Some of the home remedies for agoraphobia include the use of herbs, such as chamomile, kava, skullcap, valerian, lavender, St. John’s Wort, and passionflower, as well as behavioral treatments like hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques, and the avoidance of substances like caffeine and illicit drugs.
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What is Agoraphobia?
This is a commonly misunderstood condition that is usually called a “fear of public places”. In truth, it is actually a combination of different panic attacks of varying severity that results in a generalized fear of crowded areas or extremely open environments. There is a link between panic disorders and panic attacks that can result in a claustrophobic fear of leaving any “safe space”, often meaning that they are unable to leave their home without suffering an attack. They become extremely uncomfortable or feel that the situation they are in is dangerous, making them desperate to get back to the place they feel is safe.
Agoraphobia affects approximately 3.5 million people in the United States, which is about 2% of the population. There are a number of home remedies that can reduce the symptoms of agoraphobia and even reduce the chances of an attack from happening. There are plenty of pharmaceutical treatments and allopathic remedies, including SSRI inhibitors and anti-anxiety medications, but they come with their own side effects.
Natural remedies for agoraphobia are often the best choice, since they can be easily taken at home, and are often less stressful or anxiety-inducing than having to see doctors, fill prescriptions, and constantly think about the condition. Obsessive compulsive disorders, separation anxiety, post traumatic stress disorders, and a variety of other anxiety conditions are closely connected to agoraphobia, so making treatment as easy as possible is always a better choice. It is important to diagnose the anxiety conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorders before using the home remedies.
Home Remedies for Agoraphobia
Chamomile tea is often used to reduce stress and anxiety of all levels. It is rich in certain flavonoids and is also known as a sedative and nervine agent, meaning that it soothes the hormonal fluctuations and nervous functions that characterize agoraphobia. Chamomile can help you relax and ease muscle tension, lowering your chance of having an attack when a person suffering from agoraphobia gets into a “trigger” situation.
This little known shrub is native to Polynesia and the roots and rhizomes are commonly used as sedative agents for people with anxiety issues. The effects of kava are so strong that doctors compare the effects to benzodiazepines, which are very powerful pharmaceuticals. Do not use kava as a treatment if you are on any other allopathic treatment, but as a natural treatment, it is one of the best. Use of kava is banned/restricted in many countries, so consult your health specialist before use.
This vine found in North America is very useful in treating agoraphobia because the chemical components in the plant bind to serotonin receptors, controlling the stress response of the body and lowering anxiety. Like kava, however, passion flower has a powerful effect, just like an SSRI, so do not combine this natural treatment with any other pharmaceutical treatments.
This herb strengthens the nervous system by regulating nervous responses and also reducing inflammatory effects throughout the body. Skullcap makes for a more balanced and manageable stress response system.
This is an extremely popular treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. In terms of agoraphobia, valerian root can bind with the benzodiazepine receptors in the body, which makes it like natural Valium, without the other side effects. This is an easy-to-use solution for agoraphobia that can help bring you back into the wide world without fear and panic.
This popular herb and essential oil is very useful for reducing the effects of agoraphobia. Lavender’s organic compounds actually inhibit the production and release of cortisol in the body, making it very good at slowing the stress response and eliminating panic attacks. Those suffering from agoraphobia can drink lavender tea or try aromatherapy with lavender essential oil to see if it has positive effects on their behavior and emotions.
St. John’s Wort
When it comes to calming the body and nervous system, St. John’s Wort can be a wonderful and widely available option. This herb decreases the levels of norepinephrine in the body, which means that the stress response system is dramatically managed and kept under control, thereby decreasing feelings of panic and anxiety, allowing agoraphobics to live relatively normal lives.
In terms of behavioral treatments for agoraphobia, hypnosis has shown some benefit. While the therapeutic efficacy of hypnosis is still under great debate, research has shown that in terms of behavior modification and anxiety disorders, hypnotherapy can help the body respond more appropriately to normal situations, without engaging the stress response system.
Avoid Caffeine and Drugs
If you suffer from agoraphobia, the most important thing is to not get worked up or overly excited, nervous, anxious, or energetic. A calm and balanced approach to life is the best way to prevent a panic attack or an anxiety episode to crop up. Therefore, high-caffeine content beverages like coffee and energy drinks should be avoided, as well as substances that alter your mind in various ways, such as alcohol and illicit drugs. Even smoking cigarettes, which many people turn to as a stress reliever, elevates your heart rate and can imbalance your system, undoing all of the good work that the other natural remedies have done for the condition!
A Final Word of Caution: Severe agoraphobia can ruin people’s lives and dramatically affect personal relationships. In some cases, it can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. If you are suffering from severe agoraphobia, natural remedies are an option, but you should still speak with a professional counselor or medical professional who can give you their best recommendation. Discuss any natural remedies with a professional before beginning use.