Agoraphobia: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 5/17/2019

Agoraphobia is a fear of being outdoors or being in a situation from which one either cannot escape or from which escaping would be difficult or embarrassing. The condition often occurs in association with panic disorder.

Symptoms of agoraphobia are most severe when one experiences a situation as described above. Associated symptoms resemble those of panic attack and can include anxiety, apprehension, feelings of entrapment, embarrassment, helplessness, and rapid heart rate. Other symptoms and signs can include diarrhea, upset stomach, lightheadedness, dizziness, trouble breathing, excessive sweating, feeling shaky, and chest pain. In severe cases, the individual may feel that death is impending.

Cause of agoraphobia

Medical professionals believe possible inherited or genetic factors coupled with environmental influences cause agoraphobia.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/17/2019

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