The agoraphobia is an issue of anxiety which implies that a person feels fear intense and try to avoid places or situations from which escape would be difficult if suffering an attack of panic . This situation can even occur in homes or in situations or places where the person feels helpless or ashamed. The anxiety that the person feels is caused by the fear of not having an easy way to escape or to get help if the anxiety escalates. Most people with agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks., which makes them worry about having another attack and for this reason they try to avoid the places where it can happen again. Agoraphobia is also more common in women than men. It usually begins in adulthood , with 20 years being the average age of onset. However, symptoms of the condition can arise at any age.


What is agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety attack that causes the person suffering from it to avoid places or situations from which it would be very difficult for them to get out or escape , or to get some kind of help if the problem worsens.



The word agoraphobia comes from the Greek and is formed by the words: “agora”, “square”, and “phobos”, “fear”, and is related to panic and anxiety disorders , being very common for both to manifest and interact.


Causes of agoraphobia

The exact cause of agoraphobia is not yet known for sure. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of developing agoraphobia. These risks include:

  • Depression.
  • Different types of phobias , such as claustrophobia (fear of being locked in a place), social phobia, hydrophobia (fear and phobia of water), acrophobia (fear of heights), nyctophobia (fear of day or night), chronophobia (phobia of the weather or the weather).
  • Different types of anxiety disorders , such as generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • History of physical or sexual abuse .
  • Abuse of substances , medicines or drugs.
  • Family history of agoraphobia.

Symptoms of agoraphobia

  • The person who suffers from it looks for a way to avoid situations where he finds himself in places from which it may be difficult to escape or where he could not ask for help with his panic symptoms.
  • It causes constant fear and anxiety .
  • The fear or anxiety is disproportionate to the danger that is thought to be in danger.
  • It lasts for six months, even longer.
  • Most of those affected are women .
  • Patients often suffer from symptoms of depression and social phobias .
  • Fear of public transport such as airplanes, buses, trains, automobiles.
  • The signs and symptoms may worsen if the person suffers from panic attacks , because in addition to the aforementioned symptoms, they may suffer an elevated heart rate, breathing problems, chest pain, dizziness, excessive sweating, upset stomach and fear of dying.


There are a number of different treatments for agoraphobia. Most likely, a combination of these methods will be needed:

  • The psychotherapy is also known as therapy conversation and involves meeting regularly with a therapist or other mental health professional to discuss fears and any problems that may be contributing to them. Psychotherapy is often combined with medications for greater effectiveness. It is generally a short-term treatment that can be discontinued once the patient faces their fears and anxiety.
  • The cognitive behavioral therapy is the form common psychotherapy used to treat people who suffer from agoraphobia. It helps to understand the feelings and views distorted associated with agoraphobia and teaches the patient how to work in stressful situations replacing the thoughts distorted with healthy thoughts, allowing you to regain control in your life.
  • The exposure therapy can also help overcome fears. In this type of therapy, the patient is gradually exposed to situations or places that they fear . This can make your fear lessen over time.

Exercises to combat agoraphobia

The first important thing to do is learn breathing exercises . When there is an attack, breathing can be affected so this type of exercise helps relaxation and improve lung capacity. The meditation exercises can provide a state of inner peace through mind control. Relaxation exercises are widely used by people with agoraphobia and physical exercise is vital, as it helps to improve the general condition of the body.


Some antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), are used to treat panic disorder with agoraphobia. Other types of antidepressants can also effectively treat agoraphobia.

Anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines are sedatives that, in limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe to temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms . They are generally used only to relieve acute anxiety in the short term. Because they can be habit- forming , these drugs are not a good choice if you have long-term problems with anxiety or problems with alcohol or drug abuse.


  • Macaulay Culkin, who was a well-known American actor, primarily for his portrayal of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, said he had “self-diagnosed” agoraphobia.
  • HL Gold (1914-1996), science fiction editor who, as a result of trauma during his wartime experiences, his agoraphobia became so severe that for more than two decades he was unable to leave his department.
  • Woody Allen , American actor, director and musician.

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