Table of contents:
Video: Causes Of Agoraphobia - The Quality Of Life
According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), agoraphobia refers to anxiety-phobic disorders. This is a group of disorders in which the only or main symptom is a fear of certain situations that do not pose a current danger. Agoraphobia is anxiety that occurs in situations from which agoraphobia sufferers find it difficult to get out, or in which they are afraid of not getting help.
What is agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is often a consequence of long-term panic or social anxiety disorder. Agoraphobes are afraid of being far from home or among the people, in a crowd, they are afraid of traveling on public transport. They avoid situations that provoke feelings of anxiety, which makes them feel the need to bring someone with them in case something happens.
See also: Agoraphobia. Example therapy
Agoraphobia from ancient Greek translates as "fear of squares", but a person suffering from agoraphobia may not only be afraid of going to the store and travel by transport, but even just stay at home alone. The main role is played not by the places of stay, but by what can happen in them. People with agoraphobic avoidance are prone to depression, have low levels of self-reliance, and are also very concerned about social judgment.
Combination therapy is generally most effective in treating agoraphobia. It includes medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Common concerns with agoraphobia:
No one will help me, they will ignore me
“People will act like nothing happened. If I lose consciousness, I will lie on the sidewalk until I die."
I will not be able to return home / I will be trapped
Sometimes the fear is so great that a person thinks he cannot get home. Not always because he dies, but because something will happen to him. For example, that he will go to the hospital and will never be discharged, or that he will be taken to a psychiatric clinic, from where he will never get out and no one will visit him.
They will laugh at me
"A huge crowd will gather around me and will make fun of me, pointing the finger."
Causes of agoraphobia
Agoraphobia can be due to panic disorder. 2 mechanisms can be included here:
- Fear of fear. If, with the repetition of the situation, you have experienced panic attacks, then there is a fear of this situation, and you will avoid it, fearing repetitions of the attacks.
- Conditioned reflex. You automatically begin to feel fear only when you approach the place where you already experienced it.
What can trigger the onset of panic and agoraphobia?
Stressful factors such as the death of a loved one, problems at work and in personal life, great mental stress - all this can happen to anyone, but not everyone has panic attacks and agoraphobia. When several factors combine, such as stress + psychological vulnerability, as well as inability to cope with stress and anxiety, can produce this result.
In addition, agoraphobic anxiety can be associated with trauma during childhood and adolescence. It could be moral and / or physical bullying by parents, abuse, lack of security. This includes the experience of critical, dangerous situations in the form of an attack, violence, in which no one helped those suffering from agoraphobia, or they did not help immediately. Events like these reinforce the beliefs of future agoraphobes about the reactions of others and their own ability to cope with similar situations. That is, they feel helpless and confident that no one will help them in a difficult situation.
Thus, the recurring and frightening images that people with agoraphobia play over and over again may have their roots in their past.
If you are afraid of certain situations, for example, an image arises that you have lost consciousness and no one helped you, then try to remember:
- When in your life did you feel the same as in the pop-up image?
- Has there been anything like this in your life before, connected with this image?
By remembering, you will create a bridge between the past and the present, as it is the traumatic memories that color your experiences at the moment.