Did you know that roughly 1.3% of American adults experience agoraphobia at some point in their lives? That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s millions of people experiencing this stressful condition.
This means that if you suffer from agoraphobia, you’re not alone. Plenty of people learn to live with and overcome agoraphobia. There’s hope for you.
But how do you get started with overcoming agoraphobia? The idea of seeking out help is paralyzing when you live with that much fear.
We understand, and we want to help. Keep reading to learn about how some people have had success with overcoming agoraphobia.
Utilize Coping Skills
Agoraphobia gives you intense anxiety any time that you have to interact with an unknown person. Some people have trouble leaving the house at all.
Anxiety can be managed with various coping skills and relaxation strategies. While this won’t get rid of your agoraphobia, it will help you handle it when it comes up.
We suggest starting with breathing exercises. Practice them at home first so you feel safe while you’re learning. When you use calming breathing exercises, it sends a message to your brain that it’s time to relax.
We also suggest exercise either during the anxious period or throughout your daily life. Exercise gets rid of anxious energy and it causes your body to release endorphins, or happy chemicals, which help to calm anxiety.
Do Gentle Desensitization
While serious desensitization may require professional help, you can do some desensitization exercises on your own.
Your goal is to expose yourself to mildly stressful situations until you’re comfortable with them. You can work your way up with baby steps.
For example, if leaving your home gives you anxiety, you’d start with opening the door. Next, you can sit on your stoop or patio. This continues until you’re comfortable enough to go out in public, even if you choose not to interact with anyone.
The world is increasingly agoraphobe-friendly with the new ability to order anything online and pick it up without talking to a single person.
Seek Professional Help
Once you’ve desensitized yourself enough to speak to people in some capacity, you should seek therapy for agoraphobia.
This is stressful for someone who is uncomfortable with people, so this is another area in which you can take baby steps. Some practices offer online visits so you can stay in a safe place while you’re starting your journey.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is a good solution for agoraphobia. A therapist will help you figure out the root of your condition and help you develop better coping mechanisms so you can go about your day with less anxiety.
Learn more about agoraphobia and how CBT can help so you can make an informed decision about your mental health.
Are You Ready to Overcome Agoraphobia?
By putting in research you’re already taking the first step towards overcoming agoraphobia. We know how scary it is to try to overcome agoraphobia, but you’re doing important work that your future self will thank you for.
You can live a happy and fulfilling life without fear or anxiety. Start your path towards healing today.
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