Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which people may experience fear and frequently refrain from getting into a situation that can make them feel trapped, embarrassed or helpless. Some agoraphobics are fearful of open spaces. Some even in a medical emergency, refuse to leave their homes because stepping outside their comfort zone is overwhelming. An agoraphobic also breaks out in a sweat while standing in a queue or being in a crowd. Most people who have agoraphobia avoid the place where deep emotional distress is likely to occur; they feel that they need a chum to accompany them to any public places.

„My name’s Melissa and I’ve suffered from agoraphobia since my early twenties. I know it sounds outlandish but every time I wanna go out I feel tingling in my hands and feet, nausea, and a sense of impending doom!”

A number of physical and environmental factors can trigger agoraphobia and other phobias. For instance, they have been linked to a biochemical imbalance, mainly related to certain neurotransmitters in the brain. In a given situation, people with panic attack may begin to associate a mounting dismay with the situation and learn to avoid it.

According to some theories, unresolved emotional conflicts can result in immense irritation. That is why physicians ought to make sure that the symptoms are not related to some other underlying medical conditions. Agoraphobia treatment usually consists of both medication and psychotherapy that can help you get rid of anxiety attacks. The patient can be exposed gradually to the situation that usually brings about fear with the help of breathing or relaxation techniques.

„As a recovered agoraphobic, I can say that a few years ago I felt as though somebody put a curse on me. My therapist helped me to achieve and maintain a sense of calm. As far as I am concerned, I think I am doing so much better now but I cannot say the same about my twin sister Melissa. Poor thing!”

overwhelming – przytłaczający
break out in a sweat – oblać się potem
distress – rozpacz, niebezpieczeństwo
occur – wydarzyć się, pojawić się
chum – kumpel, koleś
outlandish – dziwaczny
tingling – mrowienie, ciarki
impending doom – zbliżające się nieszczęście
trigger – wyzwalać, powodować
mounting – wzrastający
dismay – niepokój
immense – ogromny, olbrzymi
physician – lekarz
underlying – ukryty (np. problem)
bring about – spowodować
curse – przekleństwo

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