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Agoraphobia Disorder

Diagnostic criteria - Agoraphobia

A. 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.

Note: Consider the diagnosis of Specific Phobia if the avoidance is limited to one or only a few specific situations, or Social Phobia if the avoidance is limited to social situations.

B. The situations are avoided (e.g., travel is restricted) or else are endured with marked distress or with anxiety about having a Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms, or require the presence of a companion.

C. The anxiety or phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Social Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to social situations because of fear of embarrassment), Specific Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to a single situation like elevators), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., avoidance of dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., avoidance of stimuli associated with a severe stressor), or Separation Anxiety Disorder (e.g., avoidance of leaving home or relatives). (p. 396-7).
Diagnostic criteria - Agoraphobia Without History of Panic Disorder

A. The presence of Agoraphobia related to fear of developing panic-like symptoms (e.g. dizziness or diarrhea).

B. Criteria have never been met for Panic Disorder

C. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

D. If an associated general medical condition is present, the fear described in criterion A is clearly in excess of that usually associated with the condition.

(1994) American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association

Links to Agoraphobia Disorder websites:

  • Anxiety Disorders Education Program
  • Anxiety Disorders Assoc. of America
  • Anxiety Disorders Education Program
  • Israel Institute for the Treatment and Study of Stress
  • National Panic/Anxiety Disorder News
  • Noodles' Panic-Anxiety Page
  • Anxiety Disorder Association of America
  • The Good Mood Page
  • Anxiety Disorders Assoc. of America




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