Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

What's happening with your WebMD Community? Look here for the latest updates, information, and instructions. And, be sure to leave your comments and questions so our staff can continue to make the number one health destination on the web even better.

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finding Humor in Fear

By Brianne Moore

Phobia

Can a phobia be funny? Ask Sara Benincasa, a woman who overcame crippling agoraphobia to become a stand-up comedienne and, now, an author. She chronicles her struggles with her phobia in her recently published book Agorafabulous!, which is described  as a “collection of short, humorous stories that chronicles one woman’s struggle…and how she overcame her demons through therapy and comedy.”

Benincasa uses her experiences as the basis for her stand-up routines, but for those who suffer from it, agoraphobia is no laughing matter. Agoraphobics often become anxious in public areas (the word derives from the Greek “agora,” meaning “marketplace”), fearing they could become trapped there. Those who suffer from agoraphobia frequently experience panic attacks in open spaces, crowds, and uncontrollable social situations such as malls or airports. In the most severe cases, the person can become housebound, afraid to leave their home or any space that they can’t control. Women are about twice as likely to become agoraphobics as men are, though it’s unclear why this is. Agoraphobia is commonly treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, which includes imagining being close to the situation they’re afraid of, or with systematic desensitization, in which the sufferer is gradually introduced to the fear-inducing situation. Certain medications can also help.

Learn More

Humor Therapy

Most Common Phobias

Phobias Overview

Photo: Ingram Publishing

Posted by: Brianne Moore at 8:28 pm

Comments

Leave a comment

Contributors

  • Leona Perry
  • Mare Stern
  • Kathy Williams
  • Mona Lucas

Subscribe & Stay Informed

WebMD Daily

Get your daily dose of healthy living, diet, exercise and health news from WebMD!

Archives

WebMD Health News