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Agoraphobia

Brief presentation on Agoraphobia

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Agoraphobia

  1. 1. Agoraphobia Presented by: Telima Olungwe
  2. 2. Definition: • Agoraphobia is the fear of being alone in public places or being in a situation from which one either cannot escape or from which escaping would be difficult or humiliating.
  3. 3. Incidence • Agoraphobia ranges from <1%- 7% of the population
  4. 4. Aetiology • There are a number of theories about what can cause agoraphobia such as: – A secondary development to panic attacks due to apprehension about having subsequent attacks in public places where escape my be difficult • 50-70% of these patients have a coexisting panic disorder. – A reaction to internal emotional conflicts. – Genetic or familial factors of inheritance.
  5. 5. Agoraphobia & Panic Attacks • It is theorized that a person who suffers multiple panic attacks in multiple public settings tends to develop a progressive and more general fear of public places – Example:
  6. 6. Clinical Findings/Symptoms • Symptoms of agoraphobia include: – Anxiety – Subsequent avoidance of being in a situation in which one will have a panic attack, when in a situation from which escape is not possible, or is difficult or embarrassing. – When associated with panic attacks, symptoms may involve intense fear, disorientation, rapid heart beat, dizziness, or diarrhea.
  7. 7. Diagnosis & DSM-IV criteria • The following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of agoraphobia: 1. Anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or in which help would not be readily available in the event of a panic attack. 2. The situations are either avoided, endured with severe distress, or faced only with the presence of a companion. 3. These symptoms cannot be better explained by another mental disorder.
  8. 8. Treatment • SSRI (1st line treatment), beta blockers, benzodiazepines • Behavioral therapy (psychotherapy) • Treating coexisting panic disorder.
  9. 9. References • Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne, and Melissa C. Stoppler. "Agoraphobia - MedicineNet."MedicineNet. N.p., 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. <http://www.medicinenet.com/agoraphobia/article.htm>.

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