Question

Phobias

What is agoraphobia?

A Answers (4)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Panic Disorder
    Agoraphobia is the fear of experiencing terrifying panic. At its most extreme, people with agoraphobia may not be able to leave their homes. Watch Dr. Oz discuss agoraphobia.


  • Strictly defined, agoraphobia is a "fear of the marketplace". More simply put, it is typically a fear of being in a public place and experiencing panic symptoms or an anxiety attack. It usually occurs in conjunction with an underlying anxiety disorder, and can occur in varying degrees of severity, from mild anxiety when in public places without an "escape" or someone to help them, to an absolute refusal to leave one's home because of the panic attack that may occur.
  • Agoraphobia is a Greek word that literally means &quots;fear of the marketplace.&quots; This anxiety disorder involves the fear of experiencing a panic attack in a place or situation from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing.

    The anxiety associated with agoraphobia is so severe that panic attacks are not unusual, and individuals with agoraphobia typically try to avoid the location or cause of their fear. Agoraphobia involves fear of situations such as, but is not limited to, the following:

    • being alone outside his/her home
    • being at home alone
    • being in a crowd
    • traveling in a vehicle
    • being in an elevator or on a bridge

    People with agoraphobia typically avoid crowded places like streets, crowded stores, churches, and theaters.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Agoraphobia is an intense and irrational fear of being in public places. People who have agoraphobia are afraid of being in any place or situation from which it might be hard for them to escape.

    Agoraphobia often occurs in people who have anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder. Examples of agoraphobia include fear of being in crowds, standing in line, going into shopping malls, and riding in cars or on public transportation. People who have severe agoraphobia may never leave their homes. Because of their fear, they either avoid the place or situation, endure it with great distress, or need someone to be with them.

    Agoraphobia can be successfully treated with counseling and medicines.



    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit Healthwise.org

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