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  1. #1

    WHAT IS AGORAPHOBIA

    WHAT IS AGORAPHOBIA

    Source: http://www.anxietypanic.com/agoraphobia.html**

    The term agoraphobia has been widely misunderstood. Its literal definition suggests a fear of "open spaces". However, this is an incomplete and misleading view. Agoraphobics are not necessarily afraid of open spaces. Rather, they are afraid of having panicky feelings, wherever. these fearful feelings may occur. For many, they happen at home, in houses of worship, or in crowded supermarkets, places that are certainly not "open".

    In fact, agoraphobia is a condition which develops when a person begins to avoid spaces or situations associated with anxiety. Typical "phobic situations" might include driving, shopping, crowded places, traveling, standing in line, being alone, meetings and social gatherings.

    Agoraphobia arises; from an internal anxiety condition that has become so intense that the suffering individual fears going anywhere or doing anything where these feelings of panic have repeatedly occurred before. Once the panic attacks have started, these episodes become the ongoing stress, even when other more obvious pressures have diminished. This sets up a "feedback condition" which generally leads to increased numbers of panic attacks and, for some people, an increase in the situations or events which can produce panicky feelings. Others experience fearful feelings continuously, more a feeling of overall. discomfort, rather than panic.

    A person may fear having anxiety attacks, "losing control", or embarrassing him/herself in such situations. Many people remain in a painful state of anxious anticipation because of these fears. Some become restricted or "housebound" while others function "normally" but with great difficulty, often attempting to hide their discomfort.

    Agoraphobia, then, is both a severe anxiety condition and a phobia, as well as a pattern of avoidant behavior.
    **this site (anxietypanic.com) lists the official source as: http://www.NIMH.NIH.GOV
    "Life is what you make it"

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    My doctor diagnosed me as having agoraphobia coupled with social anxiety.. I'm told the two often go hand-in-hand. For me, I have "mini freak-outs" (what the typical psychiatrist would call a panic attack) whenever I'm in a large public place such as a mall or outdoor setting only when there are tons of people in close quarters, having to try to walk through the crowd, dodging people.. My heart starts to race, I have this sudden "fight or flight" restless feeling like I must escape.. usually also accompanied by a shortness of breath, which serves to raise my anxiety levels even more. I don't usually go outside unless necessary (trips to the grocery store, gas station, hardware store, etc. I've very often described myself as being a "homebody". I won't leave my house unless I have good reason to. Only recently I was presented with the idea that this might not be a normal behavior. Heh. "who knew"?
    Last edited by Rhetoric; 07-29-2011 at 08:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Hi Rhetoric - just because you've got a diagnosis, don't start thinking you can't be cured - people DO get over agoraphobia and social anxiety, there's no reason why you can't achieve a full recovery - you need to get help to find solutions that will work for you (and I'm afraid pills alone won't be the answer!) - don't let anxiety rule your life as it did mine for over 30 years! Seek help to overcome your anxiety - it really can be done! I wish you well.
    Stop Anxiety Ruling Your Life!
    http://www.anxietytherapies.com

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Hi Rehtoric
    Agoraphobia is not really a fear of wide open places, neither is it a fear of congested areas. Whilst these types of problems might be present in an individual as well, agoraphobia is actually a concern with being too far from your own personal comfort zone, in spite of the crowd. Many individuals welcome guests in to their homes, regardless of the fact that they tend not to leave. Agoraphobics generally must have total command of a situation. Try a steady strategy of exposure to the outside world. Take things slowly, practicing breathing exercises will help you control your breathing while you are out

  5. #5
    It is a condition where sufferer becomes anxious in environment that is unfamiliar. Agoraphobia is more common in women than the men. The reason behind this is, women being more likely to seek help.

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  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2012
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    I am no doctor but have dealt with a similar problem for years. I think your primary problem is anxiety ( intense fear or nervousness or worry spun out of control ). Anxiety can cause numerous body symptoms and one most common is irritable bowel syndrome which in turn is causing for what sounds exactly like agoraphobia ( not doing or avoiding certain situations or all situations in fear of something ). In your case a BM. I was very agoraphobic in fear of having an anxiety attack in a public place. Your gonna have to let go of the fear and deal with it. the more you avoid things and outings the worst it will get. Start slow and try to go to places where a bathroom is nearby. Trust me, you have to be strong and face it and it will get better sooner then it will get worse

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2011
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    Agoraphobia kept me literally stuck in my room for about 3 weeks. everytime i'd try to step outside, i'd start sweating and get major panic attacks. i had missed work for the entire time and i was scared to get fired so i told myself screw this and i just went outside and walked to the grocery. i thought i was going to faint and when i reached i had to sit down cause i was shaking so badly. but i made it home. it was a small step but it really helped me to get over it. you need to start with little steps. leave your house everyday for a longer period each time. you gotta just understand that anxiety won't hurt you or make you faint in public. it's soo hard in the beginning but if you wanna get over it you gotta face your fears. unfortunately for agoraphobia the only thing that'll really work is shock therapy. very unpleasant but really works. i am now able to go to places i used to go. still cant get on crowded buses though. am working on it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Rhetoric, keep in mind all patients will have a different course and treatment as well as variation on how, when and degree of anxiety they will feel. There is no one way for all to go about handling life with an anxiety disorder(as opposed to anxiety that is transient due to extreme stress or psychological conflict).
    That being said if you can cope with the anxiety(how much you feel and can tolerate varies), anxiety will diminish if you keep confronting the feared situation. For those than can bear that I encourage them to. Others will need to use all therapies to manage their anxiety including meds, CBT, psychotherapy, education on anxiety, etc. This is all highly specific to the patient. Keep that in mind. What works for one will not for all. Work with your docs on your path. Alankay

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Boston
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    wow i never knew what it really was but reading all of this sounds exactly like me... what do i do? tell my doc or what?? effin ay

  10. #10
    My doctor diagnosed me as having agoraphobia coupled with social anxiety.. I'm told the two often go hand-in-hand. For me, I have "mini freak-outs" (what the typical psychiatrist would call a panic attack) whenever I'm in a large public place such as a mall or outdoor setting only when there are tons of people in close quarters, having to try to walk through the c

 

 

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