Treatment for Agoraphobia

Do You or Someone You Love Need Agoraphobia Treatment?

Agoraphobia is a mental disorder that is often debilitating to the person enduring the mental disorder. It is considered to be a type of social anxiety disorder where the sufferer determines that their surroundings or situation is difficult to escape or get help. The person fighting agoraphobia is intensely fearful of being in wide-open areas or in uncontrollable social situations like a crowded mall or airport. There is also an immense fear of experiencing a panic attack in these environments. Due to the fear, the man or woman struggling with agoraphobia will make a decision to stay in their place of solitude and not come out, even when in need of medical care. This mood disorder is painful and not only affects the person suffering from agoraphobia, but it also affects the sufferer’s friends and family. This mental disorder can ruin relationships and can even result in suicide.

Are you fighting agoraphobia? Would you like to be a part of society and live a full life again? Agoraphobia is incapacitating to the point of causing you to hide in doors and keep you from living a whole and productive life. One of the keys to overcoming agoraphobia is to admit you have a problem and that you need help from an agoraphobia treatment center. Are you the loved one of someone dealing with agoraphobia? Do they lock themselves in their home refusing to come out and live as they used to do? Help them see what they are missing and guide them to finding the professional care they need to beat this disorder. Agoraphobia can be conquered and life can be lived again.

Treatment Plan for Agoraphobia

Help is imperative when trying to overcome agoraphobia. This mood disorder keeps you from living your life. In order to have better success, an agoraphobia team needs to be created. This team will consist of a psychotherapist, loved ones, an agoraphobia healing program, and a support group. Each part of this team will be critical in overcoming and managing the agoraphobia.

  • Ask for help – Friends and family are important in the healing process and should not be underestimated. They are an important component in the agoraphobia healing process.
  • Find a therapist – A professional psychologist can help produce a custom-made agoraphobia treatment program. They will assist in gathering additional resources and entering an agoraphobia treatment center.
  • Find an agoraphobia rehabilitation program – A agoraphobia psychotherapy program will help increase the odds for successfully dealing with a agoraphobia. It will also assist in addressing any ongoing co-occurring issues.
  • Engage in support groups and ongoing therapy – It is imperative that a support group is joined due to the insight and direction they can provide. They will provide assistance when facing the trials of stopping therapy and taking medications. They will be important in assisting to continue abstinence.

Treatment Levels for Agoraphobia

There are various treatment levels that are used to treat mood disorders, but treatment levels as intensive as agoraphobia residential treatment centers, partial hospitalization programs, inpatient programs, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) normally are not required unless there are co-occurring issues such as drug and alcohol addictions, eating disorders, trauma or other mood disorders. The more commonly used treatment levels for agoraphobia are:

  • Outpatient Care – While the outpatient program simulates an IOP, it is not as rigorous. There are fewer individual limits placed on the patient, but personal treatment and group sessions are still applied.
  • Support Groups – The support made available by the group is crucial in beating a drug dependency. The guidance they offer is key in prevailing over an addiction.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Agoraphobia Treatment

Fortunately, there are medications available that will assist in the managing and curing of agoraphobia. The most common drug types used for helping manage agoraphobia are antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. The best medicinal therapy plan of action will be determined by an agoraphobia treatment center. Examples of these medications include:

  • Antidepressants – Primarily the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Anti-anxieties – Primarily benzodiazepines
    • Alprazolam (Xanax)
    • Andclonazepam (Klonopin)
    • Diazepam (Valium)

Types of Therapy for Agoraphobia Treatment

Often, a combination of pharmaceutical and behavior therapy treatments are implemented when addressing agoraphobia. This blend of medicine and behavior therapy has proven to be the best solution in managing and curing agoraphobia. An agoraphobia treatment center will integrate a number of combinations of behavioral therapies to better promote rehabilitation of the various emotional and mental needs.

  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – This rehabilitation type pays attention to the interpersonal relationships and cultural roles using concise supportive analysis and works to assist patient’s to uncover better tools to address problems and issues that currently exist. IPT identifies role disputes, unresolved grief, relationship shortcomings, and role changes as the four basic areas.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This level of treatment works toward changing maladaptive thinking patterns so the patient can modify their behavior in a positive way. It in turn aids the person in replacing unconstructive coping skills with more constructive ones.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This version of behavioral therapy combines aspects of IBT and CBT behavioral therapy for emotion regulation. It combines the stress management and mindful awareness parts of the therapies into the DBT therapy.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that implements commitment and behavior-change strategies by combining acceptance and mindfulness strategies in several different ways. This should enhance the emotional and mental flexibility.
  • Supportive Programs – This type of therapy includes programs such as family therapy, group therapy, support groups, etc. The support these programs offer to those suffering with bipolar disorder is invaluable.

Struggling with agoraphobia is saddening. It takes the person’s existence away. The individual cannot go outside to enjoy life. The fear of another panic attack, the feeling of no control in wide-open spaces, the fear of crowded venues, all force the agoraphobic into their space of solace and keeps them there. There are agoraphobia treatment centers that will help you get your life back. This type of professional assistance will aid you in managing and often curing the disorder. You can begin live again.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Online Addiction Help Directory