Did you know that Agoraphobia is not a fear of open spaces as commonly believed?

Fear starts in the part of the brain called the amygdala. Smithsonian Magazine states, “A threat stimulus, such as the sight of a predator, triggers a fear response in the amygdala, activating areas involved in motor functions implicated in fight or flight. The self is the root of all fear. To inhibit or suppress fear is not to transcend it; its cause must be self-discovered, understood, and dissolved. Humans can “learn” new sources of fear and anxiety through a process called Pavlovian conditioning, where adverse or harmful outcomes, especially repeated ones, make us fear the cues of those possible outcomes.

Interesting fact:

Did you know that Agoraphobia is not a fear of open spaces as commonly believed? It’s a fear where people avoid places that may cause them to panic. Essentially they avoid situations that leave them feeling trapped, helpless, and/or ashamed or embarrassed. Many people develop Agoraphobia after panic attacks because they fear further attacks and want to avoid where they happen.

Here are the top 10 fears that hold people back in life

  1. Change. We live in an ever-changing world, which is occurring more rapidly than ever. 
  2. Loneliness. 
  3. Failure. 
  4. Rejection. 
  5. Uncertainty. 
  6. Doom. 
  7. Getting Hurt. 
  8. Being Judged.

Ten ways to fight your fears

  1. Take time out. It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with fear or anxiety. 
  2. Breathe through panic. 
  3. Face your fears. 
  4. Imagine the worst, but only for twenty minutes. 
  5. Look at the evidence. 
  6. Don’t try to be perfect. 
  7. Visualize a happy place. 
  8. Talk about it.
  9. Go back to basics.
  10. Reward yourself.

The AWARE technique.

Fear and anxiety can feel like they ‘just happen to us, but we have much more control than we realize. AWARE is an acronym standing for:

A: Accept the anxiety. Don’t try to fight it.

W: Watch the anxiety. Watch and scale your fear level and start to breathe longer on the out-breath when you notice it.

A: Stands for ‘Act normal. Carry on talking or behaving as if nothing is different. This sends a powerful signal to your unconscious mind that its over-dramatic response is unnecessary because nothing unusual is happening. Like firefighters coming out and seeing that no emergency is happening and so go back to the fire station.

R: Repeat the above steps in your mind if necessary.

E: Expect the best. One of the greatest feelings in life is the realization that you can control fear much more than you thought possible.

Overcoming fear and anxiety will give you the spare capacity in life to focus on what you really want to be and do. It takes effort, but imagine the rewards.

“How amazing would it be to find that the unknown also holds the keys to your own liberation? The thing we fear the most may, in fact, lead us down the path of freedom with the proper guidance and support.”

Talkspace therapist Ashley Ertel, LCSW, BCD

WE&P by: EZorrilla.

2 responses to “Did you know that Agoraphobia is not a fear of open spaces as commonly believed?”

  1. Thank you. I have a fear of crowded waiting rooms and places where I feel trapped. I will mention it to my therapist. Thank you for including the DBT exercise along with the article, looks like it could help me.

    1. Catch the Words Avatar
      Catch the Words

      You are welcome, and thank you. I am glad you found something.
      Best wishes.