Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. It is a fear of being trapped in places or situations. People with this condition may not be able to leave the house.
The cause of this disorder is not known. It may be due to a combination of:
Changes or genetic problems in the brain and nerves may contribute to agoraphobia.
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Agoraphobia is more common in women and middle-aged people. Other things that raise the risk are:
Symptoms may be fear and avoidance of:
Feared situations may trigger a panic attack. Symptoms may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is based on the type and length of symptoms.
There are no tests for agoraphobia. The doctor may order heart or blood tests to look for an underlying cause.
The goal of treatment is to:
Treatments may include:
Early treatment for panic attacks can help prevent agoraphobia.
American Psychiatric Association
Mental Health America
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
Agoraphobia. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/agoraphobia. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Agoraphobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/agoraphobia Accessed March 10, 2021.
Love AS, Love R. Anxiety disorders in primary care settings. Nurs Clin North Am. 2019;54(4):473-493.
Panic disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/panic-disorder. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Phobias. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/phobias. Accessed March 10, 2021.
What are anxiety disorders? American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders. Accessed March 10, 2021.
What is posttraumatic stress disorder? American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD Last Updated: 03/10/2021