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Houston Agoraphobia Therapy

we treat agoraphobia

At The Resilience Center of Houston, we have licensed therapists who are trained to treat a wide variety of mental health and behavioral health issues for children, teens, and adults in the Greater Houston area, including our Houston Agoraphobia Therapy. Learn more about our agoraphobia treatments, here in Houston, and how our therapists can help provide you with the care you deserve.


Our expertise includes working with children, teens, adults, and seniors who struggle with life stressors and transitions, behavioral problems, and mental health disorders. Our therapists are licensed in Texas with a masters or doctoral level education and offer a wide variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques and approaches to provide you with optimal professional care.


What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a mental health condition characterized by intense fear and avoidance of situations or places where the individual believes it would be difficult to escape or receive help in the event of a panic attack or other distressing symptoms. People with agoraphobia often fear being in crowded places, open spaces, public transportation, standing in line, or being far from home. This fear and avoidance can lead to significant limitations in their daily lives.

Agoraphobia is often associated with panic disorder, as individuals with panic disorder may experience sudden and recurrent panic attacks. These panic attacks can be very distressing, with symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and a sense of impending doom. As a result, individuals with agoraphobia may avoid situations they associate with triggering these panic attacks.


What are the Common Symptoms of Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is characterized by a range of symptoms and can vary in severity from person to person. Common symptoms of agoraphobia include:

  1. Intense Fear: Individuals with agoraphobia experience an intense and irrational fear of being in situations or places from which escape may be difficult or where they might not receive help in case of a panic attack or other distressing symptoms.

  2. Avoidance: To cope with this fear, people with agoraphobia often avoid specific situations or places that trigger their anxiety. Commonly avoided situations can include crowded places, open spaces, public transportation, standing in line, traveling alone, and even leaving their home.

  3. Panic Attacks: Many individuals with agoraphobia have a history of panic attacks, which can involve symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, and a sense of impending doom.

  4. Dependency: They may become dependent on a trusted person to accompany them when they do go out.

  5. Isolation: Agoraphobia can lead to social isolation as individuals avoid social and public situations. This can negatively impact their personal and professional lives.


What are the Causes of Agoraphobia?

Although the causes of agoraphobia are not quite fully understood, there are several factors that may contribute, including:

  1. Genetics: A family history of anxiety disorders may increase the risk of developing agoraphobia.

  2. Traumatic Life Events: Traumatic experiences or significant life stressors can trigger the onset of agoraphobia in some cases.

  3. Panic Disorder: Agoraphobia is often associated with panic disorder, and panic attacks can be a significant factor in its development.

  4. Neurochemical Factors: There may be imbalances in certain neurotransmitters in the brain that contribute to anxiety disorders like agoraphobia.


Can Agoraphobia Be Treated?

Yes, agoraphobia can be treated. Treatment can involve or include a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and/or lifestyle changes. Please consult with one of our Houston Agoraphobia Therapists today at the Resilience Center of Houston.


What are some Common Treatments for Agoraphobia?

Some common treatments for agoraphobia include:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is often the first-line treatment for agoraphobia. It helps individuals identify and change their thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety. Exposure therapy, a type of CBT, is often used to gradually expose the person to feared situations in a controlled and safe manner.

  2. Medication: Antidepressants (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) and anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines) may be prescribed to help manage symptoms. These are often used in conjunction with therapy.

  3. Supportive Therapy: Supportive counseling and group therapy can also be beneficial in helping individuals manage their condition and provide a sense of community and understanding.

  4. Lifestyle Changes: Healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques, can help in managing symptoms.

  5. Self-Help Strategies: Individuals can also learn self-help strategies to manage their anxiety and gradually confront their fears.

 

At The Resilience Center of Houston, we are open, affirming, and welcoming of all ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic statuses, genders, sexual identities, religions, and abilities. We work with people from all over greater Houston and accept reimbursement from 30+ insurance and EAP companies.


Call or email us today to get more information or schedule an appointment with a compassionate professional you can trust.


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What are the different types of anxiety disorders?

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder involves excessive and persistent worry that interferes with daily life. Relentless worry results in physical symptoms, like restlessness, feeling on edge, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, exhaustion, and sleep problems. Topics of worry typically center on everyday matters, like appointments, home repairs, work responsibilities, and family health.

What is Panic Disorder?

Panic Disorder is characterized by recurrent Panic Attacks. Panic attacks present with severe and overwhelming psychological and physical distress, involving some of the below symptoms.

What are the physical symptoms of Panic Disorder?

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Muscle tension

  • Sweating

  • Shaking

  • Restlessness

  • Dizziness

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Numbness or tingling

What are the psychological symptoms of Panic Disorder?

  • Feeling like you’re having a heart attack

  • Feeling like you’re going to die

  • Feeling impending doom

  • Feeling like you’re going crazy

  • Feeling like you’re losing touch with reality

  • Fearing you’ll lose control of yourself

  • Constant worry about when you’ll have your next panic attack

  • Fear you’ll embarrass yourself

What are Phobias?

A specific phobia involves intense and persistent fear of a particular object, situation or activity that is generally not dangerous. The experienced distress is acute and leads sufferers to go to extreme lengths to avoid what they fear.

What are common phobias?

  • Fear of driving

  • Fear of flying

  • Fear of vomiting

  • Fear of needles

  • Fear of confined spaces

  • Fear of being alone

  • Fear of leaving the house

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is characterized by the fear of being trapped or stuck in circumstances in which escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or help might not be easily available. The fear is acutely distressing and interferes with normal daily activities. The person typically avoids the situation, needs a companion, or experiences extreme anxiety.

What are common situations agoraphobics fear?

  • Trembling        

  • Crowds

  • Enclosed Spaces

  • Open Spaces

  • Public transportation

  • Leaving the home

What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder ?

PTSD can develop after a severe physical or emotional trauma such as a sexual assault, natural disaster, or serious accident. Those with PTSD feel intensely upsetting thoughts and emotions connected to their traumatic experience that persist long after the situation happened.

What are PTSD symptoms?

The symptoms of PTSD can be categorized into four areas.

Intrusion – repeated, unwanted thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks of the event

 

Avoidance – steering clear of people, places, activities, and objects that are associated with the event.

 

Changes in cognition and mood – loss of interest, distorted thinking, difficulties concentrating, loss of certain memories, negative emotions, hypervigilance, social withdrawal, and anhedonia.

Changes in behavior – social withdrawal, anger outbursts, recklessness, sensitive startle response, problems sleeping.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder involves excessive discomfort in social situations and a fear of experiencing embarrassment, judgment, humiliation, condescension, or rejection in social situations that can negatively impact work, school, and other daily activities. People with this disorder will try to avoid social situations or endure them with great anxiety.

What are commonly feared situations for those with social anxiety?

Commonly feared situations include attending parties, interacting at work, eating in public, or engaging in unscripted interactions.

What are common Social Anxiety symptoms?

  • Trembling

  • Blushing

  • Sweating

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Mind goes blank

  • Stomachache

  • Speaks very softly

  • Avoids eye contact

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Separation Anxiety Disorder is is characterized by excessive fear of being away from those we are close to, who are also called attachment persons.

What are signs of Separation Anxiety Disorder?

  • Anticipation of potential separation causes mounting fear

  • Persistent worry about the negative consequences resulting from separation

  • Obsessive focus on the multitude of situations that could lead to separation

  • Interferes with attending important activities, like work or school

  • Fears of sleeping outside the home and away from attachment persons

  • Nightmares about separation

  • Headaches, nausea, or vomiting

What is Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism is a rare and debilitating childhood condition that involves a failure to speak in certain situations in which there is a natural expectation to speak. A child may talk at home, for example, and be nonverbal at school. The absence of spoken communication can significantly interfere with the child’s academic achievement and can stunt their social development and the formation of relationships with others. It is theorized that Selective Mutism may be an early and specific manifestation of Social Anxiety Disorder.

What are behaviors associated with Selective Mutism?

  • Clinginess

  • Temper Tantrums

  • Excessive Shyness

  • Social Isolation

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