Agoraphobia and Panic Attack

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Agoraphobiaand Panic Attack

Agoraphobiaand Panic Attack

Anxietydisorders are quite common in the modern society. This paper willprovide a discussion of agoraphobic disorder and panic attack.Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that is associated with a feelingof fear of being caught in areas where the chances of escaping areminimal. The affected people can recall the events that subjectedthem to traumatizing situations (Mathew, 2014). Punic attack, on theother hand, is an anxiety disorder that involves an experience ofoverwhelming and intense fear of the probability of an awful eventtaking place (Wittchen, Gloster, Faca, Baum &amp Graske, 2010). Anindividual who experiences the panic attack go through experience tothat of someone who have seen a real life-threatening event.

Agoraphobiaand panic disorders can be distinguished sing their symptoms and themanner in which each one of them occurs. People, who suffer fromagoraphobia fear being alone or losing control when in the public. Inaddition, the affected people feel detached from other people,helpless, and tend to believe that their environment is not real(Wittchen etal,2010). A combination of the aforementioned symptoms of agoraphobiaforces the affected people to stay at home where they feel safe.

Panicattacks, on the other hand, are quite sudden, strong, and last forbetween 10 and 20 minutes. Some of the key symptoms that distinguishpanic attack from the agoraphobia include a feeling of danger, theneed to escape, chills, chest pain, tingling, heart palpitations,dizziness, and a choking sensation (Wittchen etal,2010). Some people experience the shortness of breath and discomfortin the stomach. However, some patients may experience symptoms thatare found in individuals suffering from agoraphobia. Examples ofthese symptoms include the fear of losing control and a feeling ofbeing in unrealistic environment.

Althoughthe two conditions (agoraphobia and panic disorder) may occurindependently, the occurrence of one condition can increase the riskof suffering from another. For example, agoraphobia may involve thefear of experiencing the difficulty of escaping from a given area incase a panic attack takes place (Wittchen etal,2010). In addition, people suffering from agoraphobia tend to avoidareas where they once suffered from a panic attack since they fearthat it could take place once again. Some of the key areas wherepeople experience agoraphobia include the bridges, trains, crowdedareas, malls, and planes.

Itis estimated that the global prevalence of the panic disorder, withand without the agoraphobia, ranges between 1.5 % and 3 %(Ballesteros &amp Labrador, 2014). However, it is not all patientswith the panic attack who experience the health condition ofagoraphobia disorder. For example, Ballesteros &amp Labrador (2014)reported that about 33 % and 50 % of all patients who experiencepanic attack present symptoms that are associated with agoraphobiadisorder. The data show that it is only about half of the people whoexperience panic attack are at the risk of suffering fromagoraphobia. Studies have also indicated the existence of genderdifferences in the prevalence of the two conditions. For example,Ballesteros &amp Labrador (2014) identified that the prevalence ofpanic disorder is about 0.38 % in male and 0.98 % in female subjects.In addition, the prevalence of agoraphobia is 0.15 % in male and 0.6% in the female candidates (Ballesteros &amp Labrador, 2014). Theprevalence rates suggest that women are at a higher risk of sufferingfrom agoraphobia disorder and panic attack compared to men.

Effectivetreatment of the two anxiety disorders is achieved when a properdiagnosis is made. Therapists use the DSM-5 criteria to diagnose theagoraphobia disorder and pain attack. Both the panic attacks andagoraphobia disorders can be treated using psychotherapy andmedication. The cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the mostcommon types of psychotherapies that are used in the treatment of thetwo anxiety disorders. The therapists who choose CBT as their primarymethod of intervention focus on enhancing their understanding of theunderlying causes of anxiety disorders and changing patients’patterns of behavior and thought (Panevska, 2012). The effectivenessof CBT in addressing the anxiety disorders is confirmed by itsability to help the affected persons respond to fear withoutexpressing significant symptoms.

Sometherapists apply the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing(EMDR) approach. The EMDR approach helps patients see things in a waythat is considered to be less frightening. In addition, medication isused in combination with different psychotherapeutic approaches. Inmost cases, therapists prescribe anti-depressant drugs (such asparoxetine and fluoxetine) that reduce most of the symptomsassociated with the disorders (Wittchen etal,2010). However, the application of pharmaceutical products isrecommended in the worse cases since they have numerous side effects,such as constipation, blood pressure, and blurred vision.

Inconclusion, agoraphobia and panic attacks are common anxietydisorders that can affect people, irrespective of their demographiccharacteristics. However, women are at a higher risk of sufferingfrom anxiety disorders. The affected people can be treatedeffectively using the psychotherapy or medication. However, effectivetreatment is accomplished when the therapist uses the correctdiagnostic criteria. In addition, successful treatment is achievedwhen psychotherapy approaches and medication are combined.


Ballesteros,F. &amp Labrador, J. (2014). Empirically supported treatments forpanic disorder with agoraphobia in a Spanish psychology clinic.SpanishJournal of Psychology,17 (65), 1-8.

Mathew,H. (2014). Un-agoraphobic:Overview anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia for good: Astep-by-step plan.Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio.

Panevska,L. (2012). Case of panic disorder with agoraphobia continuum throughcognitive behavioral therapy. ScientificJournal of the Faculty of Medicine in Nis,29 (3), 159-163.

Wittchen,H., Gloster, T., Faca, A., Baum, K., &amp Graske, G. (2010).Agoraphobia: A review of the diagnostic classification position andcriteria. Depressionand Anxiety,27, 113-133.

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