Afraid of Cirque du Soleil?

Looking for something fun to do this Saturday? Today is the last day that the famous Cirque du Soleil will play at the O2 in London, performing “Dralion.” What is the show about? A multidisciplinary attempt to find harmony and balance between humans and nature, a goal of Eastern philosophy. The name “dralion” comes from dragon, symbolizing the East, and lion, symbolizing the West. A splendid show, it’s worth the forty quid.

For some, however, the idea of entering a massive white tent with only a few exits and full of acrobats performing Chinese acrobatic art may seem like a disaster waiting to happen. Agoraphobia is the fear of not being able to get away quickly enough or that help will be unable to get there in time. When asking people who suffer from agoraphobia what they feel, the three main responses received are:

1) Fear of dying in some way or another. For example, they may collapse or suffer something deadly and the ambulance is unable to reach them in time.  

2) Fear of losing control. What “losing control” means is up to interpretation of the sufferer of agoraphobia, but they essentially feel trapped without chance of escape.

3) Fear of losing your mind. Like the fear of losing control, it’s up to interpretation of the person suffering from agoraphobia. In general, they imagine themselves losing their mind in an irreversible manner.

These three most common fears are triggered from situations where they think they can’t escape from. A person with agoraphobia may therefore be scared of traveling on public transport, visiting shopping center-like places i.e. the O2 stadium, and ultimately, leaving home. If in an stressful situation, that person may experience symptoms of a panic attack such as rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, hotness and sweatiness, and feelings of being sick.

If you can entertain the thought of leaving your house and attending Dralion this lovely evening without thinking of suffering a panic attack, take a second to appreciate it. There are many people out there who may not even be able to entertain the idea of going out on a Saturday night. If you suffer from agoraphobia, leave a comment telling us of your experience and what helps you- or what you think could possibly help you but isn’t out there yet!