At each moment, various types of thoughts come into our minds. There are positive and negative thoughts in our continuous thinking process. Sometimes we get trapped in such negative thoughts. Hence we become terrified that those negative thoughts may become real. Due to the excessive attention and beliefs of negative thoughts, people may gradually suffer from agoraphobia or anxiety disorders. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Central Disorder (DSM-5), published by the American Psychological Association, has highlighted several symptoms for the diagnosis of agoraphobia:-
Diagnostic Criteria (diagnosis symptoms)
Fear and anxiety (two or more) can be seen in the following four situations:
- In the case of using vehicles (e.g. car, bus, train, ship, aircraft);
- In open spaces (car parking, markets, bridges);
- In closed places (shops, theater, film);
- Staying out of the house alone.
- It is difficult for the person to avoid these types of situations because he thinks it would be tough to get out of such situations and if there is a symptom like a panic attack or other symptoms that can not be solved or creates an abusive or dangerous situation (For example, losing excreta control, hesitation in front of the elders).
- Agoraphobic conditions almost always have fear and anxiety.
- That person avoids any agoraphobic situation strongly or experiences severe fear or anxiety even if a partner is with the person.
- It is important to consider whether the issue of fear and anxiety is really in agoraphobic conditions and is related to social-cultural background.
- This fear and anxiety or chronic avoidance can last for six months or more.
- It will create problems and obstruction, due to this fear, anxiety, or avoidance, in his or her social, professional, and other important practical issues significantly. In order to prevent him or her from having problems, he/she needs to treat or medicate.
- In the case of any other type of physical illness like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, the fear, anxiety, or avoidance will appear extremely.
Patients with severe agoraphobia are forced to stay home completely or become unable to go outside. They become dependent on others to meet the basic needs too. Demoralization (Losing hope and confidence) children are afraid to go alone. They fear to shop in big stores, stand in line, or in the open space.
Symptoms of agoraphobia start before 35 years old in two percent out of three percent of agoraphobia patients. But most of the time, this happens between adolescence and youth age. And the second phase which starts after forty years old is very risky. It is very rare for agoraphobia to happen in childhood. Generally, it starts at the age of seventeen but it may start from 25 to 29 years without having a panic attack or panic disorder. You will not recover unless you take the proper treatment and there is a chance to affected again for the severely affected patients. Besides, there is a risk of major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and substance abuse.
The child’s childhood environment and experience play an important role in his later life. The negative and chaotic environment, extreme governance, conservative attitude of parents, divorce, lack of warmth in the upbringing of the child, and the inheritance of genetic factors are the elements of sadness, fear, and negative thinking and as a result, of these, the anxiety disorder called agoraphobia is shaped. Today, we are turning our children into obedient, polite, and shy children by fearing him/her but in the future, that fear will make them mentally ill children.
The person may be confined himself in the house to give priority to fear, tension, and anxiety. Our awareness is very important for the prevention and treatment of people who are currently suffering from agoraphobia.