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Agoraphobia Essay

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A phobic disorder is marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger. Agoraphobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety occasioned by the prospect of having to enter certain outdoor locations or open spaces. For example, busy streets, busy stores, tunnels, bridges, public transportation and cars. Traditionally agoraphobia was solely classified as a phobic disorder. However, due to recent studies it is now also viewed as a panic disorder. Panic disorders are characterised by recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occur suddenly and unexpectedly (Weiten, 1998). For a person diagnosed with agoraphobia, there are a number of restrictions and consequences associated…show more content…
Systematic desensitisation includes three steps. The first step is to help the person construct an anxiety hierarchy. An anxiety hierarchy is a list of stimuli related to the specific source of anxiety, in this case being in a busy public place. The stimuli are ranked from the least to the most feared or avoided. An example of an anxiety hierarchy for someone with agoraphobia might include: Degree Of fear 5
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