Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety or panic in situations where the sufferer perceives the environment as being difficult to escape or get help. These situations include, but are not limited to, wide-open spaces, as well as unknown or uncontrollable social situations such as grocery stores, shopping malls, airports, sporting events, and even on bridges. Agoraphobia is the fear of having a panic attack in those situations. Agoraphobics will try to avoid those situations. Severe cases result in being unable to leave their home or places they feel safe.
Agoraphobia usually presents between ages 20 and 40 years and affects more women than men. Approximately 3.2 million, which is about 2.2%, of adults in the US between the ages of 18 and 54, suffer from agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia accounts for approximately 60% of phobias.
Approximately one third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia.