What is Agoraphobia?
People who have had a panic attack in a particular situation may start to find that they avoid that place for fear of having another attack; for example, someone who has experienced an attack in a shopping centre may begin to avoid going shopping altogether. This kind of behaviour is known as agoraphobia. While agoraphobia is often associated with panic disorder, it may also develop on its own or as part of another disorder, such as depression.
Agoraphobics tend to avoid, or tolerate with considerable fear, situations in which escape might be difficult if they have a panic attack.
Common examples of such situations are:
- Driving a car in heavy traffic
- Travelling over bridges or through tunnels
- Taking public transport
- Visiting crowded shopping areas
- Going out to social occasions
- Being alone at home