People that have agoraphobia have a problem going out of any comfortable area, and they feel that if they do, danger will come to them. Most people that are agoraphobic have to stay in the house all of the time, and never walk out, for instance. They think that if they do leave the house, then they are in immediate danger.
Agoraphobic people cannot drive a car, be into a public place, and feel very helpless. They absolutely cannot handle a lot of people in a crowd, and if they are brought out, they have: (1) panic or anxiety attacks, (2) their heart beats very quickly, (3) they sweat profusely, (4) they start to hyperventilate, and (5) they experience nausea and stomach cramps. There are some people that have this illness where if a friend or family member goes with them briefly somewhere, they are okay, but never alone.
This disorder is largely caused by a panic disorder in people. If they have previously had panic attacks, then they are most likely to develop this disorder by which they feel trapped. Sometimes people with agoraphobia also feel that if they have a panic attack, they will not be able to get out of it and get back home where they are safe and sound in their own world. It also seems that women more then men have this anxiety type of disorder.
The problem with this disorder in people is that they are very limited in what they can do since they don’t feel comfortable in the outside world. Everyone around a person with agoraphobia will be relied upon for help in getting the groceries, medicines, and other items since the affected person feels that they dare not ever venture outside.
Diagnosing agoraphobia is done by the mention of symptoms the person is having in being unable to venture out. And how they feel when they do venture out is also part of making an accurate diagnosis.
Treating agoraphobia involves both psychotherapy and some medications. There are several medications available out there to treat such disorders as this. One type of drug is an SSRI, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These drugs help serotonin in the brain, (a neurotransmitter,) which plays a role in moods and depression with anxiety. One such drug is Zoloft. These drugs usually take up to 6 weeks to become fully effective for the person, but can start showing slight behavioral differences in as little as two weeks.
Therapy for this involves how to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, and getting down into why a person may feel insecure as though they are in danger.
By doing these things, the person with this disorder can have a good chance of overcoming this panic disorder.