- An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially those from which escape could be difficult or help not immediately accessible. Persons with agoraphobia frequently also have panic disorder. People with agoraphobia characteristically become anxious if they even think about being trapped in a situation where it might be difficult to leave the situation. People with agoraphobia also characteristically avoid the situations which bring them anxiety or panic. Agoraphobia is highly variable in severity. People with mild agoraphobia often live normal lives by avoiding anxiety-provoking situations. But, in the most severe cases, the victims may be incapacitated and be homebound. The disorder affects women twice as often as men, tends to start in the mid to late 20’s and the onset may appear triggered by a traumatic event.
The treatment for agoraphobia involves behavior and cognitive therapy and/or medications. As might be expected, people with a mild case of agoraphobia do best while those with a severe case may be plagued for many years, if not the remainder of their lives. Agoraphobia comes from the Greek "agora", marketplace + "phobos", fear = fear of the marketplace.
* * *A mental disorder characterized by an irrational fear of leaving the familiar setting of home, or venturing into the open, so pervasive that a large number of external life situations are entered into reluctantly or are avoided; often associated with panic attacks. [G. agora, marketplace, + phobos, fear]
* * *ag·o·ra·pho·bia .ag(-ə)-rə-'fō-bē-ə n abnormal fear of being helpless in a situation from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing that is characterized initially often by panic or anticipatory anxiety and finally by avoidance of open or public places
* * *n.
* * *ag·o·ra·pho·bia (ag″ə-rə-foґbe-ə) [Gr. agora marketplace + -phobia] [DSM-IV] intense, irrational fear of open spaces, characterized by marked fear of venturing out alone or of being in public places where escape would be difficult or help might be unavailable. It may be associated with panic attacks (see panic disorder, under disorder) or may occur independently (called a. without history of panic disorder in DSM-IV).
Medical dictionary. 2011.
Look at other dictionaries:
agoraphobia — (n.) fear of open spaces, 1873, from Ger. Agorophobie, coined 1871 by Berlin psychiatrist Carl Westphal (1833 1890) from Gk. agora open space (see AGORA (Cf. agora)) + phobia fear (see PHOBIA (Cf. phobia)). Related: Agoraphobe; agoraphobic … Etymology dictionary
agoraphobia — ► NOUN ▪ irrational fear of open or public places. DERIVATIVES agoraphobic adjective & noun. ORIGIN from Greek agora marketplace … English terms dictionary
agoraphobia — [ag΄ər ə fō′bē ə; ] now often [ ə gôr΄əfō′bē ə] n. [ AGORA1 + PHOBIA] an abnormal fear of being in open or public places agoraphobic adj., n … English World dictionary
Agoraphobia — DiseaseDisorder infobox Name = Agoraphobia ICD10 = F40.00 Without panic disorder, F40.01 With panic disorder ICD9 = ICD9|300.22 Without panic disorder, ICD9|300.21 With panic disorder Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder, often precipitated by the… … Wikipedia
agoraphobia —  Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or, more generally, of simply being out of doors – is first referred to in an 1873 issue of the Journal of Mental Science; this attributes the term to Dr C Westphal, and gives his definition of it as ‘the… … The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins
agoraphobia —  Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or, more generally, of simply being out of doors – is first referred to in an 1873 issue of the Journal of Mental Science; this attributes the term to Dr C Westphal, and gives his definition of it as ‘the… … Word origins
agoraphobia — [[t]æ̱gərəfo͟ʊbiə[/t]] N UNCOUNT Agoraphobia is the fear of open or public places … English dictionary
agoraphobia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek agora + New Latin phobia Date: 1873 abnormal fear of being helpless in an embarrassing or unescapable situation that is characterized especially by the avoidance of open or public places • agoraphobe noun •… … New Collegiate Dictionary
agoraphobia — /ag euhr euh foh bee euh/, n. Psychiatry. an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas, sometimes accompanied by anxiety attacks. [1870 75; AGORA + PHOBIA] * * * … Universalium
agoraphobia — noun /ˌæɡərəˈfoʊbiə/ The fear of wide open spaces, crowds, or uncontrolled social conditions … Wiktionary