Social phobia is an intense and realistic fear of social situations that may involve scrutiny, exposure, or unfamiliar people. People with social phobias avoid situations in which they might be criticized or evaluated, and they may experience intense anxiety , and act inappropriately. It is commonly known as social anxiety disorder .
Main Causes: Most cases of Agoraphobia develop as a complication of panic disorder . Agoraphobia can sometimes develop if a person has a panic attack in a specific situation or environment. They begin to worry so much about having another panic attack that they feel the symptoms of a panic attack returning when they are in a similar situation or environment.
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Panic Disorder: As with many mental health conditions, the exact cause of panic disorder is not fully understood. However, most experts think that a combination of biological and psychological factors may be involved.
Biological Factors: There are a number of theories about the type of biological factors that may be involved with panic disorders . These are described below.
Key Symptoms of Agoraphobia: The severity of Agoraphobia can vary significantly between individuals. For example, someone with severe Agoraphobia may be unable to leave the house, whereas someone with mild Agoraphobia may be able to travel short distances without any problems. Agoraphobia symptomscan be broadly classified into three types:
Physical Symptoms: The physical symptoms of Agoraphobia usually only occur when you find yourself in a situation or environment that causes anxiety . However, many people with Agoraphobia rarely experience physical symptoms because they deliberately avoid situations that annihilate them. The physical symptoms of Agoraphobia can be similar to those of a panic attack and can include:
- accelerated heartbeat:
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilating):
- Feeling hot and sweaty:
- feeling sick:
- chest pain:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia):
- diarrhea :
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus):
- feeling dizzy:
Treatment of Agoraphobia: The typical treatment for Agoraphobia , with or without panic disorder, consists of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant drug therapy. Some natural treatments also work by attacking the anxiety brought on by Agoraphobia . CBT involves using exposure to the feared situation. Because it is known that people with panic disorder tend to exaggerate bodily sensations, the therapist actually causes feelings of anxiety while teaching methods of control.
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As this demonstrates that bodily sensations can be created as well as controlled, they seem less frightening. Another type of exposure technique used to treat people with panic disorder and Agoraphobia focuses on helping the individual identify thoughts that make bodily sensations frightening. The therapist helps them to challenge these beliefs.