What is agoraphobia? Zac Efron’s anxiety disorder

A series of events that combined in the last 4 years of Zac Efron’s life led him to agoraphobia. What symptoms do you have? We tell you.

Last update: 22 September, 2022

Some recent statements by Zac Efron about his agoraphobia have revealed questions about some of his behavior. Many times he has been seen quickly withdrawing from crowds and events in which he participates due to his acting obligations.

Also, recently he was criticized a lot for an alleged cosmetic surgery that would have been performed and that changed his face too. The delay in the actor’s response increased speculation.

It turned out that he had actually broken his jaw and was undergoing rehab. The reason his clarification didn’t come out in time to stop the rumors? Because of the agoraphobia that Zac Efron has, he enters very little on social networks. He found out about the comments made on the internet by a call from his mother.

Zac Efron’s statements about his agoraphobia

The most forceful expressions of the actor in his last interview were the following:

I just don’t go out. People in large groups trigger my agoraphobia.

~Zac Efron~

In theory, the problems began after the physical preparation and the filming of the film Baywatch. To stay fit and show off a sculpted physique, the Californian had to perform strict and demanding routines.

In the middle of the physical preparation, different traumas and injuries afflicted him. He had a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees, he dislocated his shoulder, fractured one of his wrists and repeatedly suffered from low back pain.

The experience of Baywatch marked it. He felt wear and tear that he had never had before and wanted to stop to recover. However, that arrest did not come until the pandemic.

When the restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19 were decreed, the actor stayed in a small coastal city in Australia: Byron Bay. There, in a place with fewer than 10,000 people, he relaxed and traded heavy training for lower-impact activities.

Byron Bay is a coastal city in Australia. It is small and the low mobilization of the pandemic reduced its flow of people, as tourism is prohibited.

The facial injury

In Australia, the injury to his jaw occurred. She was running inside her house on the coast, tripped and hit something. He was unconscious for a few moments.

When I woke up, I noticed that my chin bone was hanging off my face.

~Zac Efron~

His face completely changed. Her masseter muscles grew too large to compensate for the lack of mechanics she had in her jaw. That led to a hypertrophic development of the face that looked like a bad cosmetic surgery.

As the actor had already gotten used to moving away from the networks, the internet, the media and groups of people, he never found out about the memes that flowed over him. Some images that he had to film for commercial commitments showed him with his face enlarged in size and netizens did not forgive him, caricaturing him.

A phone call from his mother informed him of what was happening. And there came a public clarification, albeit late. Today, the artist’s face is as always, recovered and without signs of fracture.

What is Zac Efron’s agoraphobia?

It is possible that all of Zac Efron’s recent experiences have contributed to his agoraphobia. This is a mental health disorder that is defined as an irrational fear of being in places from which escape is perceived as difficult.

Of course, this difficulty is a perception of the person. There are patients with agoraphobia for fear of being in the midst of many people. For others, the problem is bridges or very large open spaces.

It is very common for people who have suffered from panic attacks to have agoraphobia. For them, being in public and thinking about the possibility of a new attack, without receiving adequate help or making a fool of themselves, is enough to increase anxiety.

Little by little, patients change their routines to avoid the crowds. Even to avoid leaving their homes. After confinement due to the pandemic, diagnosed cases of this disorder increased.

Risk factor’s

Scientific evidence indicates that agoraphobia tends to appear at an early age, almost always before the age of 35. Zac Efron, for example, is 34 today.

There are also onsets of this disorder in childhood and adolescence.. According to statistics, women suffer from it more than men.

Stress is considered a relevant risk factor to lead to the clinical picture. This is increased if the person has, at base, an anxious personality. And of course, the odds are higher when the patient has established psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression, other phobias, or panic attacks.

Severe cases can lead patients to develop unhealthy avoidance methods. We are not just talking about staying home and avoiding social contact, but of harmful practices, such as excessive consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs.

At the extreme, there are patients who do not leave their home again. The new technological facilities allow a person to make purchases online, pay for their services through home banking and do telecommuting. In this context, it seems to be the perfect excuse for the agoraphobic to shut himself up more and more.

The passage of general confinement for almost 2 years and the rise of remote technologies have favored the increase in cases of agoraphobia.

Is there a treatment for Zac Efron’s agoraphobia?

We do not know if the Californian actor is under psychiatric treatment. The approach usually combines cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques with some drugs. Among them, the following:

  • Antidepressants: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline or fluoxetine, are preferred.
  • Anxiolytics: Benzodiazepines that are prescribed for times of heightened anxiety and stress.

Support groups are another strategy implemented for patients. There they can share their experiences with people who are experiencing the same fear of crowds and open spaces. It is also an opportunity to learn relaxation techniques that can be applied if the initial symptoms of a panic attack are detected.

In short, Zac Efron’s agoraphobia puts on the table the reality of the stress in which recognized actors live. Knowing how to deal with the constant demand for attention from fans and with the requirements of the media is not always an easy task. For the artist, the treatment also consists of reinventing himself in his new context.

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