What does agoraphobia mean in psychology?

Asked By: Rinat Turcios | Last Updated: 6th March, 2020
Category: medical health sleep disorders
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Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

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Herein, is agoraphobia a mental illness?

Share on Pinterest Agoraphobia is an extreme avoidance of situations that could cause panic. Agoraphobia is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5 (DSM-5) as an anxiety disorder. Most people develop agoraphobia after having had one or more panic attacks.

Likewise, are there different types of agoraphobia? These include having: depression. other phobias, such as claustrophobia and social phobia. another type of anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.

In respect to this, how does agoraphobia start?

Agoraphobia usually develops as a complication of panic disorder, an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks and moments of intense fear. It can arise by associating panic attacks with the places or situations where they occurred and then avoiding them.

How does agoraphobia affect your life?

In severe cases, a person with agoraphobia considers their home to be the only safe environment. They may avoid leaving their home for days, months or even years. A person with agoraphobia is unwilling to visit 'unsafe' places, because they are afraid that doing so will trigger anxiety or a panic attack.

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What is the best therapy for agoraphobia?

Antidepressants are more effective than anti-anxiety medications in the treatment of agoraphobia. Antidepressants. Certain antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), are used for the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia.

Can I get disability for agoraphobia?

People who have agoraphobia can qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration detailed specific criteria that people must meet to qualify for agoraphobia-caused disability. For someone to qualify for disability benefits, their agoraphobia must be debilitating.

Does agoraphobia ever go away?

If untreated, the agoraphobic feelings can last for years after the traumatic event occurred. Individual panic attacks vary in length. A panic attack usually lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, although some people have reported hour-long attacks. While these incidents are uncomfortable, they are always temporary.

Can agoraphobia be cured?

Agoraphobia is actually a very treatable problem. However, many people find it very difficult to overcome. This kind of treatment is usually called exposure treatment, and it's considered the most effective treatment available for panic and agoraphobia.

What helps agoraphobia?


7 Steps to Help Ease Agoraphobia
  1. Learn More. Agoraphobia is a complex and often misunderstood anxiety disorder.
  2. Practice Patience.
  3. Don't Trivialize the Person's Feelings and Experiences.
  4. Help Your Friend Create An Anxiety Plan.
  5. Be a Support System.
  6. Regularly Check-In.
  7. Encourage Them to Seek Professional Treatment.

How is agoraphobia diagnosed?

To have a diagnosis of agoraphobia, a person must feel extreme fear or panic in at least 2 of the following situations: Using public transportation, such as a bus or plane. Being in an open space, such as a parking lot, bridge or large mall. Being in an enclosed space, such as a movie theater, meeting room or small

What is severe agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder. Individuals with agoraphobia feel extreme fear. People with severe agoraphobia are afraid to go out of their homes. Treatment for agoraphobia combines medication with a type of mental health treatment called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

Is agoraphobia inherited?

Agoraphobia is commonly genetically inherited, but there are other reasons someone may develop the disorder. Learn what the most likely cause of having agoraphobia is. The DSM-5 states that heritability of agoraphobia is 61 percent, meaning genetics is the most likely cause of someone developing the disorder.

What part of the brain does agoraphobia affect?

In the panic disorder/agoraphobia spectrum, several studies appear to converge on effects in the amygdala, ACC, insula, and lateral prefrontal cortex, but also for occipital brain areas.

Why am I afraid to leave my house?


Agoraphobia is often a progressive phobia, and may eventually lead to a fear of leaving the house. However, it is the panic attack, rather than the act of being in public, that is the cause of the fear.

What is Algophobia?

Algophobia or algiophobia is a phobia of pain - an abnormal and persistent fear of pain that is far more powerful than that of a normal person. The term comes from the Greek: ?λγος, álgos, "pain" and φόβος, phóbos, "fear". According to Sabino Metta, a behavioral psychologist, the phobic reaction is a learned behavior.

How do you treat agoraphobia naturally?

take regular exercise – exercise can help relieve stress and tension and improve your mood. have a healthy diet – a poor diet can make the symptoms of panic and anxiety worse. avoid using drugs and alcohol – they may provide short-term relief, but in the long term they can make symptoms worse.

Why do crowds cause anxiety?

Crowds tend to trigger anxiety because we are in an unfamiliar situation, Dr. Bea says. “The situation feels odd, and it starts to generate a feeling of dangerousness,” he says. “So we tend to think we're in a dangerous spot, when we're not in danger at all.”

What are the 10 most common fears?

Phobias: The ten most common fears people hold
  • Acrophobia: fear of heights.
  • Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying.
  • Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces.
  • Entomophobia: fear of insects.
  • Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.
  • Cynophobia: fear of dogs.
  • Astraphobia: fear of storms.
  • Trypanophobia: fear of needles.

Why am I afraid to go out in public?


Triggers for this anxiety may include wide-open spaces, crowds (social anxiety), or traveling (even short distances). Agoraphobia is often, but not always, compounded by a fear of social embarrassment, as the agoraphobic fears the onset of a panic attack and appearing distraught in public.

How common is agoraphobia?

Approximately 1.7 percent of adolescents and adults are diagnosed with agoraphobia. Women are twice as likely as men to experience agoraphobia. Agoraphobia often accompanies other anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder or a specific phobia) and depressive disorders.

What famous person has agoraphobia?

Food Network chef Paula Deen is known for her bubbly personality, so many fans were shocked when she explained in her biography that she had agoraphobia for 20 years. Deen is hardly the only celebrity to experience this potentially debilitating condition, however.