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Agoraphobia?

Question:

I am not sure if you can help but I am going to give it a shot. I think I have some kind of anxiety problem. I don’t want to go anywhere, I am afraid to look for a job, my moods are very bad changing to good all in minutes, I am very nervous around others. I am very depressed. Large crowds seem to intimidate me. I don’t want to leave the house. I am very nervous around others including family. From what I have said here do you have any ideas? I would be so grateful for a response. thank you so much.

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Answer:

Your concerns could be occurring for a lot of different reasons (psychological, medical, substance abuse, etc.). They do seem disabling and serious and I do hope you will get yourself checked out. I recommend that you first see a medical doctor to rule out any medical or psychiatric problems. Discuss your anxiety and depression and fear of leaving home with that doctor. He or she may prescribe some medication which might be of help to you. Assuming that there are no serious medical problems going on (and assuming that you are not drinking or drugging) my next advice would be to see a Psychologist with experience in treating anxiety and depression.

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p>There is an anxiety disorder called Agoraphobia which has some symptoms in common with what you are experiencing. Agoraphobia literally means “fear of the market place”. It describes persons who become fearful of leaving ‘safe’ spaces (such as their homes) for fear of experiencing unmanageable anxiety and panic. Most of the time, people become agoraphobic after they experience multiple random panic attacks while going about their regular business. They retreat into their homes after coming to the conclusion at some emotional level that they are not safe from panic attacks anywhere except home. There are really good Cognitive Behavioral psychological treatments for Agoraphobia available through your Cognitive Behaviorally oriented Psychologist.

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