Agoraphobia typically results from the fear of having a panic attack in specific situations "from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected or situationally predisposed Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms" (DSMV-IV). Literally, “fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets” from the ancient Greek agora or market, agoraphobia is generally understood as fear manifested in the avoidance of a cluster of situations such as crowded places, heights, being alone, being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile. Agoraphobia can lead to extreme anxiety and avoidance, leading some victims to become “housebound,” unable to leave a very small “safe zone.” The early treatment of anxiety helps avoid the escalation of symptoms into agoraphobic behavior. Agoraphobia is responsive to both therapeutic and medical treatment.
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