Agoraphobia is a disabling Anxiety Disorder that most commonly occurs together with Panic Disorder, although it may be present without panic in some cases. About one third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is characterized by strong fear of not been able to escape from certain situations or places if one had a Panic Attack or other physical problems, such as diarrhea or nausea.
Individuals with agoraphobia may become avoidant of the feared situations, and often develop what they consider as “safe places" or "fixed routes” to avoid suffering severe anxiety. They may also carry safety aids, such as cellular telephones or medication bottles, if they must enter the feared situations. In the most severe cases, individuals may become housebound refusing to leave their homes for long periods, sometimes even years.
Approximately 1% of the US population may develop Agoraphobia Among the most common avoidances are driving, shopping malls, crowded places such as arenas, stadiums, or theaters, traveling long distances, standing in lines, been alone, meetings, and social gatherings.
Agoraphobia can be treated very successfully using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If you believe that you have Agoraphobia or any other problem with anxiety, and you want help with these difficulties, please contact the Anxiety Disorder Clinic at 713-743-8609 to schedule an assessment.