What is happening in an agoraphobia episode?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
During an agoraphobia episode, sensing a threat, our bodies secrete hormones that tell our system to be on alert. Our hearts race, our lungs inflate to suck in more air, which causes us to hyperventilate; we sweat and feel anxious. For people with panic disorder, this sequence of events can happen often and with very little stimulation. Soon the fear of a panic attack becomes its own phobia that keeps people from living their lives as they normally would.
This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Phobias

How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
As Erica Jong, author of the 1973 feminist novel Fear of Flying, wrote, way down deep almost everyone has a fear of letting go. But air travel is incr...
Read More
What can I do if I freeze when approaching narrow spaces?
Shelley Peterman SchwarzShelley Peterman Schwarz
To get “unstuck” from a freeze that may occur when you approach narrow spaces, try these tips:Do...
More Answers
How can phobias go away without a doctor's care?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Sometimes phobias can go away and come back, depending on the circumstances one is facing in his or ...
More Answers
How do I know if the kind of phobia I have is serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
To know whether or not the phobia you have is serious, ask yourself how greatly it interrupts your a...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.