Agoraphobia and social anxiety are types of anxiety disorders
Socially anxious people fear being embarrassed or judged
Agoraphobia is the fear or avoidance of certain situations or places
Mental illness has been on the rise worldwide with a 13% increase in the last decade . A 2017 study estimated active mental health disorders in about 792 million adults . Anxiety and depression were the most commonly found mental disorders.
Anxiety disorders can be of various types, some of which are related to phobias. Agoraphobia and social anxiety are two such types of phobias . However, these two conditions are often mistaken for each other. Read on to find out more their symptoms and treatments.
Additional read: Anxiety and Ways of Managing it
Agoraphobia is fear, anxiety, or avoidance of situations or places such as those listed below.
The fear and anxiety felt by those with agoraphobia are not in line with the actual risk as experienced by others. Agoraphobics often experience the given symptoms.
Agoraphobia treatment involves psychotherapy, anti-anxiety and antidepressant medicine, and alternative medication. You can manage it with lifestyle changes such as quitting alcohol, drugs, and caffeine and having a nutritious diet . You can also do breathing exercises and work out regularly.
Also known as social phobia, this is a condition where a person fears being embarrassed or judged by others. It is a feeling of overwhelming worry and self-consciousness in social situations.
Here are some common social anxiety symptoms.
People facing social anxiety usually avoid going to parties, interacting with strangers, or starting conversations. Similar to agoraphobia, social anxiety treatment includes psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Doctors also prescribe medications including antidepressants and beta blockers. You may also depend on alternative medicine.
Those with agoraphobia and social anxiety often resort to the use of alcohol and other substances to cope. Panic attacks are also common to both agoraphobia and social anxiety. A panic attack is a feeling of sudden fear along with increased heart rate, breathlessness, and nausea without any cause. You are diagnosed with panic attacks when you experience recurring attacks and when you worry about more to come in the future. Those having panic attacks on a regular basis are at a risk of developing agoraphobia and social anxiety. Social anxiety and panic attacks may also occur together.
The difference between anxiety and panic attacks is also important to know. Those with panic disorder experience severe anxiety attacks along with physical symptoms. In contrast, those with social anxiety experience intense anxiety in social situations. For such people, anxiety is fear and not a physical or medical condition .
A person with agoraphobia fears losing control or having anxiety attacks in a particular situation. An individual with social anxiety worries about embarrassment, judgment, and rejection in a social situation. Although both types of phobias lead to avoiding situations, the reasons for the avoidance differ.
Additional read: Coping With Anxiety During the Pandemic
Agoraphobia and social anxiety can thus keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. Such types of mental illnesses are damaging to your overall health. So, address these conditions early and do all you can to help those dealing with them. An effective way to address such phobias is to book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way, you or loved ones can get help from the comfort of home. Consult with professionals near you to get the best agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder treatment.