If you frequently experience panic attacks in crowds or public places, or when you are away from the safety of your own home, you may be suffering from agoraphobia. This is a panic disorder that can result in people feeling trapped and unable to get to a safe place. Many people with agoraphobia are able to function normally only when they are with a perceived radius of safety. For some, this may be a particular neighbourhood or street; for others, it can be their house or even a single room.
Agoraphobia manifests in different ways from one person to the next. Some general signs to look out for include the following:
- You are afraid of being alone, especially in unfamiliar settings
- You panic when you are among a crowd or in a public place
- You fear places with no quick escape route, such as an elevator, subway train or tunnel
- You are unable to leave your home, even to perform daily living activities like grocery shopping or going to the bank
- You feel helpless and/or excessively dependent on others
- You are afraid of dying
In addition, you may experience physical symptoms, including heart palpitations, chest pain, abdominal cramps, dizziness, sweating and trouble breathing.
At InnerSight Psychotherapy, we follow a compassionate approach to the treatment of this debilitating condition. Because everybody’s experience with agoraphobia is unique, we will formulate a treatment program that is designed just for you, with your individual challenges and needs in mind. With our gentle guidance, you will learn to separate your feelings of fear from the threat of actual danger. As you learn more about your condition, you will discover new ways to deal with the triggers of your anxiety, and the intensity of your fear will begin to gradually decline.
Our goal is for you to be able to enjoy a full and happy life that is free from panic attacks and constant anxiety. If agoraphobia is crippling your mind, please come and see us. With our caring therapists and our calming environment that is conducive to healing, we will help you get started on the path to recovery.