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What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a type of fear. Thisfear manifests through a person being unable to stay in the openspaces due to the fact that this individual may get embarrassed ifhe/she experiences a panic attack. Thus, people with agoraphobiaavoid crowded spaces, large amounts of people in large, open areasetc. However, this condition is not to be considered the opposite ofclaustrophobia, since the size of the room does not matter here. Themain cause of fear regarding agoraphobia is that which creates apossibility of other people witnessing one's panic attack. Therefore,these people do not feel safe while with strangers and crowds ofother people and prefer seclusion inside their own homes which offerthem the desired security.

A lot of people sufferfrom this problem. Interestingly, it does not have to manifest beforethe year of 20, which is considered to be the most common age for theonset of this phobia.

Manifestations of Agoraphobia

Since people suffering from this phobiaknow what can trigger their panic attacks, anxiety is quite connectedto agoraphobia. In fact, anxiety triggers a chain reaction, causingpanic attacks in certain situations. Since in agoraphobia, the fear is triggered bycrowded spaces, the circle of agoraphobia closes here.

Thus, when a person suffering fromagoraphobia is exposed to situations he/she does not like, he/shestarts reacting in an anxious way. The heartbeat gets increased,breathing becomes difficult, hot flushes and sweating engageand one's stomach gets irritated and upset. Moreover, diarrhea can bea sign of this panic attack, including nausea, swallowingdifficulties, dizziness, ringing in ears and fainting.

The person with agoraphobia fears thathe/she may have a panic attack and be a subject of publicembarrassment and ridicule. Apart from that, a person with thisphobia fears that, during a panic attack, he/she could die or becomementally unstable. These feelings can trigger lack of self-confidenceand depression, causing one to become sad and feel helpless and lonely.

So, people with agoraphobia avoidplaces where other people may see them. They usually are capable ofleaving their home only when they are accompanied by a friend or aloved one. Sometimes, they need a drink or some other motivation sothat they could cope with the source of their anxiety.

All in all, agoraphobia is a product ofcontinuous panic attacks happening at the same place. Sometimes,certain medications may lead to this phobia. Recent discoveriessuggest that agoraphobia may have something to do with the lack oforientation due to problems with coordination between the inner earand the eyes. Finally, alcohol abuse,traumatic experiences, mental illnesses and stress may all be behindthis phobia.

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