Agoraphobia – Fear of Open Spaces

Agoraphobia is known as an abnormal fear of public places and open spaces. It is considered as an anxiety disorder however, it is now believed to be a complication of panic attacks.

The exact causes of such condition are currently unknown, but it is said to be linked to the presence of an anxiety disorder, a substance abuse or a stressful environment. The chronic use of tranquilizers and sleeping pills such as benzodiazepines are also linked to the cause of agoraphobia.

There are various treatments that can be considered to cure such condition, including the following:

  • Exposure treatment – this can provide lasting relief to most patients suffering from a panic disorder and agoraphobia.
  • Relaxation technique – considered as a useful skill when it comes to combating the development of agoraphobia in most patients suffering from anxiety disorders and/or panic attacks.
  • Cognitive restructuring – provides treatments which are useful in treating agoraphobia.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprogramming or EMDR – considered as a possible treatment but has shown poor results.

People suffering from anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia, find comfort by joining support groups and through self-help. Another preliminary evidence shows that aerobic exercises has calming effect instead of caffeine, illicit drugs or over-the-counter medications since these options can only aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorder, and should therefore be avoided.