The Hulk with Agoraphobia

BY: Hailey Jorgenson

AGORAPHOBIA:

a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

SYMPTOMS:

Chest pain- When in crowded places, Bruce experiences a sharp pain in his chest.

Feeling faint- Often Bruce feels light-headed, fatigued, and weak when overwhelmed in a crowded area.

Fear of losing control- When around many people, Bruce feels a lack of control, and sees no way to escape if a dangerous situation to occur due to the amount of people around him. This fear often leads to panic attacks, which then proceed to cause him to change into the Hulk due to the overwhelming anxiety and fear of danger.

ETIOLOGY:

At a young age of 8, long before he was involved in the gamma radiation accident, Bruce was forgotten by his mother at a crowded local grocery store. Overwhelmed and afraid with no mother in sight, Bruce developed a severe panic attack in which emergency services were called to assist. Because of this event, Bruce begins to fear all situation that could potentially lead to another attack, and because of this his agoraphobia developed.

COURSE:

As a fully human child, Bruce suffered from a traumatic event that caused him to fear and avoid crowded areas. He suffered from a mild form of agoraphobia after this event, and when he was exposed to the gamma radiation in his accident (which caused his ability to transform into The Hulk), it heightened rapidly. Now, whenever in an overwhelming anxiety-causing situation, Bruce's fear of losing control and rapid anxiety levels cause him to transform into The Hulk.

PREVALENCE:

How many people have this disorder?


Only approximately 0.8% of the U.S. adult population are diagnosed with agoraphobia per year.

THERAPY:

BEHAVIORAL THERAPY-

One way to treat agoraphobia is through behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy focuses on teaching the patient specific skills in order to gradually return to daily activities that are avoided due to the patient's agoraphobia. This form of therapy helps the patient learn how to change unhealthy behaviors through desensitization to safely faces places that cause anxiety.


BIOLOGICAL THERAPY-

Another approach to treating agoraphobia is through biological therapy. This primarily involves prescribing a patient with medications such as antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety prescriptions. Which is prescribed depends on the patient. For example, when antidepressants are prescribed it's usually because the patient has a lack of serotonin neurotransmitters, while when anti-anxiety medications are prescribed, it's because the psychiatrist believes the patient requires a sedative to relieve acute anxiety on a short term basis, such as in case of prevalent panic attacks.

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