S: ADAA – https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia (last access: 7 November 2016); NHS – http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Agoraphobia/Pages/Introduction.aspx (last access: 11 November 2016).
N: 1. From Greek agora: open space + –phobia that is fear.
2. An intense fear of being in open places or in situations where it may be hard to escape, or where help may not be available. People with agoraphobia are usually very anxious about having a panic attack in a public place. They may also have a fear of being alone or have trouble leaving their home. They usually avoid elevators, bridges, and public places. Agoraphobia is a type of phobia and a type of anxiety disorder.
3. One theory is that someone develops agoraphobia after having a panic attack in a crowded or unfamiliar place. Afterwards, the individual starts to fear that similar situations will trigger another panic attack and starts to avoid them.
4. Onset of agoraphobia is usually between the ages of 18 and 35 and affects between 1.5% and 3.5% of the general population. Onset can be sudden or gradual, over weeks, months or even years; or it can come and go for a considerable length of time before becoming a permanent problem.
5. Differences between “agoraphobia” and “social phobia”:
- Persons having social phobia are afraid of the settings involving crowds or groups of people. Social phobia involves the fear of interacting in a society.
- Agoraphobia is the fear of public or open spaces, in the company or absence of other people. People having agoraphobia conditions try to avoid crowds or situations where they fear having a panic attack and getting embarrassed.
- Unlike people with social phobia, people having agoraphobia are afraid of walking alone in a secluded place and this is because of the fear of not getting any help if some panic situation arises.
- Persons with social phobia fear of being criticized by others. They feel that people will make fun of them.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=agoraphobia (last access: 4 November 2016). 2. NCI – http://goo.gl/Bew4GX (last access: 7 November 2016). 3. HHP – http://goo.gl/yq6mIv (last access: 8 November 2016). 4. AC – http://goo.gl/yZWklj (last access: 8 November 2016). 5. DB – http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/difference-between-agoraphobia-and-social-phobia/ (last access: 11 November 2016).
CR: acrophobia, anxiety, claustrophobia, dizziness, phobia, vertigo.