This condition is a type of anxiety disorder involving an excessive amount of fear or anxiety related to being separated from attachment figures. People are often familiar with the idea of separation anxiety as it relates to young children’s fear of being apart from their parents, but older children and adults can experience it as well.
The person experiencing these symptoms may avoid moving away from home, going to school, or getting married in order to remain in close proximity to the attachment figure. read more
What Is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is a rare type of anxiety disorder. If you have it, your fears keep you from getting out into the world. You avoid certain places and situations because you think you’ll feel trapped and not be able to get help.
For example, you might worry or panic when you are in:
- Public transportation (buses, trains, ships, or planes)
- Large, open spaces (parking lots, bridges)
- Closed-in spaces (stores, movie theaters)
- Crowds or standing in line
- Being outside your home alone
You may be willing to go just a handful of places, or you may even dread leaving your house.
Agoraphobia Causes and Risk Factors
Doctors aren’t sure what causes agoraphobia. They think it runs in families. You may get it if you have a lot of panic attacks. That’s when you have bursts of fear that come out of the blue and last for a few minutes. These happen when there’s no real danger.
Less than 1% of people in the U.S. have agoraphobia. Women are two to three times more likely to have it than men, and it’s more common in teenagers and young adults.
A few other things that can raise your chances of it include having:
- Panic disorder, especially if it’s not treated
- Other phobias
- A family member who has agoraphobia
- A history of very stressful or traumatic events read more
Specific phobias are an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety you may feel when giving a speech or taking a test, specific phobias are long lasting, cause intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work, at school or in social settings.
Specific phobias are among the most common anxiety disorders, and not all phobias need treatment. But if a specific phobia affects your daily life, several therapies are available that can help you work through and overcome your fears — often permanently.
A specific phobia involves an intense, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that’s out of proportion to the actual risk. There are many types of phobias, and it’s not unusual to experience a specific phobia about more than one object or situation. Specific phobias can also occur along with other types of anxiety disorders.
Common categories of specific phobias are a fear of:
- Situations, such as airplanes, enclosed spaces or going to school
- Nature, such as thunderstorms or heights
- Animals or insects, such as dogs or spiders
- Blood, injection or injury, such as needles, accidents or medical procedures
- Others, such as choking, vomiting, loud noises or clowns
Each specific phobia is referred to by its own term. Examples of more common terms include acrophobia for the fear of heights and claustrophobia for the fear of confined spaces.
No matter what specific phobia you have, it’s likely to produce these types of reactions:
- An immediate feeling of intense fear, anxiety and panic when exposed to or even thinking about the source of your fear
- Awareness that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them
- Worsening anxiety as the situation or object gets closer to you in time or physical proximity
- Doing everything possible to avoid the object or situation or enduring it with intense anxiety or fear
- Difficulty functioning normally because of your fear
- Physical reactions and sensations, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, tight chest or difficulty breathing
- Feeling nauseated, dizzy or fainting around blood or injuries
- In children, possibly tantrums, clinging, crying, or refusing to leave a parent’s side or approach their fear read more