Health and information – Agoraphobia is excessive fear or anxiety in a place or situation that makes the sufferer feel panicked, ashamed, helpless, or trapped. Generally, agoraphobia arises when the sufferer has had one or more panic attacks.
Situations or places that can cause phobias in each person can vary. There are those who feel afraid in a condition or situation, such as crowds, there are also those who are afraid of things that are more detailed, such as blood or certain animals.
Agoraphobia sufferers will feel excessive fear and anxiety in certain places and conditions, such as public places, closed rooms, crowds, and conditions that make it difficult to get help. Usually, sufferers of agoraphobia require relatives or friends to accompany him to a public place or crowd.
Causes of Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia generally occurs when a person has experienced more than one panic attack at a particular place or condition. This causes agoraphobia sufferers to fear and avoid these places or conditions for the umpteenth time.
Not yet known the exact cause of the emergence of agoraphobia. This condition can be experienced by someone since children, but more often occurs in women who are teenagers or young adults (less than 35 years).
Risk factors for agoraphobia
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing agoraphobia:
- The emergence of fear will be a victim of crime, have an accident, or contract certain diseases
- Trauma to events that have been experienced, such as the loss of a family member or experience torture
- Have experienced other mental disorders, such as depression, bulimia, or anorexia nervosa which makes it not confident
- Having a disorder in the part of the brain that controls fear
- Have other types of phobias
- Having anxious and nervous nature
- Having family members who experience agoraphobia
- Having an unhappy relationship with a life partner, such as having a partner who is too restrained in him
Symptoms of Agoraphobia
The main symptom of agoraphobia is fear and anxiety that arise every sufferer thinks, experiences, or is in a certain place or condition, such as:
- Being in an open space, such as a parking lot, park, or large mall
- Being in an enclosed space, such as a movie theater, meeting room, or elevator
- Alone outside the house
- Use public transportation, such as buses or trains
- Queue up or be in a crowd
These symptoms will disappear when the patient does not think or get out of the place and condition.
Fear and anxiety experienced by agoraphobia sufferers will generally foster physical symptoms, cognitive (mindset), and behavior. The following is an explanation of the three symptoms:
Anxiety and fear experienced by agoraphobia sufferers can cause various physical symptoms similar to panic attacks, such as:
- The heart feels palpitations
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
- Chest pain
- His body felt hot and sweaty
- Trembling, numbness, or tingling
- Stomach ache or diarrhea
- Difficulty swallowing food or choking
- Feeling unwell or feeling faint
In addition to physical symptoms, sufferers of agoraphobia can also experience cognitive symptoms. Agoraphobia sufferers will generally feel embarrassed, look stupid, and lose their clear mind when in the conditions or places mentioned above.
Symptoms of behavior
The fear and anxiety experienced by agoraphobia sufferers can also bring about changes in a person’s behavior, such as:
- Avoid situations that tend to cause panic attacks, such as being on public transportation, in a queue, or in a crowded place
- Feeling afraid to leave the house
- Give a friend to go outside the house
It is recommended that you come to a psychologist or psychiatrist if you experience the above symptoms. Especially when the symptoms experienced often appear and have disrupted your activities. Immediately see a doctor if there is a desire to hurt yourself or suicidal thoughts.
Prevention of Agoraphobia
Until now, the right way to prevent agoraphobia has not been found. However, there are several ways you can do to reduce the intensity of anxiety and fear that arise, namely:
- Don’t avoid going somewhere or doing certain things that are actually safe and normal, think it will be okay to go alone.
- Talk and ask for help from family or close friends to help you overcome this fear and anxiety.
- Consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist, so that your agoraphobia does not get worse and more difficult to treat.
So let us not hesitate to talk to close friends or family if you experience the things mentioned above. Let’s always take care of our physical and mental health so as not to interfere with any of our activities.