Agoraphobia & How it Relates to Addiction

agoraphobia can make you antisocialDuring strict quarantine and shelter-in-place measures, many people may find themselves anxious at the thought of leaving their homes. Is this anxiety pandemic-related, or is it from Agoraphobia? For some people, it could be both.

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that makes it difficult for people to leave their homes or places where they feel safe. It is a protective strategy that can severely limit the ability to socialize, work, and participate in daily life.

Signs of Agoraphobia

Those who suffer from Agoraphobia, the intense fear of leaving their home or other safe places may exhibit these symptoms:

  • The inability to leave safe places without immediate anxiety
  • Fear of crowded, excessively open, or enclosed spaces
  • Panic attacks only occur outside secure areas
  • Avoidance of public places
  • Inability to leave the house alone

If you or someone you know is overwhelmed by fear and anxiety when it comes to leaving home or designated safe places, it may be time to seek treatment.

Agoraphobia and Addiction

Those who have Agoraphobia have a high risk of addiction. To cope with the feelings of stress and anxiety associated with the disorder, some people turn to drugs or alcohol for temporary relief. The need to self-medicate can eventually lead to a heightened sense of anxiety and drug dependence later.

When using drugs or alcohol as a crutch in social situations or to feel better when leaving home, individuals build a tolerance for drugs or alcohol and could experience withdrawal symptoms. A common side effect of drug or alcohol use is anxiety, which leads to a negative cycle between the two disorders.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Agoraphobia can lead to substance use disorder and vice versa. Those who suffer from fear of leaving safe places could use drugs or alcohol to cope, and those who misuse drugs or alcohol may seek comfort in their homes, potentially leading to Agoraphobia.

Individuals should look to a rehab facility, like Olympia House Rehab, that can treat both disorders simultaneously. It is essential to learn new skills and coping mechanisms to manage stress and alleviate symptoms.

Treatment typically includes group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, medications, and more. For co-occurring disorders, it is crucial to treat both the mental and substance use disorders. Detox and medication-assisted treatment are available to assist.

Recovery

If you or a loved one is suffering from Agoraphobia and a co-occurring disorder such as alcohol addiction, Olympia House Rehab can help. Please reach out today and begin your journey to a life free of drug or alcohol dependence and anxiety.