Critical Thinking

Disease provoking factors, patients’ genetics and often runs

Disease condition name: Agoraphobia

Also Known As:

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Pronounced As: ag-er-uh-foh-bee-uh/?h?p ??ta? t?s/

One Line Description: It’s is an anxiety disorder that causes intense fear of
places a person can’t escape e.g.
crowded places

Short description:  
·        
Causes:
Thought to be caused by anxiety provoking factors, patients’ genetics
and often runs in families.
·        
Symptoms:
Extreme fear of
open spaces, fear of crowded places, distress when enduring a certain
situation, fear of traveling
·        
Treatment
Benzodiazepines,
antidepressants, psychotherapy

Highlights:

 

Fact

 

Sample Value example

Comments

How common
it is

Rare.

 

 

Common Stats
(US)

1% of the
population

 

 

Is
Treatable

treatment
from medical professional advised.

 

 

Is
Diagnosis required

Can usually
be self-diagnosed

 

Is
Lab test or Imaging required

diagnosis
doesn’t require lab test or imaging.

 

 

Time,
it takes to cure

can last
several years or be lifelong.
 

 

 

Is
Vaccine Available

no vaccine
available.

 

Does
it spread & how

not known to
be contagious.

 

 

Age

common for ages 18-35.

 

 

Gender

more common
in females.

 

Can
it be fatal/deadly (prognosis)

not believed
to be life threatening

 

Is
it hereditary

family
history may increase likelihood

 

 

Does
it need emergency attention

urgent
medical attention recommended.

 

 

Other fact 1-

 

 

 

Other fact 2-

 

 

 

More details  

Agoraphobia
is thought to be a complication of panic disorder.
It begins mostly
in young adults from age 20. Prevalence in women is twice as in men
The syndrome commonly
occurs together with social and generalized anxiety disorders.

Symptoms:

Symptoms
of phobia in agoraphobia usually lasts for more than 6 months and include

Extreme fear of open spaces
Excessive fear of crowded places
The patient becomes distressed
when enduring a certain event
Panic attack symptoms such as
dizziness, dyspnea, sweating, chest pain, palpitations

Causes:

Agoraphobia is thought to be a culmination
of anxiety-provoking events from the
environment and genetic factors.
Agoraphobia often runs through families.

How it doesn’t
spread:

 

N/A

Diagnosis:

Differential diagnosis is done
to rule out other anxiety disorders e.g.
ruling out symptoms due to medicine or other drugs.
Diagnosis mainly involve:

Examination by a psychiatrist
is the most common

Physical examination to
rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms

Treatments:
Treatment
aims at desensitizing the excessive phobia. Psychological therapy is one of
the most effective
I.    
Medication

·        
Antidepressants e.g. fluoxetine
·        
Anti-anxiety drugs e.g. diazepam
II.   Surgery / Medical Procedures
III. Self-Care
Enroll in self-help programs
Avoid alcohol and caffeine beverages
IV.Therapies
·        
Cognitive
behavioral therapy
A
psychiatrist helps the patient to gain the ability to tolerate anxiety

Prevention

There’s no sure way of preventing
agoraphobia. However early treatment may prevent progression of the disease.

Food to eat &
Avoid

Foods to eat
·        
Foods rich in
omega-3- fatty acids e.g. salmon fish
·        
Chamomile tea
reduces anxiety
·        
Vitamin B rich
foods e.g. legumes and oranges reduce
anxiety
Foods to avoid
·        
Products containing caffeine e.g. tea and coffee
·        
Alcohol worsens anxiety
·        
Processed and refined foods e.g. bacon, hot dogs

Specialist that one should meet if they have this condition:  

Psychiatrist

Specializes in mental disorders and is involved in diagnosis and
treatment of agoraphobia.

Complications: 

Depression occurs in long term
agoraphobia that isn’t managed
Personality disorders

Questions to ask your Doctor

·        
What
causes agoraphobia?
·        
Is
it hereditary?
·        
Is
it curable?
·        
How
long is the treatment duration?
·        
Do
I need to see a specialist?
·        
What
are the complications of agoraphobia?
·        
What
dietary changes can I make to reduce symptoms?

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