Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is characterized by a fear of places or situations that may lead to a panic attack. The worry is focused on difficulty escaping from these places or activities, or difficulty accessing help if panic occurs. Common thought patterns involve overestimation of the likelihood of having a panic attack, underestimation of one's ability to cope, and failure to notice times when panic did not occur. Avoidance usually follows resulting in limited participation in life, trouble fulfilling daily responsibilities, and difficulty leaving the house. In severe cases and if left untreated, Agoraphobia can result in the inability to leave the house for long periods of time or years on end.

Additional Symptoms

  • difficulty feeling safe and certain in public places

  • intense anxiety around leaving the home or entering a feared place or situation

  • fear that is out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation

  • hypervigilance of body symptoms and detection of early signs of panic

  • fixation on exits and bathrooms when away from home

  • anticipation of a mental, social or physical catastrophe if panic occurs in feared situation