First of all, what is agoraphobia? It’s a type of anxiety disorder in which the person suffering tends to avoid places that makes them feel trapped, scared, helpless, or panicked. When the condition is severe, then the disorder can be disabling. It alters the daily functioning of the person and affects their relationships with others and also their work. This may lead to regular avoidance of the triggering situations and restrict the person to only their home. So, in this article we will discuss about them and suitable jobs for Agoraphobics over here.
- A person is afraid to leave their home.
- Fear can be open spaces like shopping centers, parks, bridges, or enclosed places or buildings.
- Fear of being in crowded places or social events.
- Fear of traveling using public transportation.
- Fear of being in confined spaces.
The above-mentioned situations trigger the person who has agoraphobia. Due to this intense fear, the person confines themselves to their home, where they feel safe. If the person who has agoraphobia is forced to attend any such situation which triggers their fear, they might experience a panic assault which includes symptoms like:
- Rapid heartbeat and chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing, excessive sweating
- Shaking and sudden chills
- Dizziness and feeling of chocking
It may be difficult to find the exact cause of agoraphobia in a person, but there are known factors that contribute to the development of the condition. These factors are:
- If a person has general anxiety or social anxiety disorder, then this can further develop into agoraphobia.
- If a person has traumatic experiences or a history of abuse, that can also lead to agoraphobia.
- If another family member had agoraphobia.
- If the person has another phobia.
- Brain chemistry can also contribute to the development of agoraphobia.
- If a person experienced a panic assault in a certain condition, then that can set a fear in mind that such an assault will be repeated in a similar environment. Thus the person tends to avoid those certain situations or places that may trigger any response.
The best way to cope with agoraphobia is to seek help from a professional. Planned therapy sessions and medications can help overcome the disorder or lower it to a certain extent to prevent the person from carrying out their daily tasks.
Apart from this, a person can also adapt to some changes in daily routine that can help in coping with their condition, like:
- Practicing meditation and other stress-reducing activities.
- Keeping a healthy diet.
- Limited intake of caffeine and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- Being physically active, regularly exercising
- Breathing exercises to calm yourself in anxiety-triggering situations.
Also, help from your friends and family can help in improving the symptoms. With regular efforts and the right help, a person can reduce the symptoms to a minimum, and as a result, the person suffering can live independently and freely.
Jobs for Agoraphobics
If the condition of the person who has agoraphobia is manageable, then with the help of coping techniques and help from coworkers, you will work in an office. But, if a person’s condition is severe, you can try options to work from home in your safe environment.
Some of the options in which you can work from home are:
- Tutor. As a tutor, you can choose what subjects you can teach the best, and you can also manage the number of working hours you want to donate to tutoring. Thus, you will be in charge of your time and what and to whom you want to teach, this way, you can work at your own pace in an environment that you find comfortable.
- Child Care Workers. You can work as a babysitter if you are comfortable with being around people. This way, you can control how many hours you want to work and what fee you will charge. In addition, you can work from your home and choose which age group of children you want to babysit for.
- Writer and Author. Writing a book is not easy. If you wish to be an author, you can start by researching what you want to write about, engaging with other authors, and taking tips from their journey. You can easily work from home, and if you find trouble working in the beginning, you can start by working as a freelance writer, write blogs and columns of your own, or work for a company.
- Pet Sitting. This is another good work-from-home opportunity. If you are fond of animals, your country’s pet sitting, many people travel without their pets, and this can be a good source of income plus you can control your working hours. You can also choose which animals you want to take care of.
- Online Business. If you consider yourself a good influencer, you can work online in helping sell things that you own or bought in a sale and gain profits. Apart from this, if you are creative or good at crafts or arts, you can make your products, set a website, and sell online. This way you will be your own boss, and you can easily work from home. You will not have to communicate more often with the customers, plus you can choose the mode of communication in case of queries. If you feel uncomfortable talking, then you can interact through any social media app or email.
- Photographer. Photography is a skill, and if you consider that you are interested in the same, you can work as a photographer. You don’t have to go out and take photos necessarily, many online selling platforms want photographs of their products, and thus you can work in a confined space of your comfort.
- Artist. If you want to be an artist, you can pursue it by sitting in your own home. You might feel difficulty earning initially, but you can work part-time other jobs to support your income while working on your art projects.
- Call Centers. There are a bunch of call centers that allow you to work from home. In addition, you can find work on various job hunting sites. The work ideally consists of receiving calls, placing orders, or you might work in customer services.
- Computer Programmer. As a computer programmer, you work closely in software development and mobile or computer applications. This can be worked solely from home as you spend most of your time working on computers and requires long hours of work.
- Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists. By learning through different courses, you can acquire skills needed for working as a hairdresser or hairstylist. You can set up a home salon, set your working hours, and you will be working as your own boss.
- Apart from the above-mentioned roles, digital marketing and social medial marketing are also emerging fields of work that don’t require you to step outside and can cover your bills easily. You can either work as a freelancer or apply for a permanent position in a company.
As in severe cases of agoraphobia, people find it difficult to even move outside from their home, and interaction with others becomes a difficult task; thus, job opportunities become limited. The above listed are some sources of income by working from home with the least interactions.
Working With Agoraphobia
Apart from severe cases, agoraphobia doesn’t necessarily restrict you from working. It just holds you from performing some duties effectively. You can talk to your employer, show them the results of your medical diagnosis to get reasonable accommodation and cooperation, which can help you in working with others.
You can ask for a separate office and call in meetings instead of attending physically.
- Try to understand your trigger points or situations and manage to avoid those during work.
- Regularly prescribed medications to help with anxiety can help to work in an office.
- Be open with your coworkers and supervisors, tell them about your condition, and ask for cooperation.
- Stress or anxiety management techniques and therapy to cope up with your condition.
- Try to find a place of work that understands your condition and is ready to cooperate.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Even if your condition is not severe, you can try to avoid working in places that trigger panic attacks and regularly consulting with your therapist to keep your condition in check and focus on improvement. Overcrowded areas, open spaces, or confined spaces should be avoided.
Jobs to Avoid
There are lesser opportunities if you want to work from home, your options become restricted. It is understood that money is essential, but taking jobs that expose you to an unpleasant environment for your condition can worsen your condition. This does not mean that you can not work in your desired profession. You have to trust the process. Be calm. Understand that you will take much more time than others to reach your goal. You are handling your disorder and struggle to succeed in your desired career at the same time. Maybe someday, you can reach a manageable level within yourself, and you will work in a normal office environment.
Following are some options that you can avoid :
- Salesperson. As a salesperson, you will have to work in a competitive environment. Therefore, you will have to engage with many people confidently and persuade clients into buying your product. Also, you might be traveling to different places. Thus this role will not be someone who has agoraphobia.
- Politician. Politicians are good speakers. They have to address large audiences and make public appearances. A politician must have an outward and influencing personality for these tasks, which might be difficult for someone with agoraphobia.
- Police Officer. As a police officer, you work in various situations that can be dangerous in some cases. Poice officers have to interact with people and sometimes address the community on various issues. Although, this role is challenging in itself. Some aspects of this can be uncomfortable if you are agoraphobic.
- Waiter. As a waiter, you have to be friendly and engaging. This behavior can help you earn some extra tips. In addition, you have to encounter all types of people. This job requires maximum engagement with many people every day; thus, if you are not comfortable with such social setups, you should avoid working as a waiter, triggering panic attacks.
- Receptionist or a Cashier. A receptionist needs to receive guests, take calls, engage with employees and manage various other tasks. This role asks for someone confident and friendly, and you will have to work from the office every day, and you cannot avoid interacting with others. As a cashier, there might be days when you don’t have to interact much but this role requires you to attend regular office and talking to fellow employees.
- Teacher. As a person with agoraphobia, you can work as a tutor in your home according to your comfort, and the number of kids is also in your control. But working as a teacher is very different, you have to engage with the whole class at the same time plus you have to talk to the parents, organize activities and competitions. In addition, you will have to work with other teachers. This is very different from when you are tutoring a small group of children in your home. Thus, you can work as a teacher when you feel you can endure working in that environment.
- Manager. As a manager, you are in a position of authority. You have to interact with people within your team, guide them, solve various problems, run meetings, and numerous other tasks. You will have to be present in the office for regular interaction with your team. Different companies and workplaces have the role of a manager. Apart from all the advantages and opportunities this role offers, this role can be very uncomfortable for someone with agoraphobia.
- Performing Artist. As a performing artist, you have to perform in front of large audiences, participate in interviews. If you suffer from severe social anxiety, these roles are not for you until you have overcome your fear. So try to overcome your fear first instead of completely abandoning your dreams because of your fear.
Several people have agoraphobia. To others, their fear might look stupid, but it is not the case. These fears can be very unpleasant and greatly alter your life if not faced with proper help. You can join any support group through online or physical mode to boost your moral support. Regular therapy and maintaining a good healthy routine can work in your favor. If your condition is alarming and restricts you from working, you should focus on drawing the disability. It can make you unable to work thus be determined to help yourself.
Try to hold your dreams and focus on yourself for some time to improve your condition. There are opportunities for you to earn from home, which can support you while you are trying to recover from your condition. Try to avoid working at places that can worsen your situation. And later, when you succeed in overcoming your fears and finally feel free to step outside, you can happily start hunting for jobs. Try to take small steps and enjoy small victories on the road to recovery. Talking to people suffering from the same condition as yours can make you feel comforting. People are fighting these situations the same as yours so keep hustling.