Some people may not like the thought of strangers entering their homes to counsel them but for some people , leaving the home can be a huge dilemma especially if they are suffering acutely or chronically from anxiety, depression, PTSD and social phobias. There are many reasons you may prefer a home visit. Perhaps you don’t drive, feel overwhelmed when in open spaces, feel unsafe when you are in unfamiliar closed spaces or the thought of getting out there is just too overwhelming at the moment? It can be a huge effort to get dressed and ready to face the world some days when you barely have the motivation or energy to get dressed or put your face on ! An inability to leave the home can be a symptom of many mental health issues. Some may be passing, others may be more entrenched and over time will affect your enjoyment of life and stymie the things that you do to make you happy.
Agoraphobia is a disorder where leaving the home is problematic. It listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5 (DSM-5) as an anxiety disorder.An anxiety disorder is when a feeling of anxiety does not go away and tends to grow worse over time.One type of anxiety disorder is a panic disorder, where panic attacks and sudden feelings of terror can occur without warning.Agoraphobia is one such panic disorder. Agoraphobic panic attacks are linked to a fear of places where it is hard to escape or where help may not be available.Places that can induce agoraphobia include those that can make a person feel embarrassed, helpless, or trapped, such as crowded areas, bridges, public transport and remote areas.Most people develop agoraphobia after having had one or more panic attacks. These attacks cause them to fear further attacks, so they try to avoid the situation in which the attack occurred.People with agoraphobia may need help from a companion to go to public places, and may at times feel unable to leave home. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162169.php
Treatments vary depending on the person, but changing thought patterns that lead to an escalation of thoughts and subsequent attacks can help. This is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , which teaches the person to replace the negative non-evidence based thoughts with rational and realistic ones. This takes time and effort and working with a therapist across several sessions can achieve this. Medication can also help if it becomes very debilitating and your quality of life really starts to suffer. There is also a therapy called exposure therapy when you are introduced to the situation that causes you fear and panic in increments so the brain can learn that the outcomes are not catastrophic or life changing and that you really are going to be ok !
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