There are common agoraphobia symptoms that are common to most sufferers.
So what is agoraphobia?
Phobias and agoraphobia - what is the difference?
A simple phobia is when someone has an overwhelming fear of a specific object, specific situation or a specific circumstance. Whereas, agoraphobia is an overwhelming fear of having a panic attack, most often to the point of displaying avoidance behaviors.
The sufferer avoids situations that might be difficult to escape a panic experience or any situation that may provoke panic in a public place.
Physical Agoraphobia Symptoms
Some common physical agoraphobia symptoms include some of the same symptoms of those listed for anxiety and panic, such as:
- breathing difficulty
- racing heartbeat
- chest discomfort
- jelly legs
Mental-Emotional Agoraphobia Symptoms
Agoraphobia symptoms are also marked by specific emotional and mental symptoms that are common to most sufferers. They include:
- fear of having a panic attack
- fear of being alone
- fear of losing control or losing their minds in public
- fear of embarrassment
- sense of helplessness
- avoidance behavior
- fear of crowds, elevators, or other situations where escape may be difficult
Each time the sufferer has a panic attack in public, the person with agoraphobia misinterprets the situation as being "dangerous" and and then begins to avoid these situations or circumstances in the future.
This easily explains how the agoraphobic's world gets smaller and smaller as they avoid more and more. They avoid as an attempt to keep the panic sensations away, but what happens is they only end up increasing their fears and making them worse.
It's not uncommon for one of the agoraphobia symptoms to become housebound. However, not all people who experience agoraphobia become housebound, but many have limited their lives to what they feel is safe and comfortable to them. These are usually called "safe people, safe places, safe situations, etc.".
To overcome agoraphobia it is important to educate yourself as much as possible. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be most effective for long term recovery, however, sometimes it is necessary for the sufferer to use other methods such as alternative medicine or conventional medications in conjunction with this type of therapy.
If you feel you need extra help in dealing with agoraphobia symptoms, please do not hesitate to seek professional help.
Tips for Overcoming Agoraphobia
Facts About Agoraphobia - Some truths that must be shared with you!
Practice Overcoming Agoraphobia - Learn how important it is to practice! You can't recover from agoraphobia without it. Your total commitment is necessary. Overcome agoraphobia with practice.
Positive Thinking for Agoraphobia - Do you know what your self-talk should look like when challenging your agoraphobia? Inside I share some ideas on positive thinking for agoraphobia. Overcome agoraphobia with positive thinking.
Agoraphobia Treatment - Taking baby steps to recovery. You get there by taking one small step at a time. Baby steps to recovery will show you how small steps lead to big steps. Overcome agoraphobia with baby steps.
Facing Fear - It's easy to run when your in a panic. Let me explain why resisting the urge to run to your safe place is not a good idea. Want to recover from agoraphobia? Then facing fear is a must! Overcome agoraphobia by facing your fears.
One of the most helpful books, Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes, teaches you about agoraphobia and how to take steps to overcome it. This book is priceless! You can also use it as a handbook to take with you anywhere to help remind you of truth as you are practicing. The book is an older book but I can guarantee that there is no other book like it on the market. This book, along with Peace from Nervous Suffering has been used as the core teachings of many other anxiety, panic, agoraphobia programs on the market today. If you are interested in reading these books you can visit your local library but I truly recommend having personal copies for yourself because they will be used over and over again in your recovery.
Another really helpful book is Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook (Treatments That Work) by David H. Barlow and Michelle G. Craske.