Symptoms And Signs of Agoraphobia

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Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Sep 18, 2014
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Symptoms And Signs of Agoraphobia

Agoraphobics will avoid situations that might cause them anxiety or panic attacks.

Agoraphobia, like all other anxiety disorders is characterised by the absence of any brain disease or psychiatric disorder.

  • Agoraphobic patients often get very anxious when they are away from home, especially when they are amidst crowds or in situations where they cannot leave easily (eg; A meeting or a crowd).
  • They show a marked increase in fear when they are confronted with certain situations or activities.
  • Avoidance - individuals start to avoid situations that they feel provoke anxiety.
  • Situations - Individuals generally have three common situations they tend to avoid, such as:
  1. Distance from home
  2. Crowded places
  3. Confined places
  • As the condition worsens the individual starts avoiding these conditions more vigorously, until it gets so severe that the patients start confining themselves to their homes called as 'Housebound Housewife Syndrome'.
  • Slowly these objects or situations of phobia become a kind of preoccupation, thus restricting them from all activities so as to counter their phobic fears.
  • In most cases with individuals start to develop a condition known as 'Anticipatory anxiety' many hours before the time of the actual feared situations.
  • In many cases the individual starts to develop panic attacks in response to environmental or spontaneous phobic stimuli's.
  • As the condition worsens, symptoms may start to hamper the individual's day-to-day activities.
  • They then start to rely on one or two close aids, also known as Phobic companions whose assistance they take to face situations, they normally would not face alone.

Psychological manifestations of Agoraphobia

  • Feeling depressed.
  • Feeling of Light-headedness.
  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Low Self-esteem & Self confidence.
  • Frustration.
  • State of Confusion.
  • Anxiety and Panic attacks.
  • Use of Tranquillisers or alcohol to find relief.
  • Fear of succumbing to a heart attack.

Physical manifestations of Agoraphobia

  • Buzzing in the ear.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Tingling in the face and arms.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Indigestion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Backache of sudden onset.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea.
  • Trembling of hands.

References:

  1. Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (IVth Edition): Oxford University Press - Michael Gelder, Richard Mayou & Philip Cowen.
  2. A Short Textbook of Psychiatry (Vth Edition): Jaypee Brothers, -Niraj Ahuja, MD.
  3. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialities. 6th Edition. Oxford press. -Judith Colier, Murray longmore, Peter Scally.

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hello sir..may be i have this kind of phobia when i travel in crowded train...staying away from my family for job purpose....i feel sweating, vometing, uncomfirtable what should i do....i feel losing control on my body. is der any treatment available for this...

rahul786

respected sir i am also feeling these type of fear and facing the same situation presently..... some more situation i face is that due to fear of crowd my stomach is unable to digest food due to fear whatever i had eaten 5 minutes earlier leads to 1st stomach ache then intestnal contraction and then loose motion plz help me

It isn't like me to ever be first for anything. I am 53 and have not left my home but twice in over a year. I have suffered shyness my whole life. I have had a number of stressful episodes in my life and still have been able to overcome them except this one. But now I am at the mercy of my daughter to help me and I want to find a way forward. I don't have insurance so I can't get medical help. What help is there for me????

guest

I've had agoraphobia since I was 16 and the best book is by Claire Weeks, Simple Effective Treatment for Agoraphobia. It's simple, makes sense and really helps. The correct medication is really helpful. You can do it!

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