- 10 Ways to Stop Stress
- Quiz: Can You Stop a Panic Attack?
- Coping With an Anxiety Disorder
- Patient Comments: Agoraphobia - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Agoraphobia - Experience
- Patient Comments: Agoraphobia - Symptoms
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
- Agoraphobia facts
- What is the definition of agoraphobia?
- What causes agoraphobia?
- What are agoraphobia symptoms?
- What are the risk factors for agoraphobia?
- When should one seek medical care for agoraphobia?
- How do physicians diagnose agoraphobia?
- What is the treatment for agoraphobia?
- What are the complications of agoraphobia?
- What is the prognosis for agoraphobia?
- Is it possible to prevent agoraphobia?
- Is there information on support groups and coping for both agoraphobia patients, their family members, and other loved ones?
Quick GuidePhobias Picture Slideshow: What Are You Afraid Of?
What are the complications of agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia increases the likelihood that the person will also suffer from another anxiety disorder, like social or other phobias, panic disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. Agoraphobia also predisposes sufferers to having more severe and difficult to treat anxiety disorders of any kind. People with agoraphobia are more at risk for developing alcohol use disorder. Also, agoraphobia tends to occur more often in individuals who have a number of different physical conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and asthma. If left untreated, agoraphobia may worsen to the point at which the person's life is seriously affected by the disease itself and/or by attempts to avoid or conceal it. In fact, some people have had problems with friends and family, failed in school, and/or lost jobs while struggling to cope with severe agoraphobia or another severe phobia.
What is the prognosis for agoraphobia?
While there may be periods of spontaneous improvement of symptoms for people with agoraphobia, the condition does not usually go away unless the person receives treatment designed specifically to help agoraphobia sufferers. Some research has indicated a more chronic and debilitating course of agoraphobia in African-American individuals compared to Caucasians. One significant challenge of agoraphobia is revealed by the statistics related to treatment. Specifically, less than half of individuals with this illness in the United States are receiving treatment at any one time. Further, alcoholics can be up to 10 times more likely to suffer from a phobia than those who do not have alcohol use disorder, and phobic individuals can be twice as likely to be addicted to alcohol as are people who have never been phobic.
Is it possible to prevent agoraphobia?
As agoraphobia often develops as a fearful reaction to having panic attacks, prevention of agoraphobia tends to focus on developing ways to cope with the anxiety about the possibility of another panic attack without avoiding leaving one's home. The treatments for agoraphobia previously described are usually used to prevent its development, as well.