Fear of open spaces (agoraphobia) – clinic, diagnosis

Fear of open spaces (agoraphobia) – clinic, diagnosis

Synonyms of agoraphobia: fear of open spaces

Definition Fear of open spaces, crowds of people, traveling alone or avoiding a phobic situation

Epidemiology of agoraphobia. The prevalence of about 5%, onset at the age of 28 years; in women occurs 2 times more often than in men

Classification. Agoraphobia without panic disorder / Panic disorder with agoraphobia in history (ICD-10 – F40.00 / F40.01)

Main symptoms: – Panic fear of large crowds of people, public places, queues, shops; travel with a neurosis of waiting
– Fear of dizziness, fainting, heart attack, loss of control
– Consequences: evading behavior, social isolation Diagnosis of fear of open spaces:
– The emergence of fear is accompanied by the appearance of vegetative and mental symptoms (heartbeat, excessive sweating, tremor, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fear of “losing control” over the situation) – Avoiding the above situations

Differential diagnosis: – Fears of organic etiology – Depression – Psychotic disorders – Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Treatment of fear of open spaces: – Behavioral therapy (imitation / confrontation with an irritant (exposure)) – Short courses of alprazolam (0.5-2 mg)

Current / Forecast of Agoraphobia: – Chronic – Social isolation with marked fear of expectation and avoidance behavior

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