What is it?

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.

Agoraphobia fact sheet

DIY self diagnosis

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
  • One year’s free subscription to Headspace (worth approx. £60), more details
  • Access to our infoline, email, text and live chat services (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 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.

Recommended resources

overcoming panic and agoraphobia

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.