In order to fully enter the DEFINITION OF the term agoraphobia, the first thing we have to do is know its etymological origin. In this case, we have to say that it is a word of Greek origin, since it is the result of the sum of two terms of said language:
-The noun “agora”, which can be translated as “public square” or “assembly”.
-The name “phobia”, which is synonymous with “fear”.
In Ancient Greece, the public square where meetings and social gatherings performed is called agora. A phobia, on the other hand, is an exaggerated and obsessive fear or rejection. Thus, if we unite the two concepts, we find the idea of agoraphobia: fear or aversion to a public place.
Agoraphobia is a phobia of open spaces. He who suffers from this psychiatric disorder feels terror or anguish when he finds himself on a street, in a park or in another open place, where many people can gather.
Being in a space with these characteristics causes agoraphobic anxiety and nervousness, which can experience excessive sweating, tremors, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, among other disorders. This is because the person feels that she cannot be in control of the situation and her own life.
In the same way, other symptoms suffered by people with agoraphobia should not be overlooked, including serious difficulties in breathing normally, chest pain, nausea and dizziness…
It can be established that there are three different types of agoraphobia:
– The one with no history of panic disorder.
-Panic disorders with agoraphobia.
-Panic disorders without agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia usually arises from negative experiences. The subject pretends not to repeat those experiences and, in this way, develops a mechanism that tries to protect him, although in reality it unleashes a whole series of disorders that threaten well-being and may even incapacitate the individual.
Agoraphobia treatment is carried out with psychological therapy. The specialist, in a controlled environment, will try to make the patient experience those stimuli that cause him discomfort so that he can understand that the automatic mechanisms are false. That is to say: if a person, when outdoors, feels dizzy and thinks that he will faint, the psychologist will seek to show him that this dizziness that is generated does not automatically follow a fainting. To avoid the initial sensation, there are various relaxation exercises.
Other interesting data about agoraphobia are the following:
-Treatment can also be based on the intake of certain medications, such as antidepressants.
-A different method to treat this situation is the so-called exposure therapy, which is identified because it makes the person be in contact with their fears and the causes that generate them.
-One of the biggest complications of agoraphobia treatment is that people who suffer from it tend to isolate themselves from others, to be alone. Hence, it is easy for them to fall into depressions that can even generate suicidal thoughts.