What are the treatment options for agoraphobia?

Typically, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is used to treat agoraphobia.
  • Antidepressants are used more often and have been proven to be more effective than anti-anxiety medications when treating this disorder. Often a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is used. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) are also used occasionally. Other types of anti-depressants may also be prescribed if SSRI’s are not effective.
  • Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines): Antidepressants can take multiple weeks before they start to work. Anti-anxiety medications are faster acting and may be useful in relieving immediate anxiety symptoms while a person is waiting for their anti-depressants to take effect. These medications are not recommended in people with a history of alcohol and drug problems due to a potential for abuse
Psychotherapy: people with agoraphobia will work with a mental health professional in order to reduce their anxiety by developing anxiety coping skills and goals. 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one the most common and successful forms of psychotherapy used to treat agoraphobia. CBT usually lasts 12-20 weeks when used in conjunction with medications but may last a year without medication. CBT involves working with a therapist to develop techniques to identify, cope with, and react differently to anxiety. The therapist will work with people with agoraphobia to help them change their thoughts and perceptions about the things they are afraid of. It also aims to help people face their fears head on and eventually return to the places/situations that they previously avoided due to their agoraphobia. 
agoraphobia treatment

  • “Agoraphobia.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 1 Aug. 2017.
  • “Agoraphobia.” Cleveland Clinic, 8 May. 2015. Web. 1 Aug. 2017.
  • “Agoraphobia.” John’s Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. John’s Hopkin’s Medicine, 21 Nov. 2014. Web. 1 Aug. 2017.


From Our Blog: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
CBT and DBT are two forms of psychotherapy (“talk therapy”). In both, you work with a mental health professional to learn more about the challenges you experience and learn skills to help you manage those challenges on your own. Check out this infographic for an overview of the differences between CBT and DBT:

cognitive behavioral therapy vs dialectical behavior therapy infographic


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