How is agoraphobia treated?
Our online doctors are here to help you overcome agoraphobia.
Once they’ve assessed the impact your symptoms have on your life and discover the possible causes for your agoraphobia, they can recommend the most appropriate treatment. This will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve been suffering from agoraphobia.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common treatment options.
Our doctors can refer you to a mental health expert who will provide in-depth treatment for your agoraphobia. Talking to a professional can help you to think differently about your symptoms and form a plan to deal with them when they arise.
The most common forms of talking therapy are counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT usually consists of weekly one-hour sessions with a therapist, which you’ll usually attend for around 4-8 weeks.
The sessions won’t ‘cure’ your agoraphobia, but you’ll learn how to change the way you respond to agoraphobia triggers and develop a coping strategy for your symptoms.
Our doctors may decide that medication is the best option for you. You’ll be prescribed medication to lower your anxiety, usually a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This is a form of antidepressant that has proved useful in treating anxiety disorders too.
The doctor will usually recommend a follow-up consultation in 1-2 weeks to check that your medication is working.
Before you begin taking any medication, it’s important that you understand the potential side effects. Common side effects associated with SSRIs include nausea, headaches, low sex drive, digestive problems, sweating and shaking, although these will usually fade once your body adjusts to the medication.
How to take your medication
You must also make sure you take your medication exactly as instructed by the doctor. They will provide you with a dosing schedule and the amount of medicine you should take in each dose. If you miss a dose, don’t take a double dose to ‘catch up’, as this could put your health at risk.
Importantly, you shouldn’t stop taking your medication if you notice your agoraphobia symptoms are getting better. Stopping any mental health medication suddenly could mean the condition comes back. Our doctors can provide a schedule that’ll help you stop taking your SSRIs gradually.
In severe cases, our doctors may prescribe medication alongside a talking therapy to try and bring your anxiety problems under control.
Collecting your prescription
Once our doctor has provided you with a prescription, our team will find a pharmacy in your local area that stocks the medicine you need. We’ll then send you a message when your medicine is ready to collect.
Find out more about how our prescription service works here.
Learn self-help techniques
For some people, making a few lifestyle changes and learning how to respond to symptoms is enough to help them live a normal life with their agoraphobia.
One of the key techniques our online doctors can discuss with you is how to keep control if you feel a panic attack coming on.
From controlling your breathing to thinking positive thoughts, there are ways to combat a panic attack and stop it from overwhelming you. Ask the doctor about this if you’d like to know more.