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Agoraphobia is a medical condition that causes anxiety. The sufferers are afraid of large open spaces, crowds, and new places. Doctors believe that people with the condition are afraid of becoming anxious. Places that make them feel unsafe and increase their feelings of anxiety and panic. They are afraid they might lose control and embarrass themselves. They worry that they may not be able to get away, or find help if they have a panic attack. The word agoraphobia means "fear of the market place". People with agoraphobia believe that their home is the only safe place. They try to avoid leaving home, and may stay in the house for months or in some cases years. In extreme cases they may only feel safe in one room.
People with agoraphobia may show these signs and symptoms:
- Anxiety in "unsafe" places
- Being short of breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Feelings of choking
- Feelings of extreme fear
- Feeling anxious if they know they will have to leave their safe place
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of self-confidence
- Do not want to leave the house
- Do not want to go to new places
- "Agoraphobia | Better Health Channel". betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 7 April 2011 [last update]. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Agoraphobia. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- "Anxiety Panic Hub Assistance for people with an Anxiety Disorder - Agoraphobia". panicattacks.com.au. July 2010 [last update]. http://www.panicattacks.com.au/anxdis/agora.html. Retrieved 11 April 2011.