Agoraphobia Essay Research Paper AgoraphobiaAgoraphobia is often

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Agoraphobia Essay, Research Paper Agoraphobia Agoraphobia is often called the fear of the outside. Agoraphobia is a phobia that is usually associated with a panic disorder or develops from one. The symptoms of agoraphobia are anxiety about being in places or situation from which escape might be difficult or in which help might not be available. This fear comes from the fear of having an unexpected or situationally predisposed panic attack. The fears of agoraphobic involve clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in line, being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus train or automobile. If an attack occurs, the subject may exhibit signs like fainting, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, crying, and freezing. Fear of

these symptoms and situations usually cause the person to avoid the situations all together becoming eventually agoraphobic. The causes of agoraphobia are not unlike that of any other panic disorder. The prevalence of agoraphobia is not defined exactly but it is known that between one and two percent of persons that experience panic attacks are diagnosed with agoraphobia. Causes of agoraphobia are most likely hereditary. First degree biological relatives of individuals with a panic disorder have a four to seven times greater chance of developing panic disorder. Twin studies have also indicated that there is genetic link between agoraphobia and the genes of persons. When looking at the case histories of agoraphobia one particular case comes to mind from a Hollywood production

standpoint. The movie produced in 1994 Copy Cat, starring Sigurnie Weaver. Weaver plays a psychologist that studies the practices of serial killers. Weaver develops the disorder, agoraphobia after a series of panic attacks. A serial killer imitating Ted Bundy stalks her and Weaver’s agoraphobia leaves her alone in her own apartment while the killer is in the same domicile. With the stress of the disorder, Weaver’s character exhibits the same symptoms of dizziness, freezing, and panic as she tries to escape from her apartment. When treating Agoraphobia the subject can either take medications and or counseling. Medications that have been used by previous agoraphobics are antidepressants and Bezodiazepines like Prozac, Nopramin, Paxil, Klonopin, and Ativan. These medications

though used in treating Agoraphobia are really for treating Panic Disorder, but since Agoraphobia is so closely related to panic attacks the results are similar. The medications are usually taken for six months then are tapered off and then discontinued. The main treatment though for treating agoraphobia is called exposure therapy. The goal of the therapy is to get the person to confront their fear directly. The first step of the therapy is to treat the panic disorder because most people with agoraphobia have a panic disorder. Once the panic attacks taper off the person gains the confidence to attack the situations that they fear. When the person reaches this stage then they begin the exposure therapy where they are placed in the situation that they fear. Depending on the subject

some of the patients have found that hypnosis, meditation, relaxation, or group therapy is also helpful when coping with the disorder. The reason that I selected this topic is that I always thought that the disorder was interesting ever since I saw the movie Copy Cat. I never researched what agoraphobia was and now that I had the opportunity to do this project. I thought that I should learn something that has puzzled me every time I see the movie. Aerophobia Aerophobia is known as the fear of flying or fear of air. The symptoms of Aerophobia are quite similar to agoraphobia and other panic disorders dizziness, freezing, crying, and severe distress. The fear flying usually stems from a fear of heights or a fear of dying. In the general population, about one person in three is