Overcoming Agoraphobia and Extreme Anxiety Disorders
Avoiding types tiy not to deal with problems, thereby avoiding the possibility of defeat. Agoraphobia, an irrational fear that confines people to their homes, is one form of this maladaptive style of life. The avoiding type tends to be isolated and may strike others as cold. This outward appearance hides an underlying, but fragile, superiority belief. Whole classes, religious groups, and nations may adopt this style, which hinders the progress of civilization (Adler, 1921 1927, p. 186).
Patients with panic disorder have been found to be symptomatic for 16 percent of their lives after the onset of their illness. For panic disorder with agoraphobia, the figure is 29 percent. Despite this relatively good prognosis, the relapse rate in panic disorder is 80 percent within two years after stopping treatment, and up to 20 percent of patients are chronically ill. Patients with agoraphobia, major depression, substance abuse, or personality disorders have poorer treatment outcomes, as do those who discontinue
Therapy that uses social learning principles such as modeling can successfully treat adults and children who suffer from phobias, including excessive fear of snakes, without any need for symbolic interpretation of the snake phobia (Bandura, Adams, & Beyer, 1977 Bandura & Barab, 1973 Bandura, Blanchard, & Ritter, 1969 Bandura, Grusec, & Menlove, 1967b Bandura, Jeffery, & Wright, 1974 Bandura & Menlove, 1968). Other studies confirm that therapies based on learning principles are effective for various phobias, including agoraphobia, a fear of public places (Bandura, Adams, Hardy, & Howells, 1980). These findings contradict the prediction of psychoanalytic theory that only resolution of deep-seated unconscious conflicts could bring about a cure. They are consistent, though, with a study of the thoughts of agoraphobic people as they faced enclosed places, which they feared. These patients thought much more about their ability or inability to manage their anxiety than they did about any...
There are three main groups of phobias, which include specific (simple) phobias, which are the most common and focus on specific objects social phobia, which is an extreme anxiety in social or public situations and agoraphobia, the fear of being alone in public places from which there is no easy escape.