Psychologists generally define agoraphobia as an anxiety disorder which causes sufferers to avoid large crowds and public spaces. It is often co-morbid with other psychological disorders such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The symptoms of agoraphobia can make it nearly impossible for sufferers to live full and fulfilling lives. Many have problems with social interactions and employment due to the way the disorder affects their ability to socialize. In such cases, agoraphobia may in fact become a disability and agoraphobia patients may receive financial assistance in receiving treatment.
The most obvious issues agoraphobia can cause are in situations that require interactions with the public. Sufferers of agoraphobia may find using public transportation difficult or they may have problems with shopping for groceries. The size of the crowds in the location they are in is often the most prominent trigger, but agoraphobes may find the location itself terrifying. The panic attacks can cause numerous mental and physical health effects in those who are affected by them. Agoraphobes may produce excessive levels of stress hormones and this can have a serious impact on the quality of life that sufferers are able to live.
Severe agoraphobia is generally recognized by the medical community as a disability. A psychological professional can assess whether or not an individual is in fact severely affected by agoraphobia to determine a proper diagnosis. Once it has been determined that the patient is in fact severely affected, they are declared disabled. A disabled agoraphobe is better able to receive treatment for their disorder and may even receive payment in order to cope with the symptoms of the disease.
Once you are declared disabled, it is generally very easy to begin the process of receiving disability payments for the disease. You can apply for social security benefits if you meet the requirements in the Social Security Authority's blue book for panic disorders. If you have fear about panic attacks or the possible consequences of a panic attack, you are allowed to receive benefits. It is important to put forth an effort to prove that your agoraphobia prevents you from working. Tell your therapist or doctor about any difficulties you have in handling conversations, crowds, or other situations that might require you to deal with people. Keep a record of panic attacks in order to give your doctor a good idea of what you're experiencing. Once he understands your life, he can begin to describe to Social Security officials what you need done.
You don't have to let agoraphobia change the way that you live your life. There are ways you can combat the disease and keep it from affecting you in adverse ways. With the help of a therapist, you can learn to adjust to the outside world and handle the challenges that life brings up. It isn't something that will happen overnight, but you should find handling social situations easier. The panic attacks caused by agoraphobia are generally much harder to contend with. They are the result of both psychological and neurological factors. You may find yourself in need of medication in order to properly handle attacks.
Anxiety disorders are often handled through the use of both therapy and psychiatric means. Some patients require the use of medicine in order to fight panic attacks. Agoraphobes treatments are often those used to treat many other anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines and certain antidepressants can alleviate the panic attacks. In extreme cases, a patient might need barbituates in order to fight the symptoms of the disease. These treatments can help patients contend with the issues that may arise, but these medications are most effective when they are combined with training as well. Patients can do very well when they are given a combination of different solutions in order to find which ones are most likely to help them live fully functional lives.