The root word “phobia” refers to an unnatural fear of something. For example, arachnophobia is an unnatural fear of spiders. Agora, the other part of this word, is the Greek root word/prefix that means “to assemble,” “open marketplace,” “to unite,” and “open space.” Hence, agoraphobia is basically a fear of going out in public places and being around other people. Do people have agoraphobia caused by COVID-19?
Will the Pandemic Cause Agoraphobia?
The pandemic can cause agoraphobia if you have witnessed a few deaths from COVID-19 or the virus has affected your immediate circle in negative ways. Unfortunately, this fear of going out might be magnified if you’re looking at media that emphasizes bad news and promotes unhealthy political agendas. If you’re stuck in this cycle, there are ways of finding normalcy in your life again.
Managing Agoraphobia During COVID-19
Brevard Health Alliance wants to help. If you think you’re struggling with agoraphobia during the pandemic, try following these healthy options for lessening and managing your feelings:
- Go outside, take walks, walk your dog, and exercise in places where you won’t encounter many other people.
- Limit your exposure to news and political agendas.
- Maintain other avenues of communication with others, i.e., telephone, FaceTime calls, Google and Zoom activities for social networking and human contact, etc.
- Pamper yourself during this time. Take long bubble baths and start a new hobby or craft. Limit alcohol consumption.
- Once society begins “opening up” again, take yoga and other exercise classes to help boost endorphin release.
Going “Back Out There”
Going back out into society will definitely take some adjusting. If you feel you have developed agoraphobia during the pandemic, then slowly begin to put yourself out in the public again. Should you feel like you need someone to talk to in this journey, contact Brevard Health Alliance for caring counselors who are highly trained and ready to listen.