Many people think that Agoraphobia is a fear of going outside or a fear of wide open spaces. This is just not true, What Agoraphobia is, is a fear of places or situations that escape may be difficult from when panic attacks might occur.

In simple terms, people with agoraphobia avoid going to certain places because they fear that they may experience a panic attack there because they have done in the past.

Symptoms

The main overriding symptom for agoraphobia is that the sufferer must have a fear of being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help might not be available in the event of having unexpected panic-like symptoms.

Basically agoraphobia is the next step along from panic disorder. Once panic attacks become so common that you find yourself avoiding specific places or situations because you consider them to be triggers for the panic attacks then you are suffering from agoraphobia.

Treatment

The best and most effective treatment for agoraphobia is cognitive behavioural therapy which aims to change the thinking patterns that may lead to fear or anxiety. Very often cogntiive behavioural therapy with medication is very effective for the condition