It is a fairly common condition that frequently accompanies Panic Disorder (though you can have Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia).

Agoraphobia involves “a fear of being in situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing, or in which help might not be available in the event one experiences a Panic Attack.” In practical language, this is the fear of leaving a safe place and avoiding situations that are deemed as unsafe. Unfortunately, this is only an illusion of safety and actually causes the fear to grow. It is only by confronting fears skillfully that you learn to overcome them!

A person suffering with Agoraphobia may limit many activities in their life associated with the fear.

Because of these fears, people with Panic Disorder and/or Agoraphobia frequently have many “safety behaviors.” A safety behavior makes you feel better and can include carrying a cell phone, a bottle of pills, or a water bottle at all times, having your “safe person” with you in the feared situation, or having to know where all the exits are before entering the situation.

Examples of situations avoided include:

  • Being home alone, in crowds, driving situations, enclosures, heights, movies, stores, shopping malls, flying, etc.

Some points to keep in mind about Agoraphobia:

  • Agoraphobia is a treatable disorder and responds very favorably to the approach you will learn in this program.
  • The majority of people with Panic Disorder have some degree of phobic avoidance. Even though they technically do not have full blown Agoraphobia they may have traits.
  • Some people may have only Agoraphobia without a history of Panic Disorder. This is less common but still very treatable using the skills in this program.

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