Agoraphobia

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Crowd at a festival
Large empty open space in Lisbon

Agoraphobia is a medical condition that causes anxiety. Sufferers are afraid of large open spaces, crowds, and new places. Many doctors believe that people with the condition are afraid of becoming anxious. Places that make them feel unsafe and increase their feelings of anxiety and panic. They may be afraid they might lose control and embarrass themselves. They worry that they may not be able to get away, or find help if they have a panic attack. The word agoraphobia means "fear of the market place". People with agoraphobia often believe that their home is the only safe place. Extreme sufferers may be unable to leave their homes for months or in some cases years.[1]

Agoraphobia is sometimes treated successfully with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, but some people never recover.

Symptoms[change | change source]

People with agoraphobia may show these signs and symptoms:[1]

  • Anxiety in "unsafe" places
  • Being short of breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Feelings of extreme fear
  • Feeling anxious if they know they will have to leave their safe place (such as their home)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Do not want to visit new places
  • Depression

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Agoraphobia | Better Health Channel". betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 7 April 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 11 April 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)