Agoraphobia: Being Confined To A Room

Agoraphobia is a mental health condition that makes one experience an intense fear of leaving their premises. The person is terrified of going outside their homes, and can also feel that it is hard to escape a certain place. Agoraphobia can take many shapes and is accompanied by chronic anxiety and panic attacks.

Example: If a person has a panic attack at a subway, they may start to avoid going to a subway, associating it with fear.

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This Anxiety Disorder Seen in 'The Woman in the Window' Often Starts With a Panic Attack

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The act of avoiding something scary can itself turn fearful. Panic attacks amplify agoraphobia, and the pandemic has increased the anxiety levels of the general population according to many new studies.

The pandemic has in fact normalized agoraphobia and getting back to normal requires some time.

Agoraphobia has many symptoms:

  1. Fear of being alone.
  2. Being afraid to go to a place where escaping may be hard.
  3. Depending on others, and feeling helpless.
  4. Feeling detached or separated from others.
  5. Feeling that our body or our environment is not real.
  6. Being agitated or angry for no reason.
  7. Staying inside your home or room for long periods.

One can break the fearful cycle by forcing oneself to go outside, and not avoiding certain situations out of fear.

If the problem is out of hand, consult a mental health expert. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is generally prescribed to patients, along with medication.

It also helps to take a walk in nature outside, preferably with a friend, trying to lessen the anxiety.

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