Many people are anxious about going outside thanks, to the pandemic. At the time of writing, it’s been ten months since the 1st lockdown, and we’re used to being told to stay indoors. As a result, more people are likely to be suffering from agoraphobia. 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

The NHS defines agoraphobia as “A fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong.”*

Some people assume that agoraphobia is a fear of being in open spaces. However, it’s actually a lot more complex than this. A person with agoraphobia could be scared of:

  • Leaving home
  • Using public transport 
  • Visiting a shopping centre

If someone is in a stressful situation, they can experience some or all of the symptoms of a panic attack. This can cause them to avoid any situation which could make them anxious. 

Some people might only leave the house when they are with their partner or friend. Others might choose to order their groceries online as it makes them feel less anxious. This is known as avoidant behaviour. 

(You can find more information about the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis of agoraphobia here.)

Treating Agoraphobia 

If you feel strong enough to work on your agoraphobia you will need to be prepared to make some lifestyle changes. These changes include exercising regularly and avoiding drinks that contain caffeine. You should also avoid alcohol or drugs. 

The next time you’re feeling panicky, please try to focus on anything that isn’t threatening. Try to focus on something visible. Take slow, deep breaths and concentrate on something positive. 

 

A good way to control your breathing is to sing. You can sing quietly to yourself if you’re feeling conscious. When you start to sing, you have more control over your breathing, and you can start to feel a little better. 

If you don’t respond to these techniques, please speak to your doctor. 

You can find mental health support in Barlby or wherever you live. Support from local groups can help you to feel less alone. It can also help you to deal with your agoraphobia and make those much-needed changes.

Please be kind to yourself. The pandemic has made most of us feel more anxious than usual. If you’re struggling, please ask your doctor for help. 

 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk

*NHS (2018). “Agoraphobia”. Available at www.nhs.co.uk/conditions/agoraphobia/ (Accessed: 27th January 2021).