What is the treatment for agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia can be described as a type of anxiety disorder characterized by a fearful response to areas that may result in feeling isolated, helpless, and scared. Certain types of environments that can bring fear like crowds or public transportation, should be avoided in order to reduce anxiety in social settings. The majority of panic attacks occur by people suffering from agoraphobia. People who suffer from this particular phobia could also be suffering from panic disorder, however, it is dependent on the individual.

There are many various treatments for agoraphobia. Most likely, your doctor or therapist will prescribe a combination of these treatment methods.

1. Therapy: Psychotherapy

There are different ways to treatments for agoraphobia. You’ll most likely need a combination of treatment

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, involves regular meetings with a therapist or other mental health professionals. You will have the opportunity to talk about your anxieties and the problems they cause you. Psychotherapy is often used in combination with medication for the best results. It is usually a short-term treatment that can be discontinued when the patient is able to control his or her anxiety.

2. Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used psychological therapies to treat people with agoraphobia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients understand the distorted feelings and beliefs associated with agoraphobia. It can also show you how to handle stressful situations by replacing distorted thoughts with healthy ones, helping you regain control of your life.

3. Therapy: Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy can help you overcome your anxiety. In this type of therapy, you are slowly and gently introduced to situations and places you fear. This can help you reduce your anxiety over a period of time.

4. Medications

Some medications can help relieve the symptoms of agoraphobia and panic attacks. These include the following

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, mine reuptake inhibitors, such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac).
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).
  • Anxiolytics, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin).

5. Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes will not necessarily treat agoraphobia but may help reduce the anxiety of everyday life. You can try the following

  • Exercising regularly to increase the production of chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy and relaxed.
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes whole grains, vegetables and lean protein to help you feel better.
  • Meditation and deep breathing daily to reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks.

It is recommended not to take supplements or herbal medicines during treatment. These natural remedies have not been proven to treat anxiety and may interfere with the effectiveness of prescription medications.

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