Taking a Look at Agoraphobia

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Definition: Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a situation where there may be lack of an escape or help, and may result in embarrassment and humiliation. (MedicineNet, 2013) This may include being in a public or open place; like in a crowd, standing in line, being in some mode of transportation, being on a bridge, or being out alone. (Psych Central Staff, 2013) Often, those with Agoraphobia need the presence of a companion to leave their house or venture to specific places. Anxiety is accompanied when one is placed in these threatening situations and they will experience panic-like symptoms or a panic attack. This fear will cause one to entirely avoid these places or situations and become more reclusive to decrease the panic attacks. Causes: There is no known specific cause for Agoraphobia, but there are some different theories. One theory is that it may be genetic and could run in a family. Another theory is that one develops it through a personal experience. This irrational fear may stem from a previous, damaging experience that occurred in a public or open place. This would lead to bad feelings or memories and anxiety of something else similar happening. The phobia may also be somatic, meaning that one will assume anxiety will accompany a situation, so anxiety really does follow. These symptoms are caused by thoughts and worries that are consciously and purposefully thought about, but not intended to cause problems, though they do. Diagnosis:Diagnosing Agoraphobia

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