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Agoraphobia and the best methods of treatment

Agoraphobia and the best methods of treatment

Treatment for agoraphobia is often given to sufferers depending on the level of the condition and when it is diagnosed. Interestingly, agoraphobia, similar to other types of phobias, is treated and diagnosed when a person seeks treatment for some other emotional or medical problem instead of the main reason why care is often sought.

Just like other kinds of mental disorders, there is no specific test to diagnose agoraphobia. The psychiatrist will just take a history, refer or perform another physical exam, or order some laboratory tests if ever they are needed. If the patient has another medical condition, the signs and symptoms may overlap and this can cause confusion. 

In order to determine the causes of agoraphobia, a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional is needed.

In diagnosing agoraphobia, a medical professional will most likely ask some questions in order to make sure that the anxiety of the patient is really a result of a certain fear of being in conditions which make it difficult, embarrassing, or impossible to escape instead of it coming from another emotional problem. For instance, the fear of being close to people which will remind one of past memories is a case of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

How is Agoraphobia Treated?

There are different treatments used for agoraphobia and this includes certain types of psychotherapy coupled with some effective medications. A kind of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioural therapy that focuses on lessening the anxiety-provoking, negative, and other self-defeating ideals and behaviours has been proven to be highly effective when it comes to the treatment of the symptoms of agoraphobia. 

The truth is that when agoraphobia is coupled with panic attacks, cognitive behavioural therapy, whether coupled with medication or not, is said to be the most effective method in relieving the symptoms and also preventing their relapse. It was also found out that patients respond in the same way when they are treated with brief courses of cognitive behavioural therapy or with a group cognitive behavioural therapy

For people who live in areas which are far away from mental health professionals, psychotherapy for the treatment of agoraphobia has also been proven effective if it is given over the power of the Internet.

Another kind of therapy used for the treatment of agoraphobia which has been found effective in many patients is called self-exposure. During this kind of intervention, the person will be asked to either put him or herself or imagine certain situations which can cause the increased levels of anxiety that happens in agoraphobia.

 By the use of relaxation techniques, the person will then be able to master and conquer the anxiety gradually. As individuals can now gain access to the World Wide Web, there has also been reported increasing evidence that this exposure therapy may be given effectively using this specific medium.

How to overcome agoraphobia? Well, there are several methods you can learn but first, one needs to understand the real meaning of this condition. Agoraphobia is considered as one of the most depressing and restricting conditions that could be related to anxiety and panic attacks. While many people consider it a fear of open spaces, it is actually the fear of losing control and not being able to escape.

 So overcoming agoraphobia is all about staying calm when you are not in control of a certain situation and while many treatments for agoraphobia are aware of this, they have a tendency to approach the condition in the wrong way.

While it is normal to feel a little bit uneasy whenever you are not in control of a situation, people with agoraphobia take this to an unhealthy state of panic whenever they feel like they can not handle it, and this is coupled with a sense of what is uncontrollable and controllable. 

While many individuals do not encounter any problems when they are outside or in places with many people because they can handle all the randomness without the need for them to be flustered, agoraphobics cannot maintain a certain calmness and they normally break down. This will lead to the symptoms of agoraphobia and more serious problems. 

Dealing with panic attacks may vary depending on the person so let us explore some of the most common treatments.

Behavior Therapy

In this kind of treatment, the patient will be exposed to various situation believed to be one of the causes of agoraphobia so that they could gradually learn to fear them less. The main problem is that it can be really scary for people with agoraphobia and if somebody else is setting up the situations, it would feel like there is not enough control and trust. Although this technique might work, it is painful and takes a long time before the sufferers learn to cope.

Cognitive Therapy

This is the classic method where the client sits on the couch and talks about his problem. Much controversy has been associated with this technique because it poses a lot of problems to agoraphobics. It is normally difficult for them to make some appointments and meet the therapists, it is expensive and long and the presence of the therapist will be a kind of uncontrollable factor until trust is established. Aside from that, the person may rely on the therapist too much that the root causes would not be focused on.

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