The best treatment to overcome agoraphobia (fear of going outside)
Feeling very afraid when going out; not putting up with the idea of being in closed places such as, for example, an elevator or a movie theater; experiencing real dread when using public transport … All this is what a person with agoraphobia feels , one of the most limiting phobias that exists. But no, you don’t have to live your whole life in fear .
In Diario Femenino we have spoken with the psychologist Ingrid Pistono who has given us the keys to overcome agoraphobia . When asked: can agoraphobia be cured? We answer: Yes, of course we do!
What exactly is agoraphobia
“It is the fear of open or closed spaces . It can be fear of being in the middle of nature, but also fear of being inside a shopping center. It is an irrational and excessive fear in certain situations from which you want to flee” Psychologist Ingrid Pistono tells us.
The truth is that agoraphobic people are afraid of being in places where they cannot easily escape or where they feel insecure and defenseless because they believe that if something bad happens to them they will not be able to receive help.
Agoraphobia is always accompanied by all the symptoms of anxiety ( shortness of breath , tachycardia, sweating, trembling, nausea, dizziness …) and in the most extreme cases it can lead to frequent panic attacks .
How to cure agoraphobia: the most appropriate treatment
Agoraphobia can be cured and, for this, it is essential to go to a psychology professional. The treatment used to treat this fear is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy consists of gradually exposing the patient to the feared situation until progressively he stops fearing it. Sometimes it is done in a real way and, other times, it can also be done from videos or images”.
But in addition to psychological treatment, the patient with agoraphobia can follow some guidelines to feel better and control the symptoms of anxiety:
+Understand what exactly anxiety is : you cannot treat something without first understanding what it consists of. People with agoraphobia think that something very bad is going to happen to them. When it is understood that anxiety passes , that no one dies from it, then so much attention is paid to the symptoms and they normalize until they disappear.
+Learn breathing and relaxation techniques : “Managing your breath is the best way to manage anxiety and, with it, agoraphobia,” says Ingrid. To do this, it is best to start in the world of Mindfulness .
+Not anticipating, living in the here and now : most of the time, the anguish is generated in our mind, it is not something real. We imagine future situations that have not happened and do not have to happen and we give way to all kinds of catastrophic thoughts . Detecting those negative and obsessive thoughts is essential to eliminate them and stay grounded by living alone and only in the present.
+Do not try to control everything : people with agoraphobia have such harmful behaviors as trying to locate a nearby hospital when they arrive at a new place, looking for possible escape routes, always carrying anxiolytics in their purse just in case … This search for absolute control of the This situation inevitably leads to an anxiety attack. Total control does not exist, remove it from your life!
+Strengthen self-esteem : phobia problems are sometimes associated with self-esteem problems . Try to promote the self-concept that you have about yourself by valuing yourself in the different areas and facets of your life (work, love, family…) When you gain confidence , you will also have confidence with everything that surrounds you .