A Panic Disorder of Anxiety Disorder- Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is a mental health chaos. It is a kind of panic disorder. The panic disorder of agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. It is a state of feeling hard fear and anxiety in specific situations. In this disorder the patient feels sever attacks of fright and anxiety, whenever he is at open places and crowds. The attack may be a sever one if the patient psychologically feels that there is no help nearby, or he finds no way to escape the situation. The agoraphobia is mostly observed when the patient is at crowded railway stations, parks, cinema and rallies or in any type of big gathering. Keep in mind that the agoraphobia is different from social anxiety. In social anxiety the patient fears from social contacts in the crowds. For example he is afraid of embarrassing. But in the panic disorder of agoraphobia, the problems are the crowds, outwards loneliness, rush and open places.
Causes and Trends
There is nothing known exactly as the cause of agoraphobia. As the disorder is a panic disorder, it is of unpredictable and of unusual nature. The real cause may be learned by the continuous study of the patient. It may happen due to anything causing panic. The exact cause may be detected from the place or the situation which cause agoraphobia in a particular person. The chances are more for agoraphobia to occur at the same place or in the same situation in which the patient has experienced it in the past. It is not necessarily everything to happen as it was in the past. The same place or the same situation may not cause the same type of attack. There may be a severe attack, a mild attack or even nothing as agoraphobia. Similarly the attacks are not compulsory to occur in accordance with past records. There may be new situation or place somewhat different from the previous agoraphobia stimulant. The attitude of the agoraphobia has a specific tendency. It commonly occurs after the age of 25 years. Although it is prevailing tend, but not a fixed one. The agoraphobia may take place at any stage of life.
There is a long range of agoraphobia panic attack symptoms. These symptoms stay for a short duration. The average maximum time for the symptoms to prevail is 10 minutes. Let’s see the symptoms of panic attack first.
Symptoms of panic attacks
1. The patient feels that he will get out of control.
2. The heart beats with a great speed
3. The patient starts trembling
4. There may be a pain the chest area
5. The patient feels discomfort
6. Sweating is experienced
7. A state of giddiness, weakness or faintness prevails.
8. The patient feels difficulty in breathing
9. There may be a choking.
10. The patient feels itching or lack of sensations.
11. He gets afraid that he will die soon.
12. There may be nausea or other stomach disturbance.
13. The patient thinks that he will go crazy.
An agoraphobia patient goes through the panic attacks at public places. The problem starts when the patient feels that he is helpless and there is no rescue nearby. The situation gets harder when the public place has a big crowed and especially when the patient has no close friend or relative with him.
Symptoms of Agoraphobia
The agoraphobia has the following symptoms
1. The main and major symptom in agoraphobia is a sense of being helpless.
2. The patient gets angry at common things and protests against meager issues.
3. Agoraphobia produces, in the patient, a nature to depend on others for all kinds of matters.
4. The patient gets afraid of loneliness.
5. Fear from crowds produces a desire to stay at home for long time.
6. The patient takes everything as artificial. He finds no reality in the surroundings.
7. The places where there are no open gates or routs are terrible for agoraphobia patient.
8. The patient feels that his body is artificial and nothing attached to him is factual.
9. The patient never finds a company good for him. He is always in a stat of dissatisfaction.
Diagnosis and Tests of Agoraphobia
The symptoms of agoraphobia are not so much distinctive and distinguished. These symptoms may appear due to a lot of other conditions and not necessarily attached to agoraphobia. The patient sometimes feels that he has a heart attack and is going to die. He runs to the doctor and ICUs. So the diagnosis of agoraphobia is somewhat complicated. The health care provider should diagnose it carefully. He should take the test for heart attack, hormones, wrong medications and breathing issues. The nature of queries and medical tests depends upon the current and usual symptoms of the agoraphobia.
The main purpose of the agoraphobia treatment should be to get better feelings and workings. Anything that may change the definite mental concept of the patient is said to be a treatment. Different kinds of treatments carried for agoraphobia are as under
1. CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy).
2. Anti depression medicines.
3. Anti-seizure drugs.
4. SNRIs (Serotonin-nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitors).
5. Anti anxiety medicines.
6. SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and the anti depressants are commonly recommended together. Primary anti-depressants are mostly the SSRIs Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SNRIs and other anti-seizures drugs are used mostly in sever attacks of agoraphobia.
The major factors considered in the CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) are followings
- Thinking manners that are causing panic attacks are detected and the same are tried to be substituted with the healthy thoughts.
- The patient is exposed to real life facts in order to defeat his fear.
- The health care providers try to find out the situations, feelings and views in which the patient is severely attacked by agoraphobia. Then they try to control these factors.
- It is decided how the stress on the patient can be managed and how he will feel relaxed.
- The doctors follow the rules of SD&ET (systematic desensitization and exposure therapy). With this, they trace out the nature and intensity of the factors frightening the patient.
The CBT may continue for few months. The patient may undergo continual and multipart treatment. So he may have several visits to the health care provider. Besides these treatments the patient can himself try to recover from agoraphobia by adopting healthy lifestyle, good foods and better workouts.
While suffering from agoraphobia, the patient may be addicted to loneliness. He may get preyed of social relation break down and absenteeism from job. Continuous mental stress may cause tension, heart problems and weakness. Always avoiding crowd may make the patient socially isolated. His working routines may be disturbed and office reputation may go rusted. While trying to recover from agoraphobia, he might go against the alcohol and some specific drugs and medicines. Some of the patients have been found trying suicide in some certain conditions.
When to Call a Doctor?
In case of agoraphobia, one should consult the health care provider while he is in earlier stages of disorder. The passage of time may make the case harder and complicated to treat.
The CBT results are often found satisfying, especially in the cases where it was accompanied with the proper medication. Self recovery attempts too are not bad but better to visit a doctor in case of agoraphobia panic attacks.