Agoraphobia is a very complex phobia usually manifesting itself as a collection of inter-linked conditions.
For example many agoraphobics also fear being left alone (monophobia), dislike being in any situation where they feel trapped (exhibiting claustrophobia type tendencies) and fear travelling away from their ‘safe’ place, usually the home. Some agoraphobics find they can travel more easily if they have a trusted friend or family member accompanying them, however this can quickly lead to dependency on their carer.
The severity of agoraphobia varies enormously between sufferers from those who are housebound, even room-bound, to those who can travel specific distances within a defined boundary. It is not a fear of open spaces as many people think.
To find out more information about agoraphobia, click here to download a copy of our fact sheet.
If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by agoraphobia.
During the past 6 months:-
- Did you regularly avoid situations because you are frightened of having a panic attack?
- Did any of the following make you feel anxious:
- Going outside away from your home?
- Standing in long lines?
- Being in a confined space such as being in a tunnel, on the underground, etc.?
- Being at home alone?
- Being in wide open spaces, such as in a field, in a park, etc.?
- Being in crowded places?
- Did you avoid being in any of the above situations?
Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.
How we can help
Anxiety UK is a user-led charity with more than forty years experience in supporting those living with anxiety. By becoming a member of Anxiety UK, you will have access to a range of benefits, including:
- Access to reduced cost therapy within two weeks of submitting your therapy request
- Access to our helpline (available Monday-Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm) staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety
- Receipt of four issues of Anxious Times, our quarterly members” magazine
- Access to the members only section of our website, featuring regular support surgeries facilitated by anxiety experts
- Access to specialist helplines, including the psychiatric pharmacy helpline and the psychology information helpline
And many, many other benefits that will help you manage your anxiety long term. To become a member of Anxiety UK click here or ring 08444 775 774 today.
Want to know more?
Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia is an evidence based self help guide underpinned by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. You can purchase this book from the Anxiety UK online shop here.
Overcoming Agoraphobia: A Self Help Manual: Professor Karina Lovell from the University of Manchester was kind enough to donate a copy of her book on agoraphobia to individuals accessing support from Anxiety UK. Click hereto download a free copy.
Anxiety UK relies on donations to keep its services running. If you found this information useful please make a donation – no amount is too small.
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Do you suffer from agoraphobia and want to share your experience with other people? Post your personal experience in the comments box below where it will be sent to our moderator for approval. Many people find this part of the site very useful when trying to understand their disorder so your comments really do make a difference. Please note, all comments submitted to the Anxiety UK website may be used by Anxiety UK for (but not limited to) publicity and promotional material.
“I was agoraphobic for almost 15 years. My therapist advised me to try going out one step at a time but I just couldn’t manage it. Around 2002, I just decided to give it a try. It took a few months of hard work, minor (thank goodness) panic attacks and a lot of sweat, but now I can go out and about as if I had never suffered in the first place. I realise however that I must remember that I will always be a ‘recovering agoraphobic’ and that I might therefore relapse at some point, though god willing, this will never happen. For everyone who is totally housebound, and who feels that there is no hope for them, DO NOT GIVE UP. I felt like giving up less than 3 years ago, and look at me now. Agoraphobia can be beaten.”
Clare, Anxiety UK Member