The pandemic of COVID 19 has created an unpleasant situation for the entire world. It has especially affected those already battling mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or stress. People suffering from anxiety are experiencing an added problem of agoraphobia.
What Is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an acute sense of fear towards a particular situation or place especially where escape may be difficult. This may cause a person to avoid public or crowded places.
People with agoraphobia have difficulty in judging if the fear is perceived or if it is actual danger.
What are the symptoms of Agoraphobia?
Typical symptoms of agoraphobia include fear of:
- Leaving the home alone
- Remaining in a crowd
- Waiting in line
- Closed spaces, such as small stores, elevator, theatre, etc.
- Open spaces, such as bridges, malls, or parking lots.
- Using public transportation, such as a bus, train, or plain.
Symptoms Of Agoraphobia Increasing Due To pandemic
The pandemic has induced a major fear of the virus in people. While on one hand, they are worried about getting infected, on the other isolation has triggered a sense of depression and anxiety. In turn, excessive anxiety is leading to an increase in the symptoms of agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is a manageable disorder. However, seeking timely treatment goes a long way in achieving long-lasting recovery. Professional experts treat agoraphobia by exposing the person to their fear. They make the person realize that their fear is over hyped and unrealistic.
A person with agoraphobia might experience increasing wariness during the current situation due to:
- support not being readily available
- the fact that certain COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath, heaviness or difficulty in breathing are quite similar to those of a panic attack
- words such as “quarantine” and “social distancing” may trigger fear of being isolated and cut off from help completely
- uncertainty about future and public anxiety
- an increased risk of depression and anxiety
- a heightened risk of developing chemical dependency
Frightening media stories about COVID-19 also add to the sense of fear and anxiety in people.
Managing Symptoms of Agoraphobia During COVID 19 Pandemic.
While quarantine can increase the symptoms of agoraphobia, you can take care of yourself by taking following small tips like the following:
- Getting adequate deep sleep
- Eating a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- Taking prescribed medications on time
- Consulting a licensed therapist online
- Joining an online support group to help deal with the anxiety and isolation
When to seek help?
Panic attack for excessive anxiety can lead to Agoraphobia. These often occur if an unpleasant situation is encountered over and over again. Early treatment and prevention is the best way to deal with Agoraphobia. However, treatment methods differ from person to person depending on an individual’s severity and duration of symptoms. Talking about your condition with a professional therapist can help alleviate your emotional pain. A professional therapist adopts various methods to treat the mental illnesses.
If you or someone you know needs assistance in dealing with a mental health disorder, then call the California Mental Health Helpline. We provide reliable information about reputed mental health treatment centers in California. Call our 24/7 mental health helpline (855) 559-3923 or chat online with one of our representatives to discuss your options for mental health treatment in California.