Recent research suggests that agoraphobics can be
divided into 2 groups, those with and those without
anxiety attacks. A high percentage of people who experience-
panic attacks go on to develop agoraphobia unless
they are treat early with certain drug. One theory
regarding the panic attack-agoraphobia is that
an individual born with a bio-psychosocial factor.
According to this theory, any patients, unaware of the biological
roots of panic attacks, conclude that the situations in which
the attacks take place must be the culprit. They
become increasingly preoccupied with avoiding such
situations and constrict their life styles-often at considerable
economic and social expense-in the hope of
eluding the attack. One patient confided that she had
accumulated hundreds of dollars in fines by parking her
car illegally in' front of her office rather than face the
anxiety associated with walking across the parking lot.
Panic attacks unlike phobia anxiety, can be treated that
are effective in treating depression (for example,
the tricyclic antidepressants and benzamine oxidase inhibitors).
To a significant extent, agoraphobia is a complication of panic
attacks that are untreated and therefore are allowed to
anti-depressants are effective in suppressing panic
buy reducing anticipatory anxiety and agoraphobic
behavioral techniques, including graduated exposure
to the situation the individual is afraid of, are effective
in treating agoraphobic. Some highly motivated
Agoraphobics are able to carry out this exposure themselves,
without the frequent aid of a therapist. The following case
illustrates the successful use of this approach.
Ms. A. a 40-year-old woman had been virtually
House bound for 5 years because of classic agoraphobia.
In a 2.5 hour session she her husband and I
delineated her avoidance profile (those places she
avoided regularly because they evoked panic and
worked out an exposure-home work program in which
she would slowly habituate to one situation after
another. I explained how she should keep a diary of
her exposure-homework exercises and asked her to
mail them to me. This she did regularly. She
diligently carried out her exposure program and
within weeks was mobile for the first time in years.
She kept up her progress for 4 years without seeing me
Again but then she had some family difficulties
which depressed her) and quickly relapsed. She saw me
once more for an hour and was encouraged to revive
her original exposure-home work program. On doing
this she recovered her gains which continued through
follow-up for 9 years when I last heard from her. A
gratifying result for 2-1/ 2 hours of time from a
clinician. -(Marks, 2014, pp. 1163-1164)
Agoraphobics are often clinging and dependent.
Studies of the histories of severely impaired agoraphobics
have shown that 50 percent of the patients exhibited
separation anxiety in childhood well before the on-sat of
the agoraphobia (Gittelman and Klein).
The association between childhood separation anxiety
and agoraphobia is much stronger in women than in
men. Because separation anxiety is almost always measured by means of
retrospective self-reports, there is a
need for longitudinal studies that allow for the observation
of subject 's behavior in addition to self-reports.
Perhaps, in some sense, agoraphobia is a delayed
outbreak of childhood separation anxiety.