Learn something new every day More Info... by email
The fear of going outside, known as agoraphobia, can cause isolation and despair among its sufferers. A person who has a fear of going outside is at risk of negatively affecting personal relationships, career, and mental well-being. The anxiety associated with going outside into the world can cause a person to become withdrawn, isolated, depressed, and even suicidal, so it is important to treat a fear of going outside before these negative effects become too serious. Professional help from a doctor is almost certainly necessary, possibly including medication.
So many different routines, locations, or events can cause a fear of going outside that it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. Stress at work can build up and lead to a fear of going outside; a person who associates the source of his or her stress with the outside world may make changes to avoid that world altogether, and since the workplace is such a common cause of stress and anxiety, sometimes the root cause of the fear of going outside starts there. Traumatic events can also trigger agoraphobia, and people who experience such events may become reclusive, eventually leading to agoraphobia.The first step in countering agoraphobia is to recognize where the fear originates, and understanding the root cause.
Abuse or bullying can cause anxiety in some sufferers. This may trigger a fear of being exposed in public, and the sufferer may seek out a safe zone, most likely at home or in a certain room within the home. If the sufferer leaves that safe zone, he or she may experience a panic attack or a sense of extreme discomfort or fear. The sufferer may be worried about his or her own physical well-being, but just as often, he or she worries about being insulted or ridiculed for his or her behavior.
The longer the fear of going outside goes untreated, the more likely it is that the fear will become worse. Such isolation can lead to, or be caused by, personality disorders that must be diagnosed and treated by a professional. A combination of therapy and medication can often lead to successes in overcoming agoraphobia, and treatment should be sought immediately after the first symptoms are recognized. Hypnotherapy has also been used to help treat agoraphobia, though the technique is considered controversial and unproven. Anti-depressants can treat depression, sometimes consequently lessening the severity of agoraphobia.