Talk:Agoraphobia

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Deletion of non-profit links[edit]

Nonprofit helping links devoted to helping agoraphobics should not have been removed from this site. Wikipedia does not prohibit having a few (relevant) nonprofit resource links added in an "External Links Section" at the bottom of the page.

It should also be noted that agoraphobics, being housebound, often find it extremely hard to get help. This should also be discussed in the article as it is very relevant to the subject.

Wikipedia policy discourages fanatical, obsessive and especially thoughtless removal of links. A relevant nonprofit link has nothing in common with a commercial link, although some wiki editors haven't figured that out...

I ask for help from administrators and editors to prevent or reverse fanatical removal of relevant nonprofit links from this site... Please appeal over the heads of thoughtless nonprofit link removals. Aggressive removal of appropriate links is vandalism. 69.171.160.216 (talk) 08:34, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Other anxiety disorders[edit]

Is claustrophobia a close (not total) opposite of this? If not, is there a "lonliness-phobia"? --Menchi 23:23, Jul 31, 2003 (UTC)


Lonliness-phobia exists - 'monophobia'. wildeep

There seems to be some confusion between agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder here.... Agoraphobia has to do only with fear of wide-open spaces, populated or not. RoseParks 20:55, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

-- agoraphobia is not at all 'only' a fear of 'wide-open spaces'. Despite it's common definition as a 'fear of open spaces' it is in fact very rarely such a fear. In fact it's etymology ('fear of the market place') is far more accurate. It is normally peopled spaces that are feared, but it is entirely distinct from social anxiety disorder because it is the spatial setting as well as the people that are usually feared. Some common examples of the manifestation of this fear are: being 'trapped' in a public space (e.g. in a queue), or being in an unfamiliarpublic space (in contrast to one's familiar 'safety zone').

Agoraphobia is a disorder where patients fear the anxiety or panic experienced when staying outside one's safe zone. The practical effect is that a patient has trouble venturing outside one's own house. --MegaHasher 08:06, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm so confused about this. I have a mild fear of open spaces, but it has nothing to do with crowds. Is this agoraphobia? If anything, a crowded open space would make me feel closed in, which is the opposite. Basically, my fear involves being in a large open area alone or with very few people. It's definitely a spacial thing, so I don't think it's monophobia, but it really doesn't have anything to do with a "safety-zone", just the actual idea of not being enclosed.
If you mean places like steppes, an empty Forbidden City, airfields, or $#£@HOLY SHIT!! STRAIGHT DESERTS LIKE THIS then I'm 100% with you. I can't understand how people abuse this word.. I mean, I bet people like me are looking for a phobia of open spaces - something that at least makes sense, as you sense how humongous the Earth is compared to you, size difference being a natural flight-or-fight (hate that word) response from any being towards anything huge.. but now psychologists just took something with an etymology completely unrelated and slanted some pussy-ass female anxiety disorder. ARGH. If only. ): I'm an idiot. --88.193.241.224 00:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

There are a variety of fears that can cause of agoraphobia. It is inaccurate and unfair to use language that presumes a single cause for all cases of agoraphobia. 69.171.160.216 (talk) 08:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

The term 'social agoraphobia' should not have been removed from the article[edit]

A significant percentage of agoraphobia is due to social anxiety disorder or social phobia, not a fear of open spaces. Hence the term 'social agoraphobia'.

Constricting the scope of the article is not only overly narrow in perspective but it makes the article harmful by way of misinformation. 69.171.160.158 (talk) 22:55, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

One more point, I'm not saying that social agoraphobia is the only form, but it along with OCD and PTSD clearly establish it as not merely a fear of open spaces in all cases as the opening paragraph incorrectly states. 69.171.160.158 (talk) 23:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Difficulty getting help[edit]

This is an enormous problem for agoraphobics and should not be overlooked. Among therapists and psychiatrists, no one, and I mean no one in the USA will visit an agoraphobic in their home. And very few will do telephone counseling.

Consequently, many agoraphobics in the USA go untreated for years. I don't know why this isn't discussed in the article. 69.171.160.49 (talk) 08:38, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Is agoraphobia an illness?[edit]

Agoraphobia is an established mental illness diagnosis, recognized by National Institute of Mental Health, so I guess this point is not disputable, regardless of the "Liotti" reference. I am inclined to delete this paragraph. -MegaHasher 01:01, 24 February 2006 (UTC)


I raised the 'is agoraphobia an illness' issue. Although I devoted basically no time to developing this section there is definitely a case for its reinstatement. Being an established mental illness diagnosis doesn't qualify it as an illness becuase it means nothing. DSM-IV - the most widely read mental health manual in the world - defines agoraphobia as a 'fear of open spaces' which is broadly at variance with what people 'with' what they understand as 'agoraphobia' expereince. In other words the medical world has a fairly poor understanding of what agoraphobia is. wildeep 5/5/06


As someone with lifelong agoraphobia, I have a little insight on this. Logically speaking, whether or not the medical community understands what agoraphobia is--and admittedly, it is not "a fear of open spaces"--or defines it properly, does not change whether it is a legitimate illness or not. The medical community in the past, after all, did not understand epilepsy either, often thinking it was some form of demon possession, but that does not change the fact that epilepsy has always been a medical illness. The fact that agoraphobia often presents with panic attack disorder, and actual physiological changes take place during attacks, gives further evidence that it, too, is an illness. It sounds as though we are looking at things backwords here. The point of medical and psychological science--as is the case with any science--is to observe phenomena and try to explain it. Just because we do not yet have an explanation for something does not make any difference to its legitimacy.


Hair splitting about Definitions Isn't Very Constructive. Whether or not it's 'an illness' is a non-issue (kind of a manufactured issue). There is no use or purpose in even discussing it. Agoraphobia is a serious problem worthy of more than trivial distractions.

69.171.160.158 (talk) 23:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)


Notably classified as a disease by WHO in ICD 10: F40.0: http://apps.who.int/classifications/apps/icd/icd10online/?gf40.htm+f40 MistyMorn (talk) 11:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Large percentage of agoraphobics are female[edit]

It has been the case, in the past, that the majority of agoraphobics are female.

In males, agoraphobia is usually expressed somewhat differently. While few men are confined to their homes, they may be confined to their home towns; they suffer panic attacks when they leave their, say, city of residence.

If one attributes the cause of some agoraphobia to overprotective parents, this makes perfect sense.

Looking at these two ideas together, one can see why Agoraphobia has been referred to as the "hidden" diease. Some housewives can function very well as long as they are at home. Once their children are old enough to do many of the "outside" chores, the mothers' affliction is hard to detect outside the family.

The ancient term agoraphobia is translated from Greek as fear of an open marketplace. Agoraphobia today describes severe and pervasive anxiety about being in situations from which escape might be difficult or avoidance of situations such as being alone outside of the home, traveling in a car, bus, or airplane, or being in a crowded area (DSM-IV).

Most people who present to mental health specialists develop agoraphobia after the onset of panic disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 1998). Agoraphobia is best understood as an adverse behavioral outcome of repeated panic attacks and the subsequent worry, preoccupation, and avoidance (Barlow, 1988). Thus, the formal diagnosis of panic disorder with agoraphobia was established. However, for those people in communities or clinical settings who do not meet full criteria for panic disorder, the formal diagnosis of agoraphobia without history of panic disorder is used (DSM-IV).

The 1-year prevalence of agoraphobia is about 5 percent (Table 4-1). Agoraphobia occurs about two times more commonly among women than men (Magee et al., 1996). The gender difference may be attributable to social-cultural factors that encourage, or permit, the greater expression of avoidant coping strategies by women (DSM-IV), although other explanations are possible.

Other government materials:

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/297_bump.html

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/numbers.cfm -MegaHasher 06:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Prevelance

- two times more common in women is a massive underestimate at least of reported cases of agoraphobia. 70 - 90% is more accurate.

Is Agoraphobia a Women’s Disease?

Agoraphobia has been referred to as a “women’s disease.” Approximately four times as many women are diagnosed with agoraphobia than men. This, however, does not mean that an equal number of men are not experiencing the anxiety symptoms of agoraphobia. A number of potential reasons for the greater number of agoraphobia diagnoses among women are currently being explored in research:

• Women are more likely to engage in help-seeking behavior, therefore, more women are actually diagnosed with agoraphobia.

• Masculine sex-role stereotypes make it hard for men to openly admit feelings of anxiety.

• When men do experience the symptoms of agoraphobia they are more likely to turn to alcohol and be diagnosed as alcoholics.

• Female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) decrease during the pre-menstrual phase making it easier for women to develop conditioned anxiety responses.

• Traditional female sex roles prescribe women to react to anxiety by engaging in dependent and helpless behavior (like the behavior of an agoraphobic).

• Women are more likely to stay at home alone during the day, making them more likely to become aware and worry about unusual bodily sensations.

Research studies that have investigated reasons for the larger number of females with agoraphobia have not produced a clear explanation. While there are some convincing studies to support each of the above explanations, there are equally convincing studies that don’t. Explaining the gender gap in the diagnosis of agoraphobia is an area in need of further research.

Information source: Bekker, M. H. (1996), Agoraphobia and Gender: A Review; Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.128-146.

For more information on agoraphobia visit: http://www.agoraphobia.ws

I think my Agoraphobia Resource Center site at the above Web address would be useful to people looking for information on agoraphobia. I am a recovered agoraphobic with a master's degree in psychology who wants to provide educational information on agoraphobia for people on the Internet. May I request a link under "external links" on the main page for agoraphobia? --saprice 8:47, October 4, 2006.

its true

agraphobia is actually true because i suffer from it myself i go to school and try to do my best at goin into lessons and stuff i am doin ok at the moment but i have recently had a meetining with my mum and the education welfare officer about my addendence in school. now i only cant stand goin into 3 lessons. when i walk into a crowd of people i feel like im going to collapse because my heart is beating really fast and my face goes really red so i roll my sleaves up and walk outside or some where away from the crowd i also hate sitting in a circle with people because i fell trapped and nervous and i need to get away.

For Agoraphobics who need more information visit: http://www.anxiety-agoraphobia.com

I have agoraphobia and my website chronicles my journey with agoraphobia. It offers help on subject such as social security, getting a doctor to come to your home and agoraphobia support groups. I provide documents from social security and lawyers to help agoraphobics like myself who are stuck at home like myself to see that it is possible to get a doctor and a lawyer and get the help you need. Because not everyone can just get up and just "face it" or see a doctor right away, this site is for you. Im not selling anything or promoting anything. This is a site from a real agoraphobic offering insight to my experiences. --jamesc25313 7:18, April 19, 2008.

Edits by 138.87.226.222[edit]

The edits by 138.87.226.222 on October 17th (which I reverted) drastically changed the content and layout of the article. Judging by layout alone, it appeared to violate conventional wiki article structure. If you do have improved content, refer to WP:MOS for tips on editing and laying out an article. In this case, the article already is well structured: you should use it. — EncMstr 16:26, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Agroraphobia case study[edit]

I recently had a severe panick attack, after some recreational drug use. It was triggered by an injury (bump to my chest) that evening around my chest area which I became aware of in the early morning as I was trying to sleep (at the time I didn't know the chest injury had occurred early that day by a bump to the chest). Because of the drugs I was unable to relax and fall asleep. I started to become irrationally worried about my heart and this increased my fear. As the fear increased so did my panick symptoms. Heart rate, stress levels, confusion, worry. Within 10-20 minutes of the onset of irrational worrying about my condition... I became to have a severe panick attack and was struggling so much I felt I was having a heart attack and about to die. I struggled for some half-hour moving position lying on the floor trying to relax and compose myself but found it extremely difficult. Eventually I took some asprin to try and calm me. It worked because it somehow released my worries and I eventually fell asleep totally exhausted. The next day I awoke feeling regretful of what I did to myself (drug use). however I still had a sore chest area and felt a more heighted awareness of it from then on. A day or so later a bruise appeared to the side of my chest. A very light bruise, which I believe occurred when I bumped my chest area (the day before the panick attack).

The next few weeks I was much more aware of my chest area and started worrying I may have stressed my heart. Every time I coughed I felt sore and the worry never went away. I eventually went to see a doctor about my chest and he took my blood pressure and diagnosed the problem as muscular damage. He felt my heart was fine. However, the following week I was still always aware of my chest and the worry continued mainly because every time I coughed I felt sore in the same area of the chest.

I then went back to work after my holiday's had finished. On the first day back at work another worker told me a women that I had known, had suddenly died of a heart condition. After being told this I immediately started to worry about my own condition and decided to go and see the doctor and get a proper check up that day. After seeing the doctor he took a chest Xray and ECG and everything was found to be normal. I went back to work feeling a little better but I was still a little anxious because the symptoms were still there, i.e I was highly sensitive to my heart region. When back at work that same day, a close friend turned up unannouced and I became very anxious as I told him about my heart condition again and the check up. After he left I found it hard to relax and started having another slight panick attack. I left work telling people I didn't feel well. Too much anxiety, stress and awareness of a heart condition. After going home I became very worried and for the next few days stayed house bound trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I found it hard to sleep at nights because that was the place the first panick attack occurred. I also didn't want to go to work because that was the second place the panick attack occurred. I then went and saw the doctor again, after telling him everything including drug use the night of the first panick attack, he referred me to a clinical psychologist. At this stage I didn't realise it but I was starting to get the onset of agroraphobia. I believe agroraphobia was caused by my early two panick attacks. The Physical fatigue caused by the 2nd panick attack lead to confusion. As the mind raced to try and workout what was wrong with me. Unfortunately, this only makes the situation worse. I felt like I was not in control of my ability to control my stress anymore. It was a difficult confusing time. This is why I believe agroraphobia develops. You start to worry about losing composure and having a panick attack in places where you would usually be expected to be calm. Like sitting in the clinic waiting to see a doctor. Or in a quite place like a library. Because a person who develop panick disorder, losing confidence in their own ability to keep composure in situations they are expected to be calm. You get locked in a cycle of irrational worry -> panick disorder -> irrational worry -> panick disorder -> lose self-confidence in ability to self-control -> agroraphobia

I did develop agroraphobia after a short history of panick disorder brought on by irrational worrying I might suddenly have a heart attack.

Incidentally. This irrational worrying of a heart attack came about by own life experience. My father died of a heart attack four years ago. I also had a two young friends of the same age die of unexplained sudden heart attacks recently (both friends in their late 20's)

Manifestation of OCD[edit]

As a person with obsessive compulsive disorder, I occasionally experience agoraphobia, and so I think it is a manifestation or at least a symptom of OCD. Is this true? Le Anh-Huy 09:26, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

Is this introductory section a joke? If it is, then I don't get it. If it isn't, then it has be one of the most bizarre, off-the-wall, unsubstantiated overviews of agoraphobia, ever. 4.246.153.62 06:15, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I have to agree - it doesn't look like this article is actively edited, but some of the statements made here are just odd... This needs reviewing and editing urgently.Mr Twain 14:04, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I tried to do some clean-up, but I admit this topic is still in poor shape. Seems to have deteriorated slowly since last year. MegaHasher 03:36, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't know anything about agoraphobia so I'm not going to edit it, but someone needs to write an intro with better grammar. Half the sentences start with conjunctions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 167.206.85.68 (talk) 16:18, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming[edit]

Neuro-Linguistic Programming as a treatment is "widely accepted by the general public"?! Uhm, I always thought NLP was a widely discredited pseudoscience that few people in the general public had heard of or taken seriously. I won't change it since I can't claim to know that much about it, but I'd sure appreciate a reference if there is one. If there isn't one, maybe this statement should be investigated more carefully. Xezlec 02:31, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Fictional[edit]

This 'fictional' section is becoming yet another trivia piece. I will probably archive it in this talk page. MegaHasher 03:31, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Agoraphobics[edit]

Please see the policy on trivia lists: Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections. Avoid potentially libelous materials. MegaHasher 00:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Fear of open spaces[edit]

I've been told that fear of open spaces is known as "classical agoraphobia". (I'm a sufferer too, btw).

- Meltingpot

Meltingpot 10:25, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I was unable to find any medical or psychological references which described a "classical" variety, or agoraphobia as a fear of wide open spaces per se, though for an individual sufferer I do not doubt that ANY particular set of characteristics of "unsafe place" might not happen in rare cases to center around some sort of "open space". However an overall definition as a morbid fear of open spaces is a common non professional cultural definition which I suspect owes much to Hitchhock's "Vertigo" film. UC232 (talk) 10:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The Scream by Munch[edit]

Why not have the picture of The Scream here? See this: [1]. In Munch´s biography by Rolf Stenersen there is a chapter where he talks about Munch suffering from agoraphobia - and that The Scream was painted as a result of his fear of unfamiliar places. And Stenersen uses the word agoraphobia. --85.220.93.48 (talk) 23:58, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Websters Newworld college dictionary fourth edition[edit]

In it, is says that agoraphobia is an irration fear or open or public places. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.167.223.170 (talk) 21:20, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Physical disability?[edit]

This article seems to need expert attention, because if it's not sourced then it should at least be looked over for obvious misinformation. One of the [recent edits] by an IP user states that having a physical (mobility effecting[sic]) disorder increases the chance of getting agoraphobia. Like much of the article, it is unsourced. Since the IP address doesn't seem to have a history of bad-faith edits, I'll just fix the spelling and leave it there. Also, just a reminder that the talk page is for discussion about the article, not for general discussion about agoraphobia. [Phlyght] 13:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Expert[edit]

The article needs to be looked over for misinformation/hoaxes/information that is unsourced and controversial in Psychology circles. The article also lacks citations, so if you're familiar with suitable sources, that would be fantastic. [Phlyght] 13:27, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I strongly agree this article needs expert attention as the definition offered in the current Wiki article IS SIMPLY INCORRECT. It appears to be based on a cultural misconception or a non-medical dictionary definition of an illness, which is hardly the best authority (and not only for agoraphobia but for many other things; look up "headache" sometime), or perhaps memories of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film "Vertigo" - again, a sad authority for defining a medical condition! The DSM-IV defines agoraphobia as "Anxiety about being in places or 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. Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile." The World Health Organization definition is "Agoraphobia -- A fairly well-defined cluster of phobias embracing fears of leaving home, entering shops, crowds and public places, or travelling alone in trains, buses or planes. Panic disorder is a frequent feature of both present and past episodes. Depressive and obsessional symptoms and social phobias are also commonly present as subsidiary features. Avoidance of the phobic situation is often prominent, and some agoraphobics experience little anxiety because they are able to avoid their phobic situations." UC232 (talk) 09:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I can't be sure, but...[edit]

Hey. I don't know for sure, but I think that this statement is more of an opinion than a fact. Should this be changed?

  • "...and that traditional female sex roles prescribe women to react to anxiety by engaging in dependent and helpless behaviors.[6]"

Please respond. Rob657 (talk) 04:25, 24 February 2009 (UTC)Rob657

Copyright violation?[edit]

"There is also preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided." These two sentences are lifted directly from the source cited after them. 74.226.132.106 (talk) 02:40, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Prevalence[edit]

how common is agoraphobia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.111.149.53 (talk) 20:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Fear of having a panic attack?[edit]

The article currently says, "Agoraphobia may arise by the fear of having a panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape." Should it not be "Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a setting from which one feels there is no easy means of escape, often resulting in a panic attack." I don't think it's the fear of the panic attack itself, but the fear of the setting. - GAMEchief (talk) 00:17, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

You are correct. The way this article is worded makes no sense. Agoraphobia is not a morbid fear of a panic attack, it's the cause of the morbid fear OR panic attack. 50.80.139.102 (talk) 06:21, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

The (British) National Health Service Choices website states that the opinion that agoraphobia is associated with panic attacks has been refuted by recent studies. This site is for the advice of patients and does not cite scientific sources but it refutes the strong assciation between agoraphobia and panic attacks mentioned in the article. Possibly a doctor or psychotherapist with access to the literature could correct the statements made on this apparently false correlation. Barney Bruchstein (talk) 10:17, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Isaac Asimov as agoraphobe[edit]

I believe that the listing of Isaac Asimov as a notable agoraphobe is incorrect. In his autobiography, I, Asimov: A Memoir he says 'My claustrophilia is not extreme. While I prefer enclosed places, I can get along very well in sunlit rooms and in the open. I don’t have any touch of agoraphobia (the morbid fear of open places), though I would rather walk the canyons of Manhattan with tall buildings hemming me in than in Central Park, which is open.'

I have also tracked down the currently listed reference cited as evidence of his agoraphobia (Before the Golden Age: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s) and the relevant passage does not support the claim:

'Most of all, though, there was (and is) something fascinating to me in the thought of endless corridors burrowing underground. I’m a claustrophile. I enjoy the feeling of being closed in. I like tunnels and corridors and never mind the absence of windows. The office I work in I chose because it faces a court. I keep the shades pulled down and I work under perpetual artificial light. [...] But don’t get me wrong. I am not psychotic about it. The apartment I live in is on the twenty-third floor with wide windows overlooking Central Park, and the sunlight comes in steadily.'

So as he put it, he was claustrophilic (someone who loves enclosed spaces) but not necessarily thereby agoraphobic.

However, I will hold off deleting him from the list for a day or so, both for any further discussion and because I'm new to Wiki and so I'm a bit uncertain about the effect of deleting a footnote on the numbering of the notes that follow it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.30.107.120 (talk) 15:37, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I think you've done more than enough to show that Asimov shouldn't be listed, so I'm removing him. In the future, if you're confident about your edit you should go ahead and do it. Then, if others disagree, they'll revert it and bring the issue here to the talk page. This process is called the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. -- Fyrefly (talk) 16:48, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Emily Dickenson[edit]

I realize this is just from High School English classes, but I've always been told that Emily Dickenson was agoraphobic, and she did refuse to lave her home for several years. Should she be in the article's list of people? --71.232.241.114 (talk) 21:18, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but for convenience, it's Emily Dickinson. Looie496 (talk) 22:15, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi 71.232.241.114! If you have good, secondary sources,please be bold and add her to the list! With friendly regards, Lova Falk talk 18:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)