Agoraphobia: Counseling And Other Treatments

 

Source: paiwellnessgroup.com

 

Typically, agoraphobia starts to present after an individual has gone through a history of panic episodes. This often results in people developing a phobia of crowded places, hard to get out of, or open spaces.

In its more severe circumstances, agoraphobia can lead an individual to stay at home almost always. Agoraphobia tends to start anywhere from the middle teenage years to an individual’s middle to the late 30s. As mentioned above, most people with agoraphobia also have panic disorders or panic attacks.

Agoraphobia is a specific type of anxiety disorder that makes most people afraid of ever getting out of spaces or areas that they have considered safe for them. The most difficult situations are those individuals who can never get out of their homes because of the disorder.

What Causes It?

For most individuals who are inflicted with agoraphobia, the illness probably developed following bouts of panic attacks, and then they begin worrying about suffering from more panic episodes. They would commonly be scared of experiencing panic attacks and having them when they are in public places.

They will also attempt to evade places and mental conditions that they believe might lead them to attack. Agoraphobia is primarily a collection of one or more panic attacks. It is presently believed that major panic attacks and traumatic events cause an individual to develop the disorder. Additionally, genes could influence people to have agoraphobia.

It is commonly assumed that a panic disorder arises from one’s flight or fight response. In an actual threatening scenario, the body and brain release certain hormones, such as adrenaline. This is a primary human reaction to hazardous and distressing situations. Fundamentally, this body’s response often gets triggered repeatedly, with no real danger or harm present. This continuous false trigger is the underlying cause of panic episodes in most individuals.

Source: women’s life.today

What To Do

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling are currently the best treatments recommended for managing agoraphobia, although some things you can also do that could help.

·      Do not use depressants and stimulants. It is a smart move to quit consuming alcohol and drugs and slowly cut out caffeine. All these can produce depressive moods or anxiety and eventually worsen your panic episodes.

·      Get sufficient sleep. Getting regular sleeping hours has been proven to alleviate almost any mental health condition. It is vital in every aspect of your life – your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

·      Continue your treatment regimen as instructed. As previously mentioned, talk therapy, CBT, and counseling are the most crucial types of treatments for essentially managing and alleviating your agoraphobia and anxiety as a whole. Begin with a workable and efficient treatment regimen with a counselor you are comfortable with and stick to that regimen. Do not forget that nothing can be cured overnight, so be patient.

Is It Curable?

The great news is that this type of phobia responds to treatment very well, although most individuals have a hard time overcoming it by themselves. The most common forms of treatment for agoraphobia are counseling, particularly talk therapy, exposure therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

New Research On Online Counseling

Online counseling has increasingly been getting more in the limelight in the current years, with a growing base of regular patients and many accolades from mental health professionals. Some researchers have even revealed online counseling to be more efficient than conventional, face-to-face counseling or therapy.

Among the most vital parts of any dependable online counseling program is that they only employ real professional counselors or therapists certified in their corresponding state. This is true for all popular and reliable programs. These programs ask their counselors to show their certifications, proof of their educational background, workshops attended, and years of experience working in their designated state. Finally, they should also be licensed and certified.

Source: nytimes.com

Online therapy is definitely more convenient to fit into one’s calendar, regardless of how hectic your schedule may be. Since you are receiving online counseling at the comfort of your home, you don’t have to be concerned about your appearance or driving to your scheduled appointments.

Online counseling enables almost anybody to receive the therapy that they require, and it’s much easier for them. Several online therapy or counseling platforms even permit you to receive counseling 24/7.

Online treatment for agoraphobia provides its clients more discretion than face-to-face counseling because, in most platforms, your counselor never requires you to show your face if you do not want to. You can also seek a counselor who resides in another state, as this offers many individuals with more sense of confidentiality in their local region. Finally, this makes it swift and convenient to find a new counselor if you wish to.

 

 

Overcoming Fear: Tips From Counselors

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

When anxiety and fear become frequent in one’s life, these turn into a problem. If your bathroom sink won’t drain, do you neglect it? No, you don’t. You quickly contact your regular plumber or attempt to repair it yourself. When fear leads to mental and physical instability, and you begin evading things that could increase your fear, do not ever ignore it. Anxiety can often progress to become something disabling and make you tremble and feel sick, but do not ever set it aside.

Below are some beneficial tips collected from experienced counselors on how to overcome your fear naturally.

Know More About Your Fear

This initial step may be the toughest and probably the most necessary. You cannot win over your fear if it remains concealed in the dark areas of your subconscious. You should confront it. When you face a person, you see him, and you learn more about his features and how he behaves. Similarly, as you face your fear, you notice things about it that you possibly didn’t notice before. This knowledge will help you win over it.

To reinforce this step, you can start writing a journal for a span of two to three weeks. Document any patterns that you observe. Do you have cold sweats, or does your stomach tighten when somebody rings the doorbell? Do you suddenly have indications of anxiety during the mornings or evenings? Write down anything that you believe is relevant. Transmitting your fear symptoms and patterns into your journal can help discredit them. They become smaller and less fearful. Finally, getting to know more about your fear provides you with clues on how to defeat it.

Let Your Brain Work In A Different Way

Fears and anxieties emerge from certain areas of your brain, and they permit feelings to overpower rational thoughts. If you feel that your fears are slowly creeping out, try to use the various areas of your brain differently. Take numbers, for example. A nurse often uses a scale of 1 to 10 when asking a patient to rate his pain. You can use this scale to rate your fear or anxiety. How scared do you feel – 1 being very relaxed and 10 being extremely scared? Contemplate and analyze. Is it a 6? That’s fine. You can try pushing it down to a 5 or 4.

Concentrate On Breathing Properly

Proper breathing is more beneficial and vital than you could ever imagine. Typically, anxiety starts with short breaths. These short breaths trigger several negative responses in the body, which then rapidly becomes an anxiety attack. An important factor in overcoming these bouts of anxiety attacks is to learn how to control your breathing.

Source: rawpixel.com

Don’t worry – deep breathing is easy to learn. When you have learned to identify signs that you become anxious or your fearfulness arises, stop what you’re doing and concentrate on breathing. Take deep, controlled inhales, then let out slow exhales. Be sure your expiration is longer than your inspiration. This is not something that tricks your brain. Breathing deeply pushes your body to calm itself physically.

Imagine Positively

Imagining beautiful things is truly a gift that we can freely do. It fosters creativity, power, and the capacity to think out of the ordinary. Sadly, imagining can sometimes be a dangerous tool when it leads you to ponder negative thoughts. When used adversely, it can increase your fears and makes your situation seem problematic than it really is.

Rather than allowing your imagination to turn you towards the dark corners, deliberately use it to win your fears. How? Choose a calm instance when you are not anxious. Shut your eyes and imagine that you are in a situation that makes you feel scared. For example, if you dread the thought of getting lost in an unfamiliar place, imagine that you are in a bustling airport. Now, picture yourself dealing with the situation calmly. You don’t tremble and cry. Rather, you look for a customer service desk or someone who can help you reclaim that sense of direction. Picture yourself successfully reaching the precise parking area, heading towards your car, and then finally driving home safely without having to meet any unpleasant incidents.

That peace you felt in your pictured scenario does help you surpass the real challenge more calmly.

Utilize Nature As Your Counselor Or Therapist

Source: rawpixel.com

Speaking with a counselor is a great way of working through your anxiety and fear. But you don’t stay in your counselor’s office all the time. Why don’t you try going for a breezy walk instead? The beauty seen in gardens, beaches, and parks does help decrease fear and anxiety symptoms. Nature pacifies people, lowering stress levels and altering moods from anxious to calm.

Additionally, physical activities like jogging or walking outdoors require us to use our body and brain, which then triggers a switch from illogical terrifying thoughts to clear and peaceful thinking that can definitely help us forget and finally win over fear.