Agorophobia

Agoraphobia solutions from the The Devon Clinic CIC

Many patients who have agoraphobia have it as a result of a panic disorder. Agoraphobia is a fear of places or situations where a panic attack may occur.

Effective Agorophobia treatments from The Devon Clinic:

 

Hypnotherapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Life Coach

Psychology

Bowen Technique

the Devon clinic is pleased to offer Agorophobia treatments from the following local practitioner(s):

Joya Newcombe at New Devon Clinic

Joya Newcombe

 Chris Fleet (Dip.Hyp. Adv D. hyp, GQHP) at New Devon Clinic

Chris Fleet (Dip.Hyp. Adv D. hyp, GQHP)

Dr Ellis Kalmus BA(Hons), Clin.Psy.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS. at New Devon Clinic

Dr Ellis Kalmus BA(Hons), Clin.Psy.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS.

More About Agorophobia

Agoraphobia is a term that is used to describe a number of related phobias (irrational fears) that are connected to situations such as:

• leaving home
• entering shops
• being in crowds or public places
• travelling alone on buses, trains or planes

Agoraphobia can often lead to a change in behaviour where a person with the condition will avoid situations that may cause them anxiety. They may start only leaving the house with a friend or partner, or ordering groceries online rather than going to the supermarket. This change in behaviour is known as avoidance. Avoiding normal activities can lead to an individual’s life becoming restricted.

The severity of agoraphobia can vary significantly between different people with the condition. For example, someone with severe agoraphobia may be unable to leave the house, whereas someone who has mild agoraphobia may be able to travel short distances without experiencing problems.

The symptoms of agoraphobia can be broadly classified into three types:

• physical
• psychological
• behavioural

The physical symptoms of agoraphobia usually only occur when you find yourself in a situation or environment that causes anxiety. However, many people with agoraphobia rarely experience any physical symptoms because they deliberately avoid situations that make them anxious.

The physical symptoms of agoraphobia can be similar to those of a panic attack and may include:

• rapid heart beat
• rapid breathing (hyperventilating)
• feeling hot and sweaty
• nausea (feeling sick)
• upset stomach
• chest pain
• difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
• diarrhoea
• trembling
• dizziness
• ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
• feeling faint

The psychological symptoms of agoraphobia are feelings or thoughts that are sometimes, but not always, related to the physical symptoms.

Psychological symptoms may include fear that:

• A panic attack will make you look stupid or embarrassed in front of other people
• A panic attack will be life-threatening (for example, you may be worried that your heart will stop or that you will be unable to breathe)
• You would be unable to escape from a place or situation if you were to have a panic attack
• You are losing your sanity
• You may lose control in public
• You may tremble and blush in front of people
• You may be stared at

There are also a number of psychological symptoms that are associated with agoraphobia that are not necessarily related to panic attacks. They include:

• feelings of low self-esteem
• feeling depressed
• feeling that you would be unable to function, or survive, without the help of others
• a fear of being left alone in your house (monophobia)
a general feeling of anxiety or dread

Some of the symptoms of agoraphobia are related to behaviour. They include:

• obsessive and depressive behaviour
• avoiding any situation that could lead to any of the physical and psychological reactions mentioned above
• not being able to leave the house for long periods of time (housebound)
• tolerating a situation but with considerable fear and anxiety
• needing to be with someone you trust when going anywhere
• avoiding being far away from home
• avoiding physical activity due to a fear that it will lead to a panic attack
• avoiding driving

When to seek medical advice – you should visit your GP if:

• Your symptoms become so severe that you feel that you may need medication
• Your symptoms begin to interfere with your personal, social or professional life
• You are depressed and/or feel suicidal

Also seek medical advice if you have any of the following:

• chest pain
• shortness of breath
• headaches
• dizziness
• fainting spells
• unexplained weakness
• the sensation that your heart is beating irregularly (palpitations)

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