The Rise of Agoraphobia
Through observation and personal experience, I have noticed a marked transformation in how people are living their lives, more in secret, less in public. Few people welcome the random knock on the door from a stranger. If such a knock is heard, homeowners often ignore the unexpected visitor until they go away or view the visitor from behind a curtain, deliberating whether or not to answer the door.
In a world of social media with hundreds or thousands of online “friends”, we, as a society, have become less friendly and more fearful. Rather than feeling connected, we are losing connection. The screen in front of us is separating us, not getting us closer to our loved ones in ways that truly matter.
In my practice, I meet more and more people struggling with anxiety and fears. Some people are afraid to answer the phone, never mind the door. Isolation and loneliness is on the rise. This is an area for further research and exploration by like-minded therapists. An obvious question is, how to return to connection? Or more simply, how to connect, with meaning?
Extreme fear and anxiety and self-imposed isolation yields agoraphobia, a fear of leaving the house. And we, as a society, are enabling this to happen more often with delivery services in urban centres and even suburbs, where you can binge watch Netflix, order pizza or even food from an upscale restaurant delivered to your door. All while watching the world go by and feeling further distanced from that world.
Fortunately there is online counselling, which can help you take those first steps out the door and back into life. There are also outreach services that may offer house calls and will counsel you and walk with you, literally every step of the way. Agoraphobia, like all phobias, is an irrational fear that can be overcome with CBT, exposure therapy or systematic desensitization. You don’t need to go it alone. Your best life awaits. Call us today or go to our appointments page and book in for your free 15 minute consultation.