Typical agoraphobia symptoms include:
- Fear of being alone in any situation
- Fear of being in crowded places
- Fear of losing control in a public place
- Fear of being in places where it may be hard to leave, such as an elevator or train
- Inability to leave your home (housebound) or only able to leave it if someone else goes with you
- Sense of helplessness
- Overdependence on others
In addition, you may have signs and symptoms of a panic attack, such as:
- Rapid heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling shaky, numb or tingling
- Chest pain or pressure
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Sudden flushing or chills
- Upset stomach or diarrhea
- Feeling a loss of control
- Fear of dying
Panic disorder and agoraphobia
Some people have a panic disorder in addition to agoraphobia. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which you experience sudden attacks of extreme fear that reach a peak within a few minutes and trigger intense physical symptoms (panic attacks). You might think that you're totally losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.
Fear of another panic attack can lead to avoiding similar circumstances or the place where it occurred in an attempt to prevent future panic attacks.
When to see a doctor
Agoraphobia can severely limit your ability to socialize, work, attend important events and even manage the details of daily life, such as running errands.
Don't let agoraphobia make your world smaller. Call your health care provider if you have symptoms.
May 02, 2014
- Anxiety disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Dec 10, 2013.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf. Accessed Oct. 8, 2013.
- Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013;15:707.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of anxiety. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 11, 2013.
- McCabe RE. Agoraphobia in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Numbers count: Mental disorders in America. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml#Agoraphobia. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Kava. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2013.
- Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed Oct. 11, 2013.
- Mayo-Wilson E, et al. Media-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural therapy (self-help) for anxiety disorders in adults (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005330.pub3/abstract. Accessed Oct. 11, 2013.
- Whiteside SP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 2, 2014.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 17, 2014.
- Pexeva (prescribing information). Miami, Fla.: Noven Therapeutics; 2012. http://www.pexeva.com/index.php. Accessed Jan. 21, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.