Agoraphobia - Anxiety / Panic - Depression - OCD - Depersonalization - Schizophrenia
The term agoraphobia has been widely misunderstood. Its literal definition suggests a fear of "open spaces". However, this is an incomplete and misleading view. Agoraphobics are not necessarily afraid of open spaces. Rather, they are afraid of having panicky feelings, wherever. these fearful feelings may occur. For many, they happen at home, in houses of worship, or in crowded supermarkets, places that are certainly not "open".
In fact, agoraphobia is a condition which develops when a person begins to avoid spaces or situations associated with anxiety. Typical "phobic situations" might include driving, shopping, crowded places, traveling, standing in line, being alone, meetings and social gatherings.
Agoraphobia arises; from an internal anxiety condition that has become so intense that the suffering individual fears going anywhere or doing anything where these feelings of panic have repeatedly occurred before. Once the panic attacks have started, these episodes become the ongoing stress, even when other more obvious pressures have diminished. This sets up a "feedback condition" which generally leads to increased numbers of panic attacks and, for some people, an increase in the situations or events which can produce panicky feelings. Others experience fearful feelings continuously, more a feeling of overall. discomfort, rather than panic.
A person may fear having anxiety attacks, "losing control", or embarrassing him/herself in such situations. Many people remain in a painful state of anxious anticipation because of these fears. Some become restricted or "housebound" while others function "normally" but with great difficulty, often attempting to hide their discomfort.
Agoraphobia, then, is both a severe anxiety condition and a phobia, as well as a pattern of avoidant behavior.
Yes I used someone else's definition. It was the one I agree with most having suffered from agoraphobia myself. It can be found at:
Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Everyone in the world has anxiety to some extreme. If its stressful at work at funerals and major events....chances are its normal anxiety. Anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to interrupts your normal life. Ex. Scared to go to work, the mall or grocery shopping. Or you can do the shopping but can't stand the lines. Anxiety can be measured on a scale from one to ten. "Normal" people go through out their day at an average 2-5 on the scale. People with 'high anxiety' or General Anxiety Disorder may tend to run a little higher on the scale on a regular basis. This is where panic attacks come in. If your limit for anxiety is 8 and you reach a 9 or 10 your going to have a Panic Attack. Panic attacks are very terrifying, though its important to realize that your not going to die from it. They usually pass in 15 min or so but can on occasion last longer. It all depends on how you and your body react to stress. For more information on anxiety and panic visit my links site at:
Depression is a disturbance in mood, thought, and body characterized by varying degrees of sadness, disappointment, loneliness, hopelessness, self-doubt, and guilt. Most people tend to feel depressed at one time or another; some people may experience these feelings more frequently or with deeper, more lasting effects. In some cases, depression can last for months or even years. The most common type of depression, "feeling blue" or "being in a bad mood" is usually brief in duration and has minimal or slight effect on normal, everyday activities. In the next level of depression, symptoms are more intense and last for a longer period of time. Daily activities become more difficult but the individual is still able to cope with them. However, feelings of hopelessness can become so intense that suicide may seem the only solution. In severe depression a person may experience extreme fluctuations in moods or even a complete withdrawal from daily routine and/or the outside world.
(obsessive compulsive disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a neurobiological illness, classified as an anxiety disorder. the individual with OCD experiences and attempts to suppress recurrent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety or discomfort. Ritualistic behaviors (compulsions) follow and are performed to neutralize and prevent this unease, though the relief is only of a temporary nature. The person realizes that the obsessions are a product of his or her own mind and that the behavior is excessive or unreasonable. Compulsions may consist of mental rituals only, and therefore may be unnoticed by others. Until the illness becomes moderate to severe, the compulsions are often done secretively or are well disguised, so that the person's closest associates are not aware of them. Generally the person feels that he/she is going 'crazy', feels ashamed, and fears telling others about it.
Depersonalization means that things around you become strange, unreal, foggy, or detached from you. Said one patient: II feel I'm in another world. It's like I know I'm there, but I'm really not. I feel removed from the situation I'm in. I feel like I'm in another dimension-like a hollow or vacuum-outside the situation I'm in. It's like watching the whole thing from a distance." And another felt "like I was looking at everything through the wrong end of a telescope-it seemed to get more distant and smaller. Sometimes the opposite would happen and everything would feel closer and larger. One day I was going to cross the street and I got this feeling. I felt that if I stepped off the sidewalk, I would sink into a deep abyss and never make it to the other side of the street, it seemed so far away."
Disclaimer: I am not a professional and I share what I have learned. But, don't just take one persons advice, do your research and consult your doctor