Avoiding Triggering Situations
Patients with agoraphobia will often avoid triggering situations, even when this has a definite impact on their day-to-day life and ability to function. They might avoid social situations they’d otherwise enjoy, or they might avoid public transportation so staunchly that it invokes great time or monetary costs. In severe cases, individuals with agoraphobia might experience fear so severe that it interferes with their ability to keep a job or leave the house at all. It can be difficult to treat agoraphobia because treatment requires a person to face triggering situations. However, effective treatment allows a patient to face their fears in a controlled environment, which in turn allows them to create positive associations with the normally triggering circumstances. A sign of agoraphobia is individuals having specific situations or circumstances they avoid because of the fears of being trapped or helpless when they panic. If individuals brave the triggering situation, they may be extremely distressed during the experience in a way that is disproportionate to normal levels of fear.
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