Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia develops as a complication of Panic Disorder. The essential feature of Agoraphobia is intense fear of having a panic attack while out of the house or being in a situation from which escape is difficult or embarrassing. Commonly feared places are shopping centres, cinemas, sporting events, elevators, crowds of people, aeroplanes and public transport. Typical fears include:
Fear of being alone
Fear of losing control
Fear of embarrassing yourself
Fear of crowded places
Fear of open spaces
As well as having a panic attack in public and:
Not being able to escape
Not receiving any help
If left untreated, the number of places you feel comfortable visiting become fewer and fewer. Some people may be able to go to certain places without feeling anxious particularly if they have a trusted friend or family member with them for support. Or they may be pressured to go out but feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious which is instantly reduced on their return home.
Typical number of sessions required
While people may differ in the number of therapy sessions required to alleviate symptoms of Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, it typically takes approximately 20 sessions of weekly consultations depending on severity and length of time the person has lived with the condition. Considering that this disabling condition may have taken years to develop and may have cost you your job, your friends and family as well as your independence, then commitment to 20 sessions or less of therapy is a small price to pay for your freedom and future happiness.