How can I help a loved one with agoraphobia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

For people with agoraphobia, the people who live with them become a critical support system. That means spouses can often end up enabling the agoraphobic behavior. Since no one likes to see their partner in pain, it can be easier to shield them from what is frightening than to witness the anxiety felt by trying to face it.

What people with agoraphobia need instead is support that encourages them to go outside their safety zone, to consistently push the envelope, and, if necessary, get aggressive professional treatment to prevent becoming disabled by the disorder. Experts usually recommend that a patient bring their spouse into treatment, so that the spouse learns how to effectively help their partner overcome their fear.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.