What is Agoraphobia?

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is symptomatic of fearing or avoiding places and situations. Individuals who live with Agoraphobia often feel trapped, helpless and embarrassed about their experience.

What types of places/situations does someone with Agoraphobia avoid?

Some examples of places or situations that an individual may avoid include:

  1. Open spaces such as parks,
  2. Enclosed spaces such as elevators, public transportation,
  3. Crowds
  4. Being alone outside of ones’ home.

The individual will fear the situation because they “think” having to leave the situation will be embarrassing while distressed, as opposed to worrying about not being able to leave the situation.

The fear of not being able to escape causes the person to avoid certain situations since anxiety and panic attacks are common.

If you are avoiding at least two of the above scenarios, you may be experiencing Agoraphobia.

What characterizes Agoraphobia as an issue?
Where agoraphobia becomes an issue is that the avoided situation is irrational and impedes on the individual’s life. This type of avoidance will often extend to multiple situations until the person is avoiding almost everything in their life.

How do we treat Agoraphobia?

Individuals with lived experiences of Agoraphobia need to know that recovery and feeling safe outside of their home is possible.

Some forms of treatment include:

  1. Exposure therapy,
  2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  3. Desensitization
  4. Medications may be prescribed to control panic attacks, helping the individual to trust that they will not panic while exploring experiences of distress.
    **Please note only a medical doctor can recommend or prescribe medication for mental health conditions. To learn more about the types of mental health providers, download our free report here:


If you or someone you know is experiencing Agoraphobia, you can talk to a friend or provide support to the person by listening and helping and encouraging them to seek professional support.