Everyone feels a little safer in a familiar place, but for people who suffer from Agoraphobia, departure from that familiar place can be debilitating. Psychology Today defines the condition as one that involves intense fear and anxiety in any place where escape might be difficult. If you feel frightened on a bus, in a crowd, riding across a bridge or even in a large open space because escape might be difficult – you may suffer from Agoraphobia. Has that stress triggered a panic attack or has it limited your movement to only those places where you feel comfortable? LifeLens helps patients with Agoraphobia improve their quality of life, reduce their anxiety, and function more successfully in their day-to-day life.
Symptoms felt by those with Agoraphobia range from the emotional to the physical. The person may suffer from other phobias as well. Some symptoms are directly at odds with others. For example, you may fear being alone, but you also may fear being in a crowd. Other symptoms may include:
- Fear of being in a place where escape is difficult
- Tendency to become housebound
- Fear of losing control or being embarrassed publicly
- Feeling helpless
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Nausea, abdominal discomfort, and other physical symptoms
- Fear of dying
If you find a certain familiarity in these symptoms, LifeLens can help.
Treatment of Agoraphobia
There are a number of ways to treat someone with Agoraphobia. Often we utilize a type of desensitization, or exposure therapy, where we gradually expose the patient to situations while equipping them with coping techniques and management strategies. It is a thoughtful process that actually begins with mentally imagining the stressful scenarios before actually proceeding to the real-life situation. We are pleased to say it works in the majority of cases to reduce anxiety for our patients. For some patients, other methods of psychotherapy are used or medications may also be employed for the benefit of those with this or other panic disorders.
Working with you to identify an effective approach to therapy is what we do best at LifeLens