Agoraphobia: How Did I Go From Panic Attacks To This?

By: Debbie Allen

The consequences of agoraphobia are astronomical. Most people do not realize the impact this disorder can have; unless of course they or someone they love suffers from it.

But how does agoraphobia start? What is it exactly? Let us begin by discussing panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden feelings of impending doom or intense dread that spring from nowhere.

The sufferer may be having a great time when suddenly she feels an intense and overwhelming fear. Her body reacts to that fear just as it would to any other extreme threat.

She may feel her heart pound rapidly, or feel as though she cannot breathe. Some people report having fears of dying or going crazy. There is an indescribable need to escape.

Obviously that is a very uncomfortable period of time. Sufferers often attempt to alleviate the discomfort by escaping the current surroundings. This can result in very awkward exists to say the least.

Additionally, the sufferer feels that everyone around is aware of her frustration and distress. Many fear making a spectacle of themselves. Overtime one learns to associate panic attacks with particular settings and situations.

Unfortunately, many people feel that they are safest at home, as being in open spaces, public places, or crowded places are apparent culprits. This is how panic attacks can result in agoraphobia.

The sufferer discovers that home is a safe zone so she begins staying there more and more. Overtime she slowly becomes increasingly more housebound. Some victims are virtual prisoners in their own homes.

Five percent of the American population suffers from panic attacks, and of that five percent one in three will develop agoraphobia. Panic attacks are said to be three times more common in women than men; but there is debate about that.

Some argue that the statistics are wrong due to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment. Men reportedly are more likely to self-medicate with drugs and or alcohol. It has been suggested that society is more willing to accept dependency and avoidant behavior in women than in men and therefore this trend is perpetual.

The good news is that new techniques have been discovered to help people that suffer with anxiety disorders. If you are seeking a method that will work for you do not give up hope. Instead, continue exploring the available information; take it from a former panic attack victim, there is help available.

Anxiety
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