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Agoraphobia is a mental health disorder in which a person fears going out in public places where he or she may feel helpless, trapped, or embarrassed in the event of a panic attack. People with this condition have a fear of losing control during a panic attack, and they often start to avoid the situations that they fear or insist on having another person go with them.
Agoraphobia may interfere with normal daily activities and personal relationships. People with severe agoraphobia may become completely homebound and dependent on others for daily tasks, such as grocery shopping and taking care of errands.
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety. It usually begins before age 35, but it can start in older adult years. People with agoraphobia are at risk for other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse.
The cause of this condition is not known. A variety of factors such as fear of sensations and emotions in anxiety (anxiety sensitivity), family history of anxiety (genetics), and stressful events may contribute to this condition.
You may be referred to a mental health specialist (psychiatrist or psychologist).
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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