What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia literally means fear of the marketplace, agora, in Latin, means the marketplace. At its core though, it is a type of anxiety disorder, a fear of situations in which that person cannot escape easily.

What are typical situations that may cause it?

So where are the typical environments where that person may be agoraphobic? Being on a busy bus or train, the sense of feeling trapped. The person may experience highly anxiety or anxious feelings, and as a consequence, the manifestation of that agoraphobia will be avoidance of getting on busy public transport.

What are some further examples of Agoraphobia?

Another example of agoraphobia may be someone who’s in a supermarket, caught in a queue at the checkout, this sense of being unable to escape, feeling increasingly anxious in that situation.

The agoraphobia then becomes a fear of that situation and the core way often it’s diagnosed is that that person avoids those situations. So agoraphobia is really a fear of a certain situation, a fear where that person cannot really get out easily, and then tied in with that is an avoidance of that situation. So the diagnosis is looking both for a fear and an avoidance, and if that person goes into that situation, a description or manifestation of anxiety symptoms.

For further support

Better health VIC

MayoClinic

Presented by, Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

Last Reviewed: 19/08/2020

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