agoraphobia

What is agoraphobia?


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Also known as Agoraphobias
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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia (uh-gor-uh-fo-b-uh) is a fear of being in an open and crowded place where it may be hard to safely escape. It is a kind of anxiety (ang-zi-ih-t) disorder. People with agoraphobia are called agoraphobic (uh-gor-uh-fo-bik). Agoraphobia usually starts between 25 to 35 years old. It is more common in women. It can be treated with medicine and therapy. With agoraphobia, you may have a great fear of leaving home or of being alone. You may fear being in public places. You may worry that you will not be able to get somewhere safe. Worrying may keep you from doing normal activities. You may be scared of crowds, theaters and malls. Driving in tunnels, highway driving, or being on a bridge may also make you frightened. You may be afraid of flying in an airplane or riding in an elevator.

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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a fear of being in places where help might not be available. It usually involves fear of crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone.

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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder related to fear. With agoraphobia, you fear being in places where it may be difficult or embarrassing to get out quickly or where you may have a panic attack and can't get help. Because of your fears, you avoid places where you think you may have a panic attack or panic-like symptoms.

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Agoraphobia

The World Health Organisation defines agoraphobia as a cluster of phobias (irrational fears) related to leaving home, entering shops, being in crowds and public places, or travelling alone on buses, trains or planes.

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Agoraphobia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. Agoraphobia may arise by the fear of having a panic attack in a setting from which there is no perceived easy means of ...

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Agoraphobia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Medication ...

Mar 11, 2011 ... The definition of agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or ... The symptoms of agoraphobia include anxiety that one will have a panic ...

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Psych Central: Agoraphobia Symptoms

The essential feature of Agoraphobia is anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help ...

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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a situation where one might experience anxiety or panic and where escape from the situation might be difficult or ...

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Agoraphobia-Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Agoraphobia

Here you will find everything you ever wanted to know about agoraphobia. Find out what it is, what it isn't and how it complicates panic disorder.

Agoraphobia definition - Medical Dictionary definitions of popular ...

Mar 11, 2011 ... Agoraphobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially those from which escape could be difficult or help ...

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Contents

Causes
Many experts consider agoraphobia to be a complication of panic disorder. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by frequent episodes of intense fear (panic attacks) that for no apparent reason trigger severe physical reactions. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

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Complications
Agoraphobia can greatly limit your life's activities. In severe cases, you may not even be able to leave your house. Without treatment, some people become housebound for years. You may not be able to visit with family and friends, go to school or work, walk your dog, run errands, or take part in other normal daily activities. You may become dependent on others for help, such as grocery shopping.

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Coping and support
Living in fear of anxiety can make life difficult for anyone with agoraphobia, no matter how severe it is. Professional treatment of agoraphobia can help you overcome this disorder or manage it effectively so that you don't become a prisoner to your fears.

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Diagnosis
If you are experiencing psychological symptoms of agoraphobia, it is likely that your GP will refer you to a psychiatrist. However, if you are experiencing physical symptoms, such as a rapid heart beat, or shortness of breath, your GP may also examine you to make sure that there is not an underlying physical cause.

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Exams and Tests
The individual may have a history of phobias. Family, friends, or the affected person may tell the health care provider about agoraphobic behavior.

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Medical advice
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of agoraphobia.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
Phobias tend to be chronic, but respond well to treatment.

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Possible Complications
Some phobias may affect job performance. People with this disorder may become housebound for years, which is likely to hurt their social and interpersonal relationships.

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Preparing for your appointment
If you have agoraphobia, fear and embarrassment may make it extremely difficult to visit a health care professional. Consider starting, instead, with a phone call to your doctor. Some health care professionals, particularly mental health experts who specialize in agoraphobia and anxiety disorders, may initially be able to meet with you in your own home.

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Prevention
There's no sure way to prevent agoraphobia. However, anxiety tends to increase the more you avoid situations that you fear. If you start to have mild fears about going places that are safe, try to practice going to those places before your fear becomes overwhelming. If this is too hard to do on your own, ask a family member or friend to go with you or seek professional help.

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Risk factors
Agoraphobia usually starts during late adolescence or early adulthood, but younger children and older adults also can develop agoraphobia. Between 1 and 5 percent of people in the United States develop agoraphobia during their lifetime. Women are diagnosed with agoraphobia more often than are men.

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Symptoms
A phobia is the excessive fear of a specific object, circumstance or situation. Agoraphobia is excessive worry about having a panic attack in a public place. Typical agoraphobia symptoms include: Fear of being alone; Fear of being in crowded places, such as in a shopping mall or sports stadium; Fear of losing control in a public place; Fear of being in places where it may be hard to leave, such as an elevator or train; Inability to leave your house for long periods (housebound); Sense of helplessness; Overdependence on others; A sense that your body is unreal

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Treatments and drugs
As with many other mental disorders, agoraphobia treatment typically includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Treatment of agoraphobia is often successful, and you can overcome agoraphobia and learn to keep it under control.

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