February 11, 2007 12:42am CST
anybody have any idea on how to deal with a person who is agoraphobic?
11 Feb 07
Agrophobics have a fear of open spaces, opposite to clostophobia. As with all fears and anxieties there is a trigger, something that happened to the person and somewhere in the brain the experience gets linked to negative thoughts and therefore a loss of control and anxieties and fears prevail. I had a fear of being around lots of people, I just don't like it, it's a form of agrophobia but I deal with it the best way I can, to take each day as it comes. The more you push yourself at your own pace the easier things become and the less the fears take control. One of the key things is to breath, properly, when you get anxious you tend to breath fast shallow breaths which don't help, what you need to do is breath in through the nose so that your stomach inflates, and breath out through the mouth, making sure deep breaths are taken all the time. This will increase the oxygen in the blood and is naturally calming method. The worst thing you can do is to put pressure on someone, there's a difference between encouragement and pressure. The person will feel happy to be encouraged and supported, but only on the understanding that things are going at their pace and is comfortable.
11 Feb 07
hey thank you so much for this. i have this cousin who doesnt want to mingle with people and is very selective with the people he talks to (lucky enough i'm one of those person whom he is comfortable with). want to help him out but i really dont know what to do. i might put pressure on him and he might not like it.
11 Feb 07
Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a situation where one might experience anxiety or panic and where escape from the situation might be difficult or embarrassing There are three main types of treatment for agoraphobia: Therapy Medications Combination of therapy and medications Behavior and cognitive therapy are the treatments of choice for agoraphobia. If panic accompanies the agoraphobia, people are sometimes referred for a brief course of a prescribed medication, such as an antianxiety medication. I don't have much Knowledge on How to treat An agoraphobic Person This is all that I know. I hope it will help :)
2 May 07
Yes that is quite true bananamanuk. Listen to what the person has to say when describing what they are going through. Don't question it. Take it at face value (even if it does not make any sense to you)... and try to understand it. It probably won't make any sense to you... because it is an irrational fear. But to that person... it is real. Once that person feels that you understand its problem... it will become comfortable around you and will be more willing to do things with you. You must never apply any kind of pressure... as this has the opposite effect. Under pressure... that person will get cranky... tell you to get lost... and go back in its protective shell to isolate itself from you and the world.
• United States
28 May 07
I have been through various levels of agoraphobia for 30 years. It's a battle you cannot imagine until you've experienced it. It isn't a matter of "just get over it" no more than you would "just get over" cancer. We need to be heard. We need compassion, support and encouragement. We don't need pity. What we don't need is more pressure. Sometimes the stigma is worse than the affliction. Not being able to go places at any given time like the average person, makes us feel abnormal or like a failure. When we are pressured to "perform" from others, it only enhances these feelings if our performance is less than expected. As Aussies2007 said, the pressure will cause a person to go back into their protective shell and isolate once again. Can you imagine what it feels like to tell someone you went for a walk and their response is..."so what, that isn't far enough, you still aren't OUT IN THE WORLD". For the agoraphobic, that short walk was a huge accomplishment. They used every fiber in their being to do that only to be cut down by someone who didn't feel they did "good enough"... or to spill your guts and tell them you are agoraphobic and they say, "oh we'll have to go for coffee" sometime. An agoraphobic often is pushed to hold their story secret because once they open up, the responses are mostly counterproductive. They constantly have to defend a battle they go through every day which makes it a double battle. I say this from personal experience. I don't want to be looked at as the "agoraphobic". I want to be looked at as who I am and what I CAN do. Maybe I can't travel to another country. Heck, I'd do well to travel to the corner sometimes lol But there is more to me to where I can or cannot go. That's what I need people to see. That's what all agoraphobics need. They need to be seen as anything other than abnormal or a failure. We need the focus to be on positive things about us and in the process that helps build us up to work on the negative. Really it isn't anything different than any human needs. We all need understanding, support and encouragement. We need to feel valued for who we are, what we can do and not so much on our area of weakness. If I listed all that I can do, you would soon forget I'm agoraphobic lol In some ways I've probably overcompensated by learning new things and being persistent in my accomplishments to take the focus off of being agoraphobic. Still, others seem to focus on my weakness. That does not help! We all have weaknesses, afflictions, illnesses, disabilities or whatever, yet we all have the same need to be accepted and loved "as is". In that process we become greater.