Agoraphobia: causes, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment of the disease

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People at the same time experience an unconscious fear of walking alone along unpopulated streets or large areas. Very often agoraphobia is manifested as a symptom of a variety of mental disorders, but sometimes it can also occur as a separate disease.

When this condition was first described, the word "agoraphobia" in translation meant "to be afraid of the market" or "market fear".At the root of the word there is the Latin word "agora", which means the market, since in ancient times the largest number of people gathered in the markets. Later this sense of expression became portable, and the word "agoraphobia" remained.

Reasons for the appearance of

The exact cause of the appearance of agoraphobia has not yet been revealed. But it is proved that the mechanism of the appearance of agoraphobia is often played by a mental illness such as panic attack, when the leading symptom of the disease is the violation of orientation in space. At the same time a sick person has panic fear, which soon turns into attacks of panic attack.

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In addition, a possible cause of the disease is considered such personality disorders as anxiety or panic disorder, social phobia and other conditions associated with mental disorders. At first, agoraphobia can manifest itself in different ways, but as the pathological state develops, it passes into the underlying disease.

A starting point for the emergence of agoraphobia can serve as a divorce of a young woman who remains alone with the child and without the help of the people close to her. In adolescents, this may be the low level of parents' income and the fear of being among the more affluent people.

Symptoms or signs of agoraphobia

Panic, anxiety, anxiety, throwing of a person are clear signs of this disease. In the initial stage of the disease, a sick person is simply afraid to leave the house or go to a store where there are at least sellers. Such symptoms can initially not be accompanied by panic or fear, and a person can explain his reluctance by feeling ill or lack of mood.

As the state develops, a person has a fear of being in crowded places, where usually a lot of people gather - theaters, stadiums, supermarkets. Only at one thought that a person is to leave the house or go to a crowded place, he begins a panic attack.

The attack can be accompanied, in addition to fear, by the increased pulse and rhythm of breathing, by increasing pressure, cold sweat, shaking in the body, and violation of behavioral reactions may appear on the skin. In severe cases, even a fear of death may arise, which can not be eliminated without medication.

All these symptoms arise from the release of a hormone of fear into the blood - adrenaline. The disease most often occurs in young people aged 20-25 years, and the course of the disease is usually chronic, with periodic exacerbations of the disease. As the disease progresses, the person loses connections with the people around him, and social activity decreases.

Diagnosis and treatment of

Without the help of a psychotherapist and a specialized type of therapy from agoraphobia, it is impossible to get rid of. The doctor should question the patient in detail about what exactly causes him anxiety and causes fear, as well as identify other fears, if any. For example, in addition to fear of going out into the street, a sick person may have a fear of contracting infectious diseases.

Diagnosis of the condition is based on the following symptoms:

  • There is a clear fear of finding a person in an open space.
  • The person diligently avoids all possible places of congestion of people and open spaces.
  • If he still gets to such places, then he starts a panic attack.
  • A person, if he has no choice, usually asks someone to escort him and come back.

Based on all the above signs, a person can be diagnosed with "agoraphobia".To treat the disease, methods of psychotherapy and treatment with medication are usually used.

In psychotherapy sessions, patients with similar conditions are usually present, where the therapist examines all states of fear and tries to show during the analysis that in fact there are no reasons for concern. At the initial stages of the disease, only with the help of regular sessions with a therapist can one control the course of the disease and prevent its aggravation.

In psychotherapeutic practice, this method of treatment is often used, such as the "flood method".The patient is offered to write in ascending order all the situations that cause him fear( from less to greater).The doctor, in accordance with the list, tries to create a situation similar to the one that is on the first list, and tries to model the behavior model together with the patient.

As you train, the patient creates a feeling of peace and fear disappears, and the doctor continues to move up the list until it reaches the most dangerous situation for the patient. Such exercises can be conducted both in the group and individually with the patient.

In addition, there are techniques that help the patient relax and not experience fear( relaxing techniques).These include techniques of meditation, breathing, movements( yoga), hypnosis, the use of which helps to achieve a positive shift in the treatment process more quickly.

In advanced cases, drugs are used, the purpose of which is to relieve the symptoms of nerve strain and the nerves that soothe the nervous system. Usually, in such cases, antineuropathic agents are prescribed( Alprazolam, Benzodiazepine) and antidepressants( Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Sertraline).

Treatment of severe cases of the disease involves great difficulties, since a person can completely lose orientation and social ties. Moreover, such a patient may not come into contact even with the attending physician. Therefore, when the first signs of the disease appear, you should immediately seek advice and help from a specialist with experience in treating such conditions.

We propose a program about Agoraphobia in which you can learn how to get rid of panic attacks in this disease.