2016: THE AGE OF AGORAPHOBIA?

by Faizal Nor Izham

I kicked off 2016 by … not going out at all.

At first glance, that would not seem completely unusual. Many would prefer to stay indoors than brave the rain, cold, and the above-average bustle of crowds on New Year’s Eve — however this was during a recent holiday spent in London, which hosted some of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the country. Watching the display afterwards online, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of regret at not being there to see them in real life. Having said that, fireworks are usually the same old spectacle anyway, regardless of the event.

Another factor behind not going out this time was due to mild agoraphobia on my behalf— agoraphobia being the fear of going outdoors and wide open spaces. This, admittedly, was perpetuated recently by the constant bombardment of paranoid news stories from the media on the possibility of more terror attacks. ‘Security will be tight’ some said, with experts speculating even more attacks are to be expected in 2016. No matter how resilient a person thinks they are to all this, feelings of paranoia can eventually get to you.Continue Reading