Agoraphobia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Agoraphobia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Agoraphobia is characterized by an intense fear of being in a crowded open space. Here are the causes, symptoms and treatment.

Agoraphobia is characterized by an intense fear of being in a crowded open space. Here are the causes, symptoms and treatment.


Medical specialist Mental health specialist
Symptom Fear of leaving the house alone, fear of large open spaces, palpitations, rapid breathing, dizziness, sweating, shaking.
Risk factors Have had panic attacks before, have phobias, have anxiety, have a family history of Agoraphobia.
How to diagnose Medical interview, pay attention to the symptoms that arise.
Treatment Lifestyle changes, self-help techniques, psychotherapy, medications
Drug anti-anxiety medication
Complications Depression, alcohol use, drug use, mental health disorders.
When should you go to the doctor? Phobias trigger interference with daily activities.

Agoraphobia Definition

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder triggered by situations that make the sufferer feel panicked, helpless, and trapped.

Sufferers worry excessively something bad will happen, while there is no help.

A person suffering from this condition can be afraid to leave the house or leave the house only if someone is with them.

Many people think that this condition is just a fear of open spaces, but in fact it is more complicated.

Agoraphobia Reason

The exact cause of agoraphobia is not known.

However, this phobia is usually a complication of panic disorder, which occurs in association with panic attacks against places or situations.

A small percentage of people with agoraphobia often feel fear for no reason and have no history of panic attacks.

In this case, the fear is like the fear of disease, terrorism, crime, or accidents.

Traumatic events may also play a role in the occurrence of this condition.

Agoraphobia Symptom

People with agoraphobia are usually characterized by:

  • afraid to leave the house alone
  • fear of large open spaces (parking lots, bridges)
  • fear of enclosed spaces (cinema, shopping mall)
  • afraid to travel using public transportation
  • buy necessities online

Physical symptoms that appear such as panic attacks include:

  • fast heart rate (palpitations)
  • chest pain
  • rapid breathing rate (shortness of breath)
  • dizzy
  • feeling hot or cold
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • stomach pain
  • nauseous
  • diarrhea

Agoraphobia Risk Factor

Some of the risk factors for agoraphobia include:

  • Never had a panic attack before
  • have other phobias
  • Have you ever experienced a non-stressful event such as the death of a loved one, being attacked or molested?
  • have anxiety
  • responds to panic attacks with excessive fear
  • have relatives who have agoraphobia

Agoraphobia Diagnosis

To confirm the presence of agoraphobia, the doctor will conduct a thorough interview of the patient.

The doctor will ask the symptoms that occur, how often they occur, under what conditions, how they feel and their impact on the patient.

In this case, the doctor who is competent to do so is a psychiatrist.

A person is said to have agoraphobia if the criteria for the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Disorders (PPDGJ) III are met.

  • Symptoms that arise must be a manifestation of anxiety (anxiety).
  • The resulting anxiety must occur in at least two of the following situations:

– many people

– in a public place

– traveling outside the house

– traveling alone

  • Avoiding situations that cause phobias

Agoraphobia Treatment

Treatment and coping with agoraphobia usually include a combination of the following:

  • Lifestyle Change

Suggested lifestyle changes include regular exercise, consumption of nutritious foods, and breathing exercises.

You are also advised to avoid consuming alcohol, drugs, and drinks containing caffeine.

  • Self Help Techniques

Stay still, focus on something non-threatening and visible, then breathe slowly and deeply.

These steps can be helpful when a panic attack occurs.

  • Psychotherapy

Your doctor may suggest psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Psychotherapy is done to change the patient’s mindset about the condition of irrational fear experienced and teach how to act more productively.

Relaxation and desensitization techniques may also be used.

  • Drugs

Medication is given if lifestyle changes and self-help techniques are not effective in controlling symptoms.

Drugs that are commonly prescribed are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors  (SSRIs) or anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines.

These drugs should be taken under close supervision by a doctor. If the dose is not right, instead of disappearing, complaints can even get worse.

Agoraphobia Prevention

There is no proven way to prevent agoraphobia. However, it is easier to deal with it at an early stage.

The more the sufferer avoids the situation, the more fear will occur.

To prevent excessive fear, people with agoraphobia must learn to be calm and relaxed.

In addition, avoiding the consumption of alcohol and drugs also helps prevent the fear and anxiety caused by agoraphobia from occurring.

Agoraphobia Complications

Agoraphobia can lead to complications of other health problems if not treated properly, such as:

  • depression
  • alcohol use
  • drug use
  • other mental health disorders

When to go to the doctor?

If the patient’s condition causes interference with daily activities, immediately visit a doctor.

Agoraphobia, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment in MedicalCentric Video Below:

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