How To Overcome Agoraphobia Without Medication?
Agoraphobia was named after the word “agora”, in ancient Greece it meant “the marketplace”. So agoraphobia term is used to name the fear of being in large, open, public spaces. It is one of the most common anxiety disorders and is categorized by having an intense and irrational fear of being in places or situations which might cause panic and or the affected person may feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
You fear an anticipated situation such as being in open or enclosed spaces, using public transportation, standing in line, or being in a crowd. Most of the people affected by agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to worry about having another attack and avoid the places where it may happen again, hence, they cannot lead a normal and satisfying life.
In this article, we will explore some queries about agoraphobia such as what are the symptoms? What are the causes and how to overcome this without medication? so read the article till the end.
What Are The Symptoms Of Agoraphobia?
Intensity and severity of the symptoms vary person to person and not all the people with this disorder live it in the same way.
Some of the common symptoms are characterized below.
- Fear of leaving home alone.
- Fear in crowds or waiting in line.
- Fear of enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters, elevators or small stores.
- Fear of open spaces, such as parking lots, bridges or malls.
- Fear of using public transportation, such as a bus, plane or train.
In addition to this they might feel:
- That their body or their environment isn’t real.
- Afraid of spending time alone, of places where escape is difficult, or of losing control in public.
- Detached or isolated from other people.
Agoraphobia can also cause panic attacks which may include:
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Nausea or other gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Breathing problems.
- Dizziness or light-headedness.
- Sweating and trembling.
- Numbness or “pins and needles” sensations.
- Facial flushing.
- A feeling of choking.
- Trouble breathing or a feeling of choking.
- Sudden flushing or chills.
- Upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Feeling a loss of control.
- Fear of dying.
Tips To Overcome Agoraphobia Without Medication
Psychotherapy is fundamental regarding the treatment of agoraphobia, however, in some cases it is combined with certain drugs such as antidepressants. If you have gone to a professional and you have prescribed some drugs, you have to reflect on why you do not want to use them. If you still don’t want to go for medications then some of the most common exercises that are learned in cognitive-behavioral therapy and that you can perform outside of it are the following:
There are different relaxation techniques learned during therapy and that should be practiced daily outside of therapy. These techniques are very easy to learn and are essential to overcome agoraphobia and panic attacks. Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the techniques that are normally used and the most recommended. It consists of inhaling slowly and deeply while doing this focus on the feeling that how the abdomen inflames, holding the air for a few seconds and exhaling slowly by removing the air from the mouth.
Lots Of Laughter
A person, who has agoraphobia, might get up every day with a sense of dread because his minutes are ruled by anxiety. It is suggested, spending the first hour of your day, laughing. It is also known as “endorphin therapy”. Endorphins are the hormones that exist already in the brain and that are released when the body is under stress.
You are needed the breakfast of laughs and merriment. For this purpose, you can check out the videos of new and old comic on the internet also, you can watch TV shows that can make you laugh.
Exhibition In The Imagination And Live
Another technique learned during the therapy is the exhibition of fear in imagination and reality. It is recommended to schedule sessions of this type on daily basis. First, close your eyes and imagine the situations that generate fear. Start with thinking the situations of less intensity and then try reducing anxiety with relaxation techniques.
Once you have managed to conquer the fear in the imagination, next necessary step is that you begin to expose yourself physically. It is recommended to go exposing yourself, gradually to the feared situations live. For instance, if you are scared to leave home then start by just leaving the door, stay there for a few minutes. While staying, do your breathing exercises. When you feel more relaxed going forward, you can sit on the bench that is outside the house and so on.
Creating Your Agoraphobia Map
It is the best way to help deal with agoraphobia with or without panic disorder. You have access to tools that can evaluate and challenge your fear of situations and related worries. It is mandatory to create your agoraphobia map to overcome them.
- Calm breathing.
- Progressive muscle relaxation.
- Helpful thinking of Agoraphobia.
- Challenging negative thinking.
- Cognitive coping cards.
- Facing your fear.
- Partner assisted rituals.
- Safety behaviors.
- Rewarding bravery.
- Tolerating uncertainty.
- Returning to routines and pleasant events.
- Applied tension technique.
If you want to reduce the routine of having drugs to cure agoraphobia naturally then it is important to provide early attention to this condition and consistency in this type of exercises, such as relaxation techniques and gradual exposure.
Do not forget that it is important to follow the treatment regularly because if not, it is more likely that there are relapses and that you have to start over. Using above techniques, hopefully, you can conquer your fear. It is advised to practices these techniques regularly for 2 to 3 months.
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