anxiety due to being in places where escape might be difficult or even impossible) develop the highest degree of anxiety and may suffer from the attack each time they are faced to the trigger, a place that may jeopardize their existence.
Goals, Treatment and Coping
Fortunately, all of the mentioned conditions are treatable. The best approach is to use self-help strategies and a series of therapy sessions.
One of the approaches doctors use is cognitive behavioral therapy. Namely, this treatment's goal is to focus on the thinking patterns and behaviors which are associated with sustaining and triggering the conditions. It helps an individual to realistically observe the underlying cause of fear.
In exposure therapy patients are exposed to physical sensations of panic but all of this is conducted in safe and controlled environment. By doing so, patients are forced to face their fears and learn how to deal them in a healthier manner. Agoraphobic individuals are exposed to situations which trigger the anxiety attack and face difficult situations in order to learn how to control their bodily reactions and fear in general. Medications are only prescribed in severe cases.
People suffering from these conditions should know all about panic and its repercussion. They must realize that feelings and sensations they develop during the attack are normal and that they are not going crazy. Furthermore, these individuals may prevent frequent recurrence of the attacks by avoiding smoking and caffeine.
It is essential to learn how to control one's breathing because hyperventilation is actually the main culprit of many sensations during the attack. And finally, a person is due to learn and practice relaxation techniques in order to eliminate stress, promote relaxation and increase feelings of joy and equanimity.