Agoraphobia is often assumed to be a fear of open spaces, but it actually refers to a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or where help wouldn’t be immediately available. It often presents itself as a fear of being outdoors for many people and affects about 2% of the UK population. When it comes to managing the symptoms of agoraphobia, medical cannabis has been known to help.
The first symptom you’re likely to notice with agoraphobia is a feeling of anxiety about certain situations. These might be waiting in line, being in a large crowd, waiting for an appointment, or travelling by public transport. Any of these situations have been known to trigger agoraphobia, as the person feels they cannot escape from the situation they’re in.
Anxiety can present itself in a number of different ways, depending on the individual. You might feel detached from yourself, nauseous, tense, or develop a headache. Chest pain or heart palpitations are also common with intense anxiety. Even in the hours or days following, you might feel irritable, have difficulty falling asleep, struggle to concentrate, or suffer from an ongoing feeling of dread.
In some cases, panic attacks may also occur as symptoms of agoraphobia. These can feel highly disorientating and intense but are a natural response from your body to a perceived threat. They will pass with time, but you may experience a racing heart, difficulty breathing, hot flushes, and dizziness in the meantime.
Women are twice as likely to experience agoraphobia than men and symptoms are most common between the ages of 18 and 35. If you start to notice any of these symptoms, note down when they happen to you. You might be able to notice a pattern where your feelings of anxiety are always associated with particular actions. This can help to determine whether what you’re suffering from is agoraphobia.
You may suffer from:
There are a variety of different treatment options available to you if you are struggling with agoraphobia. Which one is best for you depends on your specific symptoms and how severely you are affected. Your first course of action should be to visit your GP and seek their personalised advice.
Some potential courses of action from there could include a good exercise regime, practising relaxation techniques, improving your sleep schedule, identifying and removing any environmental stressors, and seeking support from friends and family in triggering situations. Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and caffeine-rich drinks have also been known to reduce the symptoms.
These environmental changes often go hand-in-hand with psychological therapeutic treatment for many people with agoraphobia. This therapy seeks to identify the underlying cause of agoraphobia and ultimately to avoid feelings of panic and anxiety entirely. Some people may also be prescribed anti-depressants or beta-blockers to help manage their symptoms, particularly if panic disorder symptoms are presenting alongside those of anxiety.
Medical cannabis has been known to help with various anxiety-related conditions. A Canadian study in 2019 showed that 92% of participants found that medical cannabis improved their anxiety and depressive symptoms. 25% of these participants had agoraphobia, indicating a strong positive connection between medical cannabis and the condition.
For some, medical cannabis can provide useful relief to people suffering from agoraphobia alongside these forms of treatment. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary.
At The Medical Cannabis Clinics we offer treatment plans and private care for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who can guide you through treatment options available from the clinic.
Appointments start from only £70. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to guide you through your treatment options.
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