Agoraphobia affects 5% of population, 10 million Americans. Women are twice more likely to experience Agoraphobia than men.

Agoraphobia is the fear of being alone or in a public space where help or escape seems unavailable. The individual is thrown into a state of trepidation when they find themselves or are forced into such a situation. A key element is avoidance of such public spaces as malls, crowded stores, elevators, or theatres. Restriction of activities or excursions can lead to limited areas of comfort. It can occur with or without panic attacks.

Symptoms may include:
  • Sense of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Fear of panic attacks
  • Mild anxiety to panic attacks
  • Avoidance of situations where fears have arisen
  • Avoidance of future events for fear of anxiety (anticipatory anxiety)
  • Becoming housebound
  • Diminished ability (mild to severe) to function without others available
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Anticipatory anxiety- anxiety even thinking of the fearful situation
  • Fight or flight response to feared situation
  • Panic attacks when confronted with feared situation
  • Fear of dying, going crazy or embarrassing self

Causal Factors:
Biologic, Genetic, Sociologic, and/or Situational factors. May be accompanied by Depression, other Anxiety Disorders, and/or Substance Abuse diagnoses.

Treatment Options:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Medication, and/or Anxiety Management Techniques.