Panic disorder with agoraphobia is a fairly common type of anxiety disorder. Normally, the anxious person starts by developing a relatively mild anxiety disorder. Next, anxiety’s fears work their way into the sufferer’s life far enough that he starts to experience panic attacks.
Panic attacks usually come out of nowhere and are totally unexpected. This is especially true of the first few attacks. After that, their horror brings the sufferer to the point where he is always on the lookout for them. He is always anticipating when the next one will occur and where he will be when it occurs. It is being on the lookout for panic attacks that often creates them. If the sufferer didn’t fear them he woulodn’t be looking out for them. Being fearful welcomes panic.
Naturally, because of his great fear of these panic attacks, he will avoid doing things he believes causes their coming and he avoids places he feels will bring them on. Of course, there is no sense in doing these things but a panic attack sufferer is so intent upon avoiding panic attacks, he will do anything to stave them off; even if the things he is doing to try to stave them off are illogical or even unadvised.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety driven illness where the sufferer avoids going to certain places because he fears this place will bring on a panic attack. When let to go on indefinitely, the agoraphobia sufferer will never leave his home because eventually he will fear visiting anywhere because of the possibility all places outside his home will bring on a panic attack.
This is a common progression for agoraphobia. In technical terms, agoraphobia means “fear of the marketplace.” However, agoraphobia describes a condition where a person tries to beat panic by avoiding certain places.
To unwind the progression that leads to agoraphobia, the patient must learn it is trying to avoid panic that is making his life so unbearable. So, it follows the key to the curing the panic attacks is to take a few panic attacks right on the chin, so to speak. In fact, the sufferer should let the panic come to him without trying to dodge it.
After that, he can actually go to places he feels will bring on a panic attack. By doing this he will be chasing after panic and as he does, he will actually be chasing panic away!