If you are looking for a simple definition of agoraphobia, then this condition can be described as fear of open spaces. But, agoraphobia is a much more complex. In the past, most experts thought that agoraphobia was a severe type of social anxiety, but recent scientific studies have shown that almost all individuals dealing with agoraphobia also experience panic disorders and attacks. In other words, agoraphobia is the fear of being present in a situation or place where the patient doesn’t feel secure and safe or where they feel trapped which makes them experience agoraphobia attacks and urge to go away to a safe zone which is in most cases their own home. Untreated agoraphobia can lead to avoiding things that may lead to panic attacks. Individuals with agoraphobia are trying to stay at home as much as they can or go outside only in places that they know. So, it is not a surprise that vacationing is such a complex activity for most agoraphobia sufferers. So, how exactly can someone affected by agoraphobia go on vacation?
Fear related to traveling is the reason why about 10% of the population avoids going abroad on vacation. Many of these people are suffering from agoraphobia. But, the fact is that you can still enjoy vacationing even if you have agoraphobia because there are simple and fast ways to overcome this mental blockade.
First of all, you don’t have to travel to the other part of the world. Start by visiting a resort in your own country or in a neighboring country. As we have already mentioned, people dealing with agoraphobia are feeling the first symptoms of agoraphobia panic attack when they realize that they are far from their home. They believe that they can be safe only in their homes. After that, you can start working on expanding your comfort zone.
The fact is that every place is safe and you can feel comfortable almost in any place if you make your mind think positively. Every holiday destination is organized in a way that makes people more relaxed and happy, so if everything is alright with the tourists they should feel even better than when they are at home.
People must realize that panic attacks can’t put their lives at risk. Experiencing a panic attacks is the same when you are at home or one some isolated beach. Some people may say that such isolated places are dangerous because there are no hospitals, no police, no safety, but let’s think about the previous cases of panic attacks. Did you call a doctor? Were they so difficult and you felt that you are going to die? Certainly not.
Agoraphobia and agoraphobia panic attacks are something that is going on in our head. We are overwhelmed with irrational thoughts. In order to avoid problems like this we must identify the cause and start a treatment. The most common signs and symptoms of agoraphobia are fear of public transport, crowds and losing control while you are outside your home and staying in an imaginary safe zone.
Obviously, most agoraphobic persons will tell you that going on a vacation is not a smart move because there are tons of bad things that can happen when they are far from their home. But, this is not true. A good vacation will help you relax and get rid of anxiety and stress. For those who didn’t know, these are some of the main triggers of agoraphobia along with past experiences, genetics and problems with the nervous system. So, think about this as some kind of advantage. You will eliminate most of the triggers.
Another thing that can make your vacationing easier even if you are dealing with agoraphobia and/or panic attacks is to make a plan. You must analyze the accommodation and the location of your room/apartment before you actually go there. This advice is useful for any person going on vacation. It is good to know what amenities you have and to prepare yourself well for a smooth vacation. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should spend days thinking about every detail and making hourly plans for every day spent outside your home because in this way you will only increase the tension and chances of experiencing another attack.
As you can see, vacationing when you suffer from agoraphobia or severe panic attacks is difficult, but not impossible. Agoraphobia is a condition that can be cured and the faster you start the treatment the better.