What is it?
Agoraphobia is a very complex phobia usually manifesting itself as a collection of inter-linked conditions. Most commonly it is defined by fear of leaving a “safe” place, usually the home.
However, many agoraphobics also fear being left alone (monophobia) and dislike being in any situation where they feel trapped (exhibiting link to claustrophobia type tendencies).
The severity of agoraphobia varies enormously from those who are housebound, even room-bound, to those who can travel specific distances within a defined boundary. 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.
DIY self diagnosisIf 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?
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 here to download a free copy.