agoraphobia symptoms

Agoraphobia Symptoms and Treatment

Agoraphobia represents a fear of situations where feelings of entrapment, helplessness, or embarrassment might arise. The person avoids such situations. Agoraphobia may develop secondary to panic disorder. The person may be completely housebound or travel outside the home only with their "safe person."

Diagnosis of Agoraphobia

The DSM-5 notes (p. 218) that “the essential feature of agoraphobia is marked, or intense, fear or anxiety triggered by real or imagined exposure to a wide variety of situations.” Five situations are listed that typically evoke anxiety: Using public transportation, open spaces, enclosed spaces, standing in line, crowds, being alone away from home. These situations evoke feelings of vulnerability, being helpless, or embarrassed.