There's no sure way to prevent agoraphobia. However, anxiety tends to increase the more you avoid situations that you fear. If you start to have mild fears about going places that are safe, try to practice going to those places before your fear becomes overwhelming. If this is too hard to do on your own, ask a family member or friend to go with you or seek professional help.

Also, if you've experienced panic attacks or have panic disorder, get treatment as soon as possible. Because panic disorder and agoraphobia are closely related, getting treatment for panic disorder may prevent the development of agoraphobia.

In addition, if you take medication or are already in therapy or counseling for panic disorder, continue to follow your treatment plan. If you develop any symptoms of agoraphobia, get treatment as soon as possible, which will help prevent symptoms from getting worse over time.

Apr. 21, 2011