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The fear of open, public places or situations, where crowds are to be found is defined as agoraphobia. The person suffering from this condition is restricted in their activities and social life, as they often cannot leave the security of their home. This is not only a disabling problem to the sufferer, but can have adverse effects on their family and friends, as they are unable to go to a work place, shops, schools and even on holiday.

Reasons behind this type of phobia are not always clear. It is more usual for a sufferer to start in early adulthood, and this affliction can be with them for many years. Often the phobia can begin with a single unpleasant experience of a panic attack in a public place. The fear of it reoccurring is so strong; it sets the pattern for refusing to leave the home.

There are other phobias, such as fear of flying, fear of spiders etc, but Agoraphobia is one of the more severely disabling phobias and one that is more difficult to overcome completely. Treatment in severe cases, can vary from forcing the patient to confront their fears, and learning how to control them, to controlling the anxiety with medication.

This is a well recognised disorder and medical help should be sought, and it is possible that your own G.P. will know of the right counselor to help you.

Additional medical conditions:

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