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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes people to feel heightened levels of anxiety in certain environments, so sufferers avoid exposure to any of the locations that they perceive as threats.  Typically, agoraphobia sufferers fear places that are perceived as open or crowded, meaning that public places are almost always avoided.

Feared Locations

  • Airports
  • Shopping Malls
  • Markets
  • Bridges
  • Theaters
  • Public Transportation

Symptoms

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Heavy breathing
  • Perceived loss of control
  • Feeling helpless
  • Possible panic attacks

Causes

It’s possible to trace agoraphobia to traumatic events that occurred during childhood, but this may be unlikely.  More emphasis is commonly placed on the present by managing negative reactions to overcome fear, allowing the client to lead a more fulfilling life.

Treatment

Treatment of agoraphobia typically requires a person to face their fears with the support of a therapist.  A therapist will gradually expose a client to more and more public places that frighten the client, all while being present to assist the client in managing their fear responses.  Therapy may also uncover traumatic events that caused the agoraphobia and allow a person to reconcile this trauma.  Medication is an option that chemically controls anxiety in the brain:  by decreasing the brain’s triggering of anxiety symptoms the medication can allow a person to approach their fears calmly.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, providing healthy outlooks and understanding.

 
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