Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. It is an irrational fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape is difficult. People with agoraphobia may not leave the house.
The exact cause of anxiety disorders is not known. Agoraphobia often occurs with panic disorders. People with a panic disorder may having a panic attack and not having anyone around to help them. This can lead them to avoid certain places or situations. Other factors that may contribute to the development of agoraphobia include:
- Changes in brain chemistry or activity
- Having a nervous system that reacts excessively, even to normal stimuli
- Increased awareness of physical changes, such as increased heart rate
- Distorted thinking, which may start a cycle of fear
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedFebruary 2013by Brian Randall, MD
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