Agoraphobia and Cannabis

Agoraphobia is a condition that is classified as feelings of intense social anxiety or fear of wide, open spaces. Agoraphobics are sometimes referred to as “shut ins” due to their reluctance to leave their houses in order to avoid the anxiety and panic that can come along with the condition. In some cases the anxiety is caused by fear of having an anxiety attack, essentially making the condition a vicious and crippling cycle. Agoraphobia can present in mild to severe forms. In the mild, the condition may make it difficult to hang out with a group of friends or not want to visit the shop. In more severe cases a person will stay in their own home for months at a time with little to no outside contact. People who suffer with agoraphobia also deal with constant thoughts and feelings of doom or some other, unforeseen disaster that is waiting somewhere in the wings.

Agoraphobia can come on gradually, usually in the patient’s early to mid 20’s with no distinct cause. In these cases there may be an issue managing stress that comes with starting an adult life. Another cause could be one particular traumatic event in one’s life that would cause them to feel panic or anxiety when out of doors. This is common among victims of abuse or people returning from tours of duty overseas. The condition often presents more often in women than men but as many as 710,000 men and women in the UK face this issue.

Many treatments for agoraphobia exist and range from counseling and therapy to heavy medications such as diazepam. Many of the medications that are used to treat agoraphobia are addictive and easily abused often making a bad situation worse. Diazepam and other medications like it are classified as benzodiazepines which are known to have a few common side effects.

● Confusion

● Lightheadedness

● Loss of balance

● Drowsiness

● And with prolonged use, memory loss.

When agoraphobia is treated with medical cannabis it allows the patient to relax and evaluate situations that would otherwise overwhelm them. The main method of action for medical cannabis to treat anxiety and fear is by countering the release of epinephrine by working with a natural neurotransmitter called anandamide. Anandamide causes relaxation with affected by the THC found in cannabis this has also been shown to lower blood pressure associated with anxiety or stress. Another chemical affected by THC is dopamine. Dopamine is considered the “feel good” chemical in our brains. These in combination allow the patient to relax and focus on what’s important as opposed to their condition.

Given that prescription pharmaceuticals pose not only an immediate danger with longs lists of side effects but they also have the long term issues or addiction and dependance. When it comes to quality of life it’s hard to say what’s right for everyone. Some people find therapy and exposure are best for them. But if you’re looking for a proven, safe and natural treatment look no further. Treating agoraphobia with medical cannabis is a safe way to regulate your mood and keep the panic at bay thereby allowing you to live a full and productive life.

Medical cannabis and agoraphobia: https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/content/ailments/view/3?ailment=agoraphobia

More information about agoraphobia: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/agoraphobia/basics/definition/con-20029996