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Agoraphobia-Contributor to Anxiety

Updated on June 6, 2012

What is Shyness

Is shyness associated with being introvert. Not necessary. Most people who are shy do like to lead a social life. They give utmost importance to relationship involving family members and friends. However some factors block them from attaining and living their dream. Agoraphobia is one such factor which if untreated can lead to social anxiety.


Agoraphobia- Fear of Public Places

Agoraphobia is least discussed in terms of a psychological disorder. This is because very less studies are conducted on it and also the symptoms associated with this disorder does not show up till later in life. The onset starts from early twenties and if not treated, continue through adulthood.

Agoraphobia in derived from the Greek word which means Marketplace(Agora) and Phobia(Fear)). It is characterized by a tendency for fear towards situation which is perceived as embarrassing or difficult to escape. They include but not limited to open places and public areas such as airports, shopping mall, bridges and also locations which reminds of embarrassing or traumatic experiences. This disorder can manifest in time,giving way to other phobias such as social anxiety and even nervous breakdown.

Causes and Symptoms

What causes Agoraphobia is not yet sure. However some of the common factors are shorlistted below

  • A person with agoraphobia has difficulty processing visual information properly. As a result, too much or too little cognitive information can cause a nervous overload
  • Over intake of alcohol, caffeine or sleeping pils can increase the chances of developing the disorder.
  • Hereditary plays a small role even though its influence is not completely established.

Note able Symptoms are

  • Fear of being alone in a situation
  • Fear of being in a crowded area
  • Fear of losing control in a social situation
  • Inability to leave house for long period of time. Leading a sedentary life
  • Over dependence on others.

Treatment Methods

The good news is, Agoraphobia can be treated leading the way to a more active social life and better life satisfaction. Treatment modes include

  • (Cognitive behavior Therapy) Initial step include a limited exposure to the cause of panic. Visit the location or place which causes anxiety for a few minutes. Bring a family member or friend along with you. This provides the necessary support you would need to face the situation. Increase the duration of exposure slowly,as you regain confidence.
  • Go on short walks, run errands to local supermarket. These activities help boost your social life and also remove the feeling of loneliness.
  • Social groups, social activities help provide a vent to your emotions.This along with moderate exercise is shown to provide very good results.
  • Reduce intake of Caffeine drinks, alcohol as they tend to lower our cognitive capabilities.
  • Anti depressants have proved to help reduce the symptoms associated with Agoraphobia,


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