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Fear of open spaces, also known as agoraphobia , is essentially an abnormal fear of leaving a safe place and being defenseless. Despite the already commonplace nature of this term and its presence as a diagnosis in the ICD, this is just a syndrome, a set of symptoms.
Therefore, to accurately understand how to deal with this phobia, it is necessary to determine a more complete clinical picture and establish the “true” diagnosis behind it. In mild ” neurotic cases “(i.e., symptoms as a consequence of internal contradictions and traumatic experiences), evidence – based behavioral therapy is indicated-exposure with avoidance prevention (EPI).
This is when the patient is gradually or sometimes “in one fell swoop” placed in a frightening situation and voluntarily refuses to run away from it or get rid of anxiety in it. As you experience the experience of being in intimidating circumstances without experiencing any significant troubles, the learned associations are rearranged, and the anxiety subsides naturally, after which it does not return.
There is, however, agoraphobia on the background of more severe conditions, schizophrenia, for example. In these cases, they look at the situation-sometimes EPI is also effective, sometimes only medication will help.
It is important to understand what caused this problem. Since this is protection. And if you remove it, you need to build a new behavior strategy. It is also important to understand what fear of open spaces is and work with its acceptance.
The fear of open spaces goes away as soon as you allow yourself to live deeper and wider. Express yourself fully, live any feelings, do not divide emotions into negative and positive. If you want to run, run, show aggression, show yourself as you are.
It is very difficult to go to therapy on your own. Most importantly, “do not pick the wound”, do not consciously set yourself up for fear in such situations.
And then in therapy, you need to look at what this fear is based on and remove it.
You just need to gradually increase the area of open spaces so that there is no abrupt transition. In life, you get used to everything gradually. And the fear of open spaces in the same number.
At this point, you don't need to mentally frighten yourself when you find yourself in an open space where you feel unprotected – just try not to think about the bad things. You can take someone with you so that it is not so scary to be in such places and, believe me, this fear will go away by itself with time 🙏 🏼 You know that most of the world is just open space, and there are so many interesting things in the world. Alternatively, to overcome this fear, go on a small trip and see how beautiful the world is and that you don't need to be afraid of open spaces)
Good luck to you! Everything will be fine for you!
To overcome the fear of open spaces-agorabophia-you can use the methods of cognitive behavioral therapy, namely the method of systematic desensitization. At the same time, the therapist together with you examines your phobia in detail, describes the functions that it performs in your life, the significance that it has, as well as “safety behavior” – techniques that you use to cope with the phobia (using a talisman, going out into the open with someone by the hand, etc.). Then, together with you, the therapist creates a program of exercises in which the level of difficulty gradually increases.: you do not overcome your phobia all at once, but start with some easy step, but gradually take more and more difficult steps for you. Overcoming a phobia is a simple process of learning and developing a skill. Good luck!
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