Agoraphobia is a kind of anxiety disorder. Patients who are affected by agoraphobia have a tendency to stay away from some specific places. Although the Greek origin of the name (agora=marketplace, phobia=fear) suggests that the only busy places like marketplaces will provoke the panic attacks, the truth is, it does not really matter whether these places are public or not. As long as the sufferer remembers a similar place or event, they have a chance of experiencing a panic attack.
In general, anxiety attacks are results of certain triggers. In agoraphobia, the new triggers are created every time when the victim has an anxiety attack. He/She then remembers this circumstance, which then becomes a trigger. After that, whenever the patients find themselves in same situation that may trigger a panic attack.
A person who suffers from agoraphobia understands this. Therefore they have a tendency to stay away from places where there is even the slightest chance that an anxiety attack may occur. Even if a full blown anxiety attack does not take place, they could still get the overwhelming feelings of fear. And as we all know, those feelings can only produce even more stress, which is bad for anyone's health.
Everyone who suffers from agoraphobia will find that as time goes by, there will be more and more places he/she cannot go to. That is because the number of bad experiences increases over time, whenever he/she goes through a new anxiety attack. If left untreated, the patients could find themselves with no other option but to become prisoners of their own home.
This will cause a lot of problems in patient's life. For instance, he/she could not be able to visit some places, even if their employer requires them to go. Their social life could suffer because they tend to avoid socializing. As a result, the overall quality of life will start to decline, and the patient's life will become miserable.
So, a person who suffers from agoraphobia should look for a treatment as soon as possible. There are three commonly known kinds of treatments out there.
The first type of treatment is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy sessions are conducted by qualified mental health professionals and will help to remove the triggers which are initiating the anxiety attacks. Different patients may respond to this form of treatment differently. Some may be healed completely, while others will find their conditions improving. Do take into the account that the more severe the agoraphobia, the more time is needed for psychotherapy to have visible positive effects.
Another form of treatment is to take medication. Drugs are often necessary because the effects are more readily visible. Taking proper medication in appropriate doses can help the patients to perform their daily functions. Drugs are often used in combination with psychotherapy treatment.
The third form of treatment are the self help programs. These programs are invented by people who have previously suffered from agoraphobia, and have since recovered from the disorder. They have included the information about their recovery process in a program.
Those who are affected by agoraphobia should watch carefully what works for them. Obviously, different people need different forms of treatment. Agoraphobia can be healed when the right treatment is used.