Agoraphobia
320 Case Studies
43 Member Stories
23 Research

What is agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is being afraid to maintain a specific situation, where a person finds it hard to escape, or people fear that no aid will be available if anything goes wrong. An individual suffering from this affliction is fearful of visiting shopping malls, traveling by public transport, or even leaving their homes. It's primarily defined as the anxiety disorder, where you're afraid of particular places and frequently avoids the scenarios, leading to anxiety or feeling helpless, trapped, or humiliated. People experiencing disease often fear to be amidst the audience. They find no way to escape when the anxiety intensifies. They do not feel safe amidst the audience. They frequently fear and expected situation. The fear may intensify rapidly that the person may feel it very tricky to even leave their houses. The remedy is indeed challenging.

Symptoms of agoraphobia frequently include panic attacks, so individuals who suffer from this appear more likely to prevent various scenarios that could cause unpleasant sensations. However, this contributes to alienation and poor quality of life.

Agoraphobia is a fear of becoming, in one way or another, when there is no exit, or the departure could be too hard or embarrassing. Agoraphobia often manifests in conjunction with the complete spectrum of anxiety disorder symptoms, making it more challenging to diagnose.

To a great extent, phobias remain untreated, likely because lots of men and women aren't able to understand the irrationality or the excessive level of their anxieties. That's the reason statistics on the number of individuals suffering from phobias fluctuate widely. Phobias can occur in early childhood and are often first seen between ages 15 and 20. They affect men and women equally. But men are more likely to get treatment for phobias.

See: Kava kava in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobia and specific social phobia.

Causes, symptoms & risk factors

Causes of Agoraphobia

This extreme anxiety disorder is a complication associated with panic disorders. This scenario may arise due to previous panic attacks and the feeling of fear in packed places. Some people develop this disorder from fear connected with issues such as the fear of terrorism, crime, illness, or confronting a collision. These might be hereditary as well. Some traumatic events, such as bereavement, may also bring about agoraphobia.

Symptoms of Agoraphobia

The severity of the condition may vary among the people.

The symptoms are in 3 main groups:

Physical, Behavioural, and Cognitive

The physical symptoms of agoraphobia are the following:

Rapid breathing

rapid heartbeat

Excessive sweating

Feeling hot

Feeling sick

Tingling feeling and numbness

pain from the chest

Dizziness or light-headedness

Fear of death losing control.

Chills and abrupt flushes

Diarrhea

Upset stomach

Some cognitive symptoms of agoraphobia include the following:

afraid to be alone

afraid to be in the crowd

scared to leave home alone

too much dependence on others

the feeling of helplessness

loss of sanity

Risk Factors: This disorder tends to commence before 35 years of age. However, older men may also develop this disorder in due course of time. And, women are largely the affected ones, compared to the guys.

Other risk factors of agoraphobia are given below:

The Propensity to become anxious

Nervousness

Stress in life 

depression 

Alcohol addiction 

drug misuse

Other mental disorders, phobias, and disorders

A feeling of isolation and hopelessness

See: Acupuncture helped me with Menopause stress and panic attacks

Ayurvedic view of agoraphobia

According to Ayurveda, Agoraphobia is because of the vitiation of prana Vata (A subtype of Vata). Its vitiation causes anxiety and panic attacks.

Ayurvedic herbs provide herbal remedies like Brahmi, Ashwagandha, and herbal teas for ayurvedic treatment of agoraphobia. These herbal remedies are prepared from herbs and are natural and vegetarian. 

- Brahmi : Brahmi supports a healthy mind and a healthy brain. The scientific name of the herb is called the Bacopa monnieri. This herb has plenty of medicinal and health benefits. It aids in promoting awareness and consciousness.

- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is another crucial herbal medicine and is scientifically called Withania somnifera. It acts as the ideal supplement to keep the health of the individuals. It's purely natural and vegetarian. It's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-aging, and immunity-boosting properties. Additionally, it aids in balancing the hormones in the body. It aids in boosting the operation of memory power, such as thinking ability, awareness, and concentration.

- Ayurvedic herbs for stress: Constituent herbs of stress capsules are Ashwagandha, Tagar, and Brahmi. The scientific names of those herbs are Withania somnifera, Valeriana wallichii, and bacopa monnieri. These herbal components work together to fight off the many complications of agoraphobia and other stress and stress-related ailments. These have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and therapeutic properties. These properties, when work collectively, helps in providing a healthy body and match mind. Additionally, it helps in alleviating the degree of stress and other associated complications to a massive extent.

- Ayurvedic detox tea: Detox tea is another helpful herbal formula to deal with the complication. It maintains a balance between the three energies, sattva, rajas, and tamas. Additionally, it assists in balancing the Tridoshas, Pitta, Kapha, and Vata too. It aids in maintaining a healthy body. It helps in carrying out the various metabolic processes efficiently. Most importantly, it assists in maintaining an adequate blood flow of the whole body.

The components of this tea are as follows: Taruni (Rosa centifolia), Dalchini (cinnamon tamala), Chhoti elaichi (Elettaria cardamom), Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), Bari Elaichi (Ammomum subulatum)

All these herbs have a good deal of medicinal properties and therapeutic properties also. These herbs have anti-inflammatory, wound healing, anti-aging, analgesic properties, and a lot more. All these herbs work together to fight the complications away readily from the roots.

It's always suggested to follow these herbal remedies and keep a healthy lifestyle to lead a wholesome life devoid of these signs and symptoms of agoraphobia. It's advised to fight away stress and level of anxiety. And to lead a life filled with freedom, energy, and enthusiasm.

See: Brahmi - Bacopa Monnieri - Ayurveda remedy for mental health

Ayurvedic remedies for agoraphobia

Treatment of phobias in Ayurveda

Agoraphobia treatment by modern medicine generally includes both medication and psychotherapy. It could take a while, but treatment can help you to get better, sometimes combined with techniques like desensitization, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

- Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy means working with a therapist to set goals and learn practical skills to decrease your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a good type of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia. Normally a short-term therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to better endure anxiety, directly challenge your worries, and slowly return to the activities you have avoided due to anxiety. Through this procedure, your symptoms improve as you build on your initial success.

If it's not treated correctly, phobias may become worse to the extent that severely damages our wellbeing, even just with our efforts to conceal it, and what about the side effects on our health. Fear of flying, as an instance, can make us give up all kinds of aviation, and for that reason, miss significant opportunities for consciousness, which may alter our lives for the better.

There are quite a few other conditions where phobias have caused issues in the private life of individuals, as well as in education and professional accomplishments. Although occasionally there are periods of spontaneous improvement, phobias usually never disappear without treatment.

- Ayurveda's therapeutic methods in treating various phobias are holistic and complete. It is expressed as a program that includes physical exercises, yoga, meditation, massage, diet, sleep, and lifestyle changes.

- According to Ayurveda, phobias may be brought about by an imbalance in Vata dosha. At precisely the same time, problems with anxiety and phobias further disturb our Vata energy equilibrium. This disturbance occurs as Vata is symbiotically linked to our nervous system, and can easily be disturbed by stressful aspects such as anxiety.

- Individuals with increased Vata dosha are usually dreamers. They find it tough to concentrate on things they don't personally care about. Although very creative, they often encounter difficulties with business and are scared by the regular.

- The herb Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is quite helpful in overcoming anxiety symptoms accompanying phobias. This herb can treat insomnia and has an incredibly soothing effect. The Baikal skullcap is well known for its valuable properties in Chinese traditional medicine.

- Another herb that may help regulate the body's emotional reaction to stress and help us remain calm and in equilibrium is the passiflora /fire flower/. It serves as a natural stimulant and has a reasonably rapid effect, which may be helpful in stressful and tense situations. Many ayurvedic prescriptions for remedies and processes treating phobias, anxiety, and anxiety, include passiflora.

- Chamomile also has strong soothing properties and is frequently used for its symptomatic and profound treatment of phobias in Ayurveda. 

- Kava isn't quite as popular (Piper methysticum), a traditional herb used in ceremonies on the islands at the Pacific Ocean's southern portion. Additionally, it acts as a sedative, soothing the muscles of the body. 

- We can decode a root extract of kava in water, and drink this potion once we experience a phobia episode. This plant has a healing effect on the gastrointestinal tract and offers relief of unwanted symptoms like heartburn and nausea.

The herbal supplement kava, also known as kava, seemed to be a promising treatment for stress, but there have been severe liver damage reports, despite short-term use. The US FDA has issued warnings but not prohibited sales in America. Avoid using any product which contains kava until more-rigorous security studies are done, particularly if you have liver problems or take other medications that affect your liver.

- To soothe the physiological side effects resulting from schizophrenia episodes, Ayurveda recommends the juice of lemon or lime, which is quite effective against dizziness and nausea. It is possible to cut the fruit in half and smell it for a little while rather than building a juice, and you'll conquer the unpleasant episode.

- "Nasya" is an Ayurvedic clinic that has the addition of medication oil at the uterus. This kriya or treatment is done daily, soothes these delicate tissues, releases the lymph channels, relieves stress, and helps us attain mental clarity. The "Nasya" ritual shouldn't be applied to women when they're pregnant or during puberty.

- For phobic relief, Ayurvedic Marma therapy ought to be implemented, which is like acupressure and affects 107 chief points of our body. Marma is particularly useful for the soothing and balance of Vata dosha.

See: Echinacea for Anxiety, Herbal Medicine with Effective Results

References

1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15769-agoraphobia

2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/agoraphobia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355987

3. Gloster AT, Hauke C, Höfler M, et al. Long-term stability of cognitive-behavioral therapy effects for panic disorder with agoraphobia: a two-year follow-up study. Behav Res Ther. 2013 Dec;51(12):830-9.

4. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

5. https://psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/sitewide/practice_guidelines/guidelines/panicdisorder.pdf

6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/agoraphobia/treatment/

7. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/agoraphobia.shtml

8. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders

9. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Treatment Revision. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

10. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

11. Magee, W.J., Eaton, W.W., Wittchen, H.U., McGonagle, K.A., and Kessler, R.C. Agoraphobia, simple phobia and social phobia in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 53(2): 159-168, 1996.

12. McLean, C.P., and E.R. Anderson. "Brave men and timid women? A review of the gender differences in fear and anxiety." Clinical Psychology Review 29 (2009): 496-505.

13. Bienvenu, O.J., Onyike, C.U., Stein, M.B., Chen, L., Samuels, J., Nestadt, G., and Eaton, W.W. Agoraphobia in adults: incidence and the longitudinal relationship with panic. The British Journal of Psychiatry 188: 432-438, 2006.

14. Biondi, M. and Picardi, A. Increased probability of remaining in remission from panic disorder with agoraphobia after drug treatment in patients who received concurrent cognitive-behavioral therapy: a follow-up study. Psychotherapeutic Psychosomatics 72(1): 34-42, 2003.

See: Ashwagandha benefits for anxiety

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