Symptoms And Signs of Agoraphobia
Agoraphobics will avoid situations that might cause them anxiety or
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:
- Distance from home
- Crowded places
- 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.
- 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.
- Backache of sudden onset.
- Trembling of hands.
- Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (IVth Edition): Oxford University Press - Michael Gelder, Richard Mayou & Philip Cowen.
- A Short Textbook of Psychiatry (Vth Edition): Jaypee Brothers, -Niraj Ahuja, MD.
- Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialities. 6th Edition. Oxford press. -Judith Colier, Murray longmore, Peter Scally.