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Treatment of agoraphobia

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Agoraphobia is one type of anxiety disorder in which you are extremely scared to go out to places like your work station, social circles or simply going out alone. The individual tends to have panic attacks, fears of being trapped and helpless, without anyone coming for rescue.

There are several approaches for dealing with agoraphobia, which we shall explain below: 


First of all you need to visit a psychologist who will understand and evaluate the problems and then proceed with the most suitable treatment for you. Psychotherapy is a step by step process which is executed in the following way:


Recognizing the problem

The first step is recognition of the problem. In this step your doctor will explain you details about the agoraphobia through which you can accept that you have this particular psychological condition. Therapy and treatment is initiated after this stage.


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is an immensely successful technique for overcoming agoraphobia and its related symptoms like panic attacks, fear, anxiety, depression, etc. Your doctor focuses on your cognitive powers i.e. ability to think and then tries to transform your behaviour towards the particular mental condition. In your case, the therapist would initially visit your home to conduct the therapy. You can visit the unit once your doctor asks you to do so.


The problem is broken down into smaller parts to simplify them. You will be taught special techniques and skills to get out of agoraphobia.

We state some examples below: 

  • You get out of your negative circle of fear of stepping out
  • You learn that the fear is unrealistic- it actually doesn’t exist
  • Gradually you learn how to face the challenge- i.e. face people, go out, socialize, etc. Your doctor would actually create such a situation with safety measures as a part of the therapy
  • Skills to understand the triggers of panic attacks
  • Learn how to deal with anxiety, panic attacks, etc. and be more open
  • Learn the skills to change behaviour towards self, surrounding people, society and situations
  • Skills to exercise self control to get away with sweating, hyperventilation, etc. 
Cognitive behavioural therapy is performed in session, depending upon the severity of your agoraphobia and your response.


Applied relaxation therapy

People suffering from agoraphobia are under so much stress that they forget how to relax. Therefore, relaxation therapy is also a part of the treatment plan, wherein techniques will be applied by the specialist to relive physical and mental stress and normalize blood circulation.


Medicines for agoraphobia

Your doctor might prescribe medicines along with cognitive behavioural therapy. Antidepressant - Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually prescribed for a certain period of time to treat anxiety, fear, panic and irrational thoughts. Other drugs that might also be prescribed under special and intense situations are benzodiazepines. Your doctor will let you the side effects and the precautions


Lifestyle changes

Certainly, you need to improvise lifestyle to increase the effectiveness of your treatment.

We define them below: 

  • Do not resort to drugs, smoking, or alcohol to overcome fear, de- stress or cope with anxiety. It would make your condition worse. Instead get rid of them
  • Exercise regularly and focus more on mediation and breathing
  • Avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages like cola, tea and coffee
  • Eat healthy foods as much as possible.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 21, 2014