Agoraphobia - Causes, Symptoms , Treatments


1. clinical picture

2. symptoms of agoraphobia

3. Causes of agoraphobia

4. Treatment

in Greek means φόβοςfear and ἀγορά - area.The original meaning of the word agoraphobia meant "fear of the markets", as well as the crowd, crowds.Today, the term refers to a mental disorder, causing them to exhibit a fear of open doors, open spaces, crowds, fear of large areas, deserted streets, as well as situations that involve movement and stay away from home.We have agoraphobia obsolete synonyms - demofobiya (fear of crowded) and ohlofobiya (fear of the crowd).

clinical picture

modern definition of agoraphobia has incorporated a lot of ideas.People suffering from this disorder, experiencing anxiety of travel and movement away from home, staying in a crowd, in public places.They may fear public transport or in front of deserted spaces, such as a park, field or deserted street.Experiencing bouts of agoraphobia, a person is afraid to travel alone, get into lively places or in places

that are hard to leave such a central place in the theater.As a rule, experienced in childhood negative experiences can cause the patient's fear of public shame, panic attacks in public places.Therefore, such people rarely refuse to leave the comfort zone - usually their own home.

agoraphobia are afraid to get into situations in which they can not control the environment, for example, when they can freeze or overheat, being attacked or becoming a victim of an accident.Such people are often quite easily take guests safely communicate with other people in areas or situations that feel safe.Zone - not necessarily a specific place, it can be a condition where, for example, a person is afraid of eye contact with people.Out of the comfort zone can trigger a panic attack.

symptoms of agoraphobia

agoraphobia symptoms are the same as with other anxiety disorders.But with this disorder often occur depression, depersonalization, and obsessive thoughts.

There are two distinct groups of alarming symptoms of agoraphobia - panic attacks and disturbing thoughts.A panic attack can occur as a reaction to a specific stimulus or spontaneously.Disturbing thoughts, usually associated with the ability to pass out or lose control.These symptoms of agoraphobia provoke a variety of situations, such as a trip to public transport, shopping and department stores, places that can not be leave without attracting attention.As the disease progresses, situations where the patient is afraid, it becomes more and more, as long as the comfort zone is not limited to his own house.External factors can weaken panic attacks, for example, in a guide of less anxious patients, some experience more or less comfortable state in the presence of children or pets.

Another characteristic symptom of agoraphobia - anxiety of anticipation, it may be several hours before they happen panic attack.It is usually between 20 and 30 years, at least - in 30-40 years.Agoraphobia are more prone to women, and the first attack often occurs while waiting for public transport or shopping in a large store.The attack alarm is accompanied by palpitations, and poor health.If the person leaves the place of agoraphobia, which caused anxiety, feeling returned to normal, but if it would be some time in the place where the alarm first appeared, the attack could happen again.Then, panic arises in other areas, the number of zones increases discomfort and comfort zone sooner or later restricted to a house or apartment.

Causes of agoraphobia

There are several hypotheses about the origin of agoraphobia.According to the psychoanalytic hypothesis causes agoraphobia associated with unconscious mental conflicts associated with sexual or aggressive impulses.According to the cognitive hypothesis, it is believed that a panic attack occurs in those who are frightened by physical symptoms, such as palpitations.There is also a biological hypothesis.According to her the cause of agoraphobia may become upset brake mechanisms in areas of the brain that control anxiety.

In the study of the causes of agoraphobia is necessary to take into account the personality of the patient - a disease usually develops in people dependent and tend to avoid problems rather than resist them.The reasons for such behavior can be sought in childhood, presumably overprotective parents, but in reality it is not always detected.


Since the patient is most anxious to avoid disturbing situations, the best way to treat agoraphobia at an early stage will encourage the patient to return to a situation in which he avoids.This is based behavioral therapy when the patient is exposed to the alarming situation and help cope with panic attacks.Treatment of Agoraphobia this method gives results and long term changes in behavior.Many patients after treatment still continue to feel mild anxiety.Behavioral therapy is often associated with such methods of treatment of agoraphobia as muscle relaxation, meditation.Sometimes used as an alternative to hypnosis.

For the treatment of agoraphobia can be used drugs, which, however, play a secondary role.Your doctor may prescribe anxiolytic drugs, but only in order to help the patient to adapt to how behavioral therapy will work.antidepressants, they help to cope with the attendant depressive syndrome may be used for the treatment of agoraphobia.


This article is available exclusively in the educational purposes and is not research material or professional medical advice.

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