OVERCOMING AGORAPHOBIA – major new book offers support and advice to sufferers

Imagine being so scared that you’re too afraid to leave your own home, or finding trips to thBook covere supermarket and meals out with friends an ordeal. This is everyday life for the millions of UK sufferers of agoraphobia, a debilitating but worryingly common complication of untreated panic attacks. It is estimated* that up to 6% of the population will be affected by panic disorder with agoraphobia, many of whom will fail to seek professional help of any kind.

With this in mind, recovered agoraphobic and award-winning journalist Melissa Murphy, has written ‘Overcoming Agoraphobia’, a new book which aims to help men and women of all ages recognise the symptoms of the condition and get the help they so desperately need to conquer the challenges they face in everyday life.

Agoraphobia is often labelled as nothing more than a fear of open spaces. In truth, it is a fear of being in any place or situation where the sufferer feels unsafe or trapped and is overpowered by an uncontrollable urge to escape to a place of safety. It is a condition twice as common in women as in men, though many males choose to suffer in silence or do not recognise their symptoms as being attributable to agoraphobia.

Overcoming Agoraphobia is an essential read for anyone affected by this disabling anxiety disorder. Interspersed with real-life case studies, the book provides detailed facts on all aspects of agoraphobia including a helpful section on recognising triggers and compelling information on women’s health and the relationship between hormones and anxiety. It is recommended and endorsed by Anxiety UK and is packed full of useful self-help information.

Author Melissa Murphy explains “I suffered from agoraphobia in my late teens and early twenties so I know first-hand what a devastating condition it can be. Each person’s experience is different – some may be able to venture out with a friend, whilst others might be able to cope with entering small shops or a friend’s house but avoid busy places like shopping centres. At the extreme, some will be too scared to leave their own bedroom.

“Having worked with a number of anxiety charities and support organisations in recent years, it became clear to me that people are confused by the symptoms and often don’t even realise they’re affected until it’s become a very serious problem for them. My hope is that the book will equip sufferers with the knowledge and confidence they need to seek help and support, whilst providing them with practical solutions to assist in rebuilding their lives.”

Overcoming Agoraphobia covers the latest medical research and treatments, as well as addressing practical issues including work and finding support.

Praise for Overcoming Agoraphobia:

“Melissa Murphy has written a book that is extremely significant.” – Margaret Hawkins, Chairperson,

“An essential read for anyone affected by this very disabling anxiety disorder – excellent.” –
Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Executive, Anxiety UK

* Source: data from a range of ECA studies analysed by the Institute of Psychiatry.