Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder which primarily consists of the fear of experiencing a difficult or embarrassing situation from which the sufferer cannot escape. Agoraphobia sufferers are often extremely sensitized to their own bodily sensations, subconsciously over-reacting to perfectly normal events. Agoraphobia is best understood as an adverse behavioural outcome of repeated panic attacks and the subsequent worry, preoccupation, and avoidance.

Agoraphobia, then, is both a severe anxiety condition and a phobia, as well as a pattern of avoidant behaviour. Agoraphobia often starts when someone has a panic attack in a particular place, say a supermarket. Agoraphobia usually begins in the late 20s and is more common in women than men, (although that may be because fewer men seek help).

Agoraphobia sometimes starts suddenly and sometimes it develops slowly. Agoraphobia is caused by inappropriate levels of anxiety and can be eliminated quickly and simply by undoing the changes in the subconscious mind that caused the condition to develop. Agoraphobia comes from the Greek “agora”, marketplace + “phobos”, fear = fear of the marketplace. Agoraphobia can lead to extreme anxiety and avoidance, leading some victims to become “housebound,” unable to leave a very small “safe zone”.

Anti-anxiety and anti-depressive medications are often used to help relieve the symptoms associated with phobias. Antidepressant medications are effective treatments for many people with panic disorder — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, have become effective treatments. However, some people cannot tolerate this, as is true with all medications. Treatment options include cognitive behaviour therapy and medication, usually with an SSRI antidepressant.

A person may fear having anxiety attacks,”losing control”, or embarrassing him/herself in such situations. Through homework assignments, reading, writing, and talking with a professional in this technique, you can help to control or eliminate these automatic bad thoughts. The cause of all these conditions is a small organ called The Amygdala which controls the anxiety reaction. The Amygdala is a small organ in the brain which is responsible for controlling and storing the anxiety response which causes agoraphobia. Hypnosis can help you learn to control anxiety symptoms and things that trigger panic attacks.

Other types of therapy, such as cognitive therapy, assertiveness training, biofeedback, hypnosis, meditation, relaxation or couples therapy were found to be helpful for some patients. Self-hypnosis can help you overcome agoraphobia. Alternative ways of treatment include hypnosis and techniques of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which is rapidly becoming more popular and widely accepted by the general public.

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