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Agoraphobia is an intense and irrational fear of being in public places. People who have agoraphobia are afraid of being in any place or situation from which it might be hard for them to escape.
Agoraphobia often occurs in people who have anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder. Examples of agoraphobia include fear of being in crowds, standing in line, going into shopping malls, and riding in cars or on public transportation. People who have severe agoraphobia may never leave their homes. Because of their fear, they either avoid the place or situation, endure it with great distress, or need someone to be with them.
Agoraphobia can be successfully treated with counseling and medicines.
Last Revised: September 7, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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