Agoraphobia is most often a consequence of frequent or severe panic attacks. It starts as avoiding all situations thought to trigger panic attacks. The avoiding usually comes to play within a week after the first panic attack.
If you see yourself in some of these situations it is possible you suffer from agoraphobia:
- you consciously start avoiding a specific place because it makes you feel uncomfortable and you plan in advance alternatives for it (most frequently-public transport-an example of learned fear)
- most of your daily routines require thinking of avoiding panic attack triggers
- you plan most of your travels based on the proximity of a medical facility
- you gave up completely on some public services, places, etc. because you feel you will be uncomfortable
Once you get used to avoiding certain situations that condition sets because you start believing that this very behavior enabled you to escape the anxiety/panic attack. This “strategy” seems good for a while but your limitations will multiply and it will eventually become voluntary loss of freedom. This condition becomes your prison.
Agoraphobia is more common in women than in men. One of many theories for this is that society expects women to express their fear more than men.
If you have noticed that you started to avoid some of these places or situations not for the places themselves but for the anxiety or panic they cause in you, it is possible that you suffer from agoraphobia:
- crowded places
- waiting in line
- being home alone
- being alone outside home
- public transport
- crossing bridges
- cinema, theater
- public places
- dentists, hairdressers
- markets, shopping malls, restaurants
- being stuck in traffic jams
People who suffer from agoraphobia avoid the aforementioned places and situations mostly because they feel it would be very unpleasant and uncomfortable to have a panic attack there.
Most common fears people with agoraphobia have are fear of dying, losing consciousness, falling down, losing control of themselves, insanity or wetting themselves. These fears are always connected to certain places or situations so people with agoraphobia find ways to escape them. Sometimes very creative ways.
Although treating this condition nowadays is very easy and quick it still requires professional medical help. So if you see yourself in any part of this story we, from AnxetyStop, recommend you to seek help and make your life better and easier.