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What is Agoraphobia?

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
-Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa

Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
Grandmaster of Jedi Order

In medical terms, Agoraphobia is an intense fear and anxiety of being in places where it is hard to escape or where help might not be available. Agoraphobia usually involves fear of crowds, bridges or of being outside alone. The reason I selected to mention Yoda’s quote serves as a reminder that when a patient comes to us for help, we are not only treating a condition, we are also dealing with this person’s suffering.

Agoraphobia causes great anguish in every sense; from going out, to getting help or even waiting in an office to be seen for an initial consultation. Although the exact cause of agoraphobia is still unknown; it tends to occur to those individuals that have had previous panic attacks and who may experience similar situations in the present which can cause severe anxiety and fear to them, leading to another panic attack.

Here are the ways to identify if you, a friend or a loved one are presenting symptoms of Agoraphobia, such as:

Symptoms include:

  • Being afraid of spending time alone
  • Being afraid of places where escape might be difficult
  • Being afraid of losing control in a public place
  • Depending on others
  • Feeling detached or separated from others
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling that the body is not real
  • Feeling that the environment is not real
  • Having an unusual temper or agitation
  • Staying in the house for long periods of time

Agoraphobia can also cause certain physical symptoms, like:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Choking
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or other stomach distress
  • Racing heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Trembling

Agoraphobia is a condition that can be treated by medications and therapy. Nelson Mandela’s quote is a reminder that even when there is fear, it can be overcome. If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from Agoraphobia or any other condition affecting your life, please contact us at Mindful Behavioral Healthcare to make an appointment with one of our professionals. We care about our patients’ mental wellness and strive to provide quality services in order to ensure the best possible treatment, according our patients’ particular needs.

Contact Us Today! (407) 846-0533
Miguel Meléndez, MD, MHSA
Primary Care Physician

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