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Friday, November 22, 2019

Agoraphobia

The principal difficulty of patients diagnosed with agoraphobia is that they almost always experience an excessive fear or anxiety about two (or more) of the following five situations:             

  1. Using public transportation (e.g., automobiles, buses, trains, ships, planes).
  2. Being in open spaces (e.g., parking lots, marketplaces, bridges).
  3. Being in enclosed places (e. g., shops, theaters, cinemas).
  4. Standing in line or being in a crowd.
  5. Being outside of the home alone.

The individual fears or avoids these situations because of thoughts that escape might be difficult or help might not be available in the event of developing panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms (e. g., fear of falling in the elderly; fear of incontinence).

The agoraphobic situations are actively avoided, require the presence of a companion or are endured with intense fear or anxiety. The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the agoraphobic situations and to the sociocultural context.

Important notice: You should not reach the decision that you or the person you have in mind, when reading the above clinical description, suffers from agoraphobia. We encourage you to seek professional advice, if you feel that you or the persons you care about meet one or more of the clinical criteria. 

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