Emilio Bravo is a renowned psychologist expert in Mindfulness techniques and Clinical Hypnosis. He has been recognized with the Gold Star of Professional Merit and Diploma of Excellence, awarded by the Institute for Professional Excellence in 2017. In the following article he explains what agorabaofia is and how it can be treated.
Agoraphobia literally means fear of open spaces. Despite this, agoraphobia is the fear of being trapped without a practical and simple way to escape in case of suffering an anxiety attack.
What is agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is a psychological problem that limits those who suffer from it, incapacitating them to carry out work or pleasure trips, as well as to carry out domestic responsibilities.
It is the appearance of anxiety to be in places or situations where escape can be complicated , as well as where you will not have help if you suffer a crisis of anguish.
How the agoraphobes feel
Among the agoraphobes it is very common for them to feel a lot of incomprehension on the part of their relatives and friends, since they tend to think that they do not leave the house because they do not want to.
The agoraphobic not only fears open spaces, the agoraphobic fears are related to a set of characteristic situations:
- Being alone outside the home
- Mix with people.
- Riding on any means of transport.
- Go through a tunnel or find yourself in a traffic jam.
- Go to the supermarket, to a shopping center, to the cinema or to the theater.
The usual reaction among people suffering from agoraphobia is to avoid this type of situation and, if you have to go through them, resist at the cost of discomfort or great anxiety. In most cases, it is essential to have the presence of a person known to endure the situation. The fact of wanting to avoid these scenarios is what is considered the limitation of the agoraphobes.
What are the consequences of agoraphobia
The most frequent among agoraphobes is to try to avoid the situations that cause them panic. This avoidance mechanism involves a very limited life and difficulties in making "normal life".
The moment in which the agoraphobic has to face some of these situations, the fear experienced can be manifested with a series of reactions at a cognitive, physiological and / or behavioral level:
- Cognitive manifestations: difficulty to think; negative thoughts such as feelings of ridicule, feeling of unreality of the body, helplessness, fear of being alone, fear of losing control in a public place, fear of being in places that are difficult to leave. It is not necessary to have all thoughts, with one or two may be enough to feel bad.
- Physiological manifestations: sweating, muscle tension, heart palpitations, tachycardia, chest pain, upset stomach, other gastric discomforts such as diarrhea, breathing difficulties, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, headaches, dizziness or nausea. It is not necessary to give all these physiological manifestations, with one or two it may be enough to feel bad.
- Behavioral manifestations: avoid being away from home for a long time, especially if it is done without company. Other behaviors that are adopted are the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs or overeating. People with agoraphobia do not have to present all these behaviors at the same time.
How to overcome agoraphobia
Be aware that all phobias can be overcome. For the most part, people with agoraphobia require the intervention of a health professional, in order to:
- Learn a physical and mental relaxation technique to reduce the physical and mental discomfort that causes agoraphobia.
- Learn to control panic attacks or panic attacks at the beginning.
- Learn to inhibit the anxiety response, of fear, which occurs in situations feared by the person by an antagonistic response such as relaxation.
Another technique to treat agoraphobia is Clinical Hypnosis, which has proven to be quite effective in its treatment if applied correctly by a professional.