People dealing with agoraphobia face some of the greatest mental health challenges: fear of leaving an environment deemed to be safe. As many agoraphobia sufferers see their home as the only safe place, this means they face incredible difficulty carrying out simple, everyday tasks, from going to work to taking the kids to school to going to the store for groceries.
The good news is that extensive studying of agoraphobia has led to the emergence of several rather effective methods for treating this condition, which is a form of anxiety. The right form of treatment for each individual will depend on the extent of their agoraphobia and the amount of time the condition has affected the patient.
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy
The first step in addressing agoraphobia is to have the patient discuss their condition with a trained specialist, such as a social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They can help the patient determine the extent of their agoraphobia and go about devising treatment plans based on the way the condition affects the patient’s lifestyle.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat a wide range of mental health issues and the process is similar when it comes to treating agoraphobia. The goal is to develop effective skills and schedules that allow the patient to better manage their condition and enjoy a lifestyle that the patient deems acceptable. That said, cognitive behavioral therapy can be a long and arduous process — in fact, it may require years or even decades of working with a trained specialist.