In this guide, we will discuss some Jobs or roles that are suitable for people with agoraphobia.
We will also explore what agoraphobia is and the challenges that arise because of this mental disorder.
What are some suitable jobs for people with agoraphobia?
If we consider the criteria for agoraphobia and the circumstances surrounding this mental disorder, jobs that are remote and do not require travel and movement to outside spaces are ideal.
Some jobs and the kinds of roles suitable for people with agoraphobia include:
- Freelance writer or content creators
- Virtual tutoring
- IT support
- E-commerce or online marketing
- Pet sitting
- At-home babysitting or daycare
- At-home call center support
These jobs allow for a person with the disorder to remain in what they assume to be safe and familiar- their home or living space. These roles also allow for their own personal scheduling apart from certain meetings if and when they experience high stress and anxiety.
What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.) is a mental disorder clubbed under anxiety disorders where individuals have a disproportionate fear of public places.
People with this disorder often perceive environments that are too open or crowded to be dangerous. This sense of danger and fear is driven by an irrational fear of being anxious, humiliated, having a panic attack or being trapped with no source of help.
Such a condition comes with high anxiety of crowded spaces and can often lead to panic attacks which can further result in more fear and anxiety leading them to actively avoid engaging with such circumstances and often becoming shut-ins.
What is the diagnostic criteria of Agoraphobia?
According to the DSM-5, the Diagnostic Criteria for Agoraphobia include the following:
- Intense fear or anxiety caused by the actual or predicted exposure to 2 or more of the following situations:
- Using public transportation
- Being in open areas
- Being in closed-off areas
- Standing in line or a crowd
- Being alone outside of the house
- Avoidance of situations listed above because the individual believes that help might be unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
- These situations usually incite fear or anxiety.
- These situations are avoided, require help to get through, or are endured with a lot of anxiety.
- The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
- Fear and avoidance behaviour is persistent, as it typically lasts for at least 6 months or longer.
- The fear or avoidance causes the individual significant distress and dysfunction in various important areas of their life like work, relationships etc.
- The anxiety and avoidance is not explained by the symptoms of another medical disorder or a situational circumstance.
These criterias must be met for an individual to be diagnosed with this disorder. The symptoms must be present and persistent in all situations for at least 6 months and must cause dysfunction in their lives.
What are the causal factors of Agoraphobia?
There is no single cause of agoraphobia However, there has been various factors that have been identified as potential variables that cause the development of this disorder:
- Neurochemical and hormonal imbalances in the body or brain
- Genetic factors- this disorder has a genetic disposition and heritability of 61% according to the DSM-5.
- Anxiety sensitivity- people who believe that symptoms of anxiety are harmful.
- Certain personality types are high in neuroticism.
- Traumatic experiences like being mugged in public or having a panic attack in public prior.
- Childhood trauma
- Parenting styles- where they experience less warmth in their relationship with their caregiver and overprotection.
- A previous history of mental illness
What are the functional consequences of Agoraphobia?
According to the DSM-5, functional consequences of the disorder include dysfunction in role functioning- like being unable to parent effectively or do their jobs effectively.
It impacts work productivity as it can cause various problems in meeting job expectations and requirements especially if the job involves moving around and in public settings.
The DSM-5 also specifieds that more than one third of people with thai disorder as homebound and unable to work as their symptoms impact their work life- this it is a disabling and crppinging disorder with considerable impairment.
What are some suitable jobs for people with agoraphobia?
Let us discuss in detail what are some suitable jobs for people with agoraphobia:
Freelance writer or content marketer
Writers often work from home and do not require moving around. Often, occasional meetings with the editor might be required but these can often be done virtually or set up in familiar and safe spaces.
If you are not keen on writing an independent book, you can consider working as a freelance writer, writing blogs and columns for a company or for your own self.
Another role that you can do if you have agoraphobia is considering becoming a virtual teacher or a coach. You can choose the subjects that you want and even manage your schedule the way you want it to be.
This type of role allows you to be in a familiar space- your own home- while engaging with others viruatilly. It allows you that perceived sense of safety while also doing something to help young students. Dependinging on the amount of students you teach- it can be financially sustainable.
Remote IT support
If you are someone in tech and have agoraphobia, you can consider working for a company that allows you to work as a remote IT support professional. These roles often require you to be on call for customers and usually do not require you to be in the field unless specified.
You can discuss your role and expectations with a hiring manager to ensure that the role is strictly remote so that it allows you to spend most of your time working on computers at home.
If you consider yourself a marketer apart from the symptoms of agoraphobia, you can work online in helping sell things that you have created out of hobbies and crafts.
You can invest in setting up a website, working on your products- created by you or even reselling old goods in the form of a thrift marketplace. These kinds of roles do not require you to move around and meet customers- other than handling customer complaints which can often be dealt with through emails and phone calls.
In the case of delivery and postals you can hire someone to help you take care of the logistics while you work in production and manufacturing.
Another opportunity which is often overlooked is pet-sitting. If you are fond of animals or you are a trained pet caretaker- animal trainer or even a vette who is struggling with agoraphobia. You can consider this role as you work on healing or treating the disorder.
You can become a service provider for many pet owners who have to travel without their pets- you can set up a social media account, get additional training online if required and market yourself as a pet sitter.
This role can allow you to set your own schedule and your own prices and help you socialise with animals and people through various online forums without the need of stepping out of your home.
At-home babysitting or daycare
You can work as a babysitter if you are comfortable with being around children- of course you might need training to be able to take on this role.
This sort of role or job can allow you to set your own schedules, you do not have to socialise as much apart from the parent and the child, and also allows you to choose what age group you want to work with.
Digital or social media marketing
This is a relatively new role that has come up with the advent of social media. These roles require you to market for a brand through social media platforms. It might require you to be skilled in marketing, digital content creation and does not require you to go out to unfamiliar places.
Seek out for roles that are strictly remote and that allows you to earn a sustainable amount, you can schedule meetings to be online or in familiar spaces, and you can even seek out permanent or freelance work for various companies and brands.
At-home call center support
As of today, and the recent pandemic- many companies have allowed their call-center employees to work from home. These types of roles are limited in their movement and socialising unless you work for customer services.
These jobs can be found in various job sites and require minimum qualifications and consists of receiving calls, placing orders, and handling customer queries and complaints.
In this guide, we have discussed some Jobs or roles that are suitable for people with agoraphobia.
We also explored what agoraphobia is and the challenges that arise because of this mental disorder.
Flemming. K. Agoraphobia DSM-5 300.22 (F40.00). Theravive. Retrieved on 19th November 2021.https://www.theravive.com/therapedia/agoraphobia-dsm–5-300.22-(f40.00)
Mcintosh. J What you need to know about agoraphobia MedicalNewstoday. 10th September 2020. Retrieved on 19th November 2021 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162169
Robb-Drover. K. How to Manage Job-Related Challenges of Agoraphobia. FHEHealth. 17th September 202. Retrieved on 19th November 2021.https://fherehab.com/learning/job-agoraphobia
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jobs for people with agoraphobia
Can you work with agoraphobia?
You may not be able to work for jobs and companies that require you to be in the office, move around, and socialise a lot if your agoraphobia is severe.
However there are various roles that allow you to work from home and remotely that can allow you to earn sustainable income.
How do I get a job with crippling anxiety?
If you want to get a job with crippling anxiety, consider the following tips:
- Get help- therapy and pharmacological treatments for you anxiety.
- Investigate and do your research about potential jobs that may suit you.
- Try to practice self care and apply what you have learned in therapy
- Get a support system from friends and family or groups.
- Apply to several job options that meet your needs
Is agoraphobia a severe mental illness?
Agoraphobia can be considered a severe mental illness as it can cause crippling disability and dysfunction in your day to day life.
People with this disorder can find it difficult to leave their own homes, do their jobs, and maintain their relationships, making them afraid and isolated in most cases.
What are low stress jobs that don’t require a degree?
Some well paying jobs that do not require a degree and are low stress include:
- Personal care aide.
- Massage therapist.
- Landscaper and groundskeeper.
- Flight attendant.
- Personal tutor
- Pet sitter or house sitter
- Animal care volunteer