Emotional and Mental Health

Agoraphobia - Fear of Leaving Home

Written by Dr. Vasantha K S and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Image: Agoraphobia - Fear of Leaving Home

Agoraphobia is a progressive condition where a person initially fears a place where he or she previously had a panic attack. They then start to avoid other places which might be crowded, or where help might be unavailable when they have another attack. This includes potentially harmless places like shopping malls and marketplaces as well.

In its severe form, the person is unable to even leave their house or room due to fear of going outside their comfort zone, where there is the least chance of embarrassing themselves.

So, agoraphobia includes fear of:

- Leaving home.

- Enclosed spaces (like tunnels).

- Open spaces (like parking lots).

- Crowded places (like markets).

- Using public transport vehicles (bus, train, etc.).

In short, it is a fear of any place or situation that they visualize as threatening or inescapable from in case of embarrassment or distress.


  1. Avoiding places and situations that could trigger their panic attack.
  2. Not having left the house in an unusually long period of time.
  3. Dependence on others for procuring basic necessities and getting their work done.
  4. Hesitating to leave the house even in case of a medical emergency.
  5. When they do get out, they experience panic attack symptoms such as
  • Feeling distressed.
  • Pounding of the heart.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Excessive perspiration.
  • Feeling faint.


Agoraphobia, like most mental health disorders, is not caused by a single factor, but a combination of various factors such as:

  1. Past experiences.
  2. Personality traits.
  3. General temperament.
  4. A family history of the same.


Educating yourself about the condition is the first step in getting better because you know you are not alone in this struggle. Treatment modalities include:

  • Self-help techniques.
  • Lifestyle changes.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Systematic desensitization.
  • Medications.

The treatment of agoraphobia decided on for the individual depends on the severity of the symptoms experienced. While some find they are able to comfortably travel a certain distance, some remain housebound or even room-bound, while some others feel safe to venture out when they are accompanied by a friend or someone they are close to. So, it is vital to consult a healthcare professional for this condition, who will ask you some questions to assess the severity accurately and treat you accordingly. With proper treatment, there is a good chance of improvement in the overall lifestyle of the affected individual.

For more information consult a phobia specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor/phobia

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



Do you have a question on Panic Attack or Social Phobia?
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Related Questions & Answers

Suffering from anxiety, and panic attacks for the last 3 years. Need second opinion on the prescription.
Query: Dear Doctor, I am suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for the last 3 years. I went to a neurologist 2 years back and he advised me to take REXIPRA 10 for 3 months, SOLTUS 50 for 6 months, HEMIDAP PLUS for 9 months & ZEPAM .5 for 12 months. Upon following these medications, I was improvin...  Read Full »
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I read your query and understood your concern. As per your diagnosis of anxiety and panic attacks, there should be no doubt whether you need neurologist or psychiatrist. Both these conditions come under the domain of psychiatrist and they are more able to treat these ...  Read Full »
What can cause panic attacks?
Query: Hi doctor, I have been having panic attacks for the past 13 years. I have been to the hospital on multiple occasions and have been diagnosed with anxiety attacks every time. I have had EKGs and blood work done. All the reports are fine. Sometimes, I am having multiple panic attacks in a day and also...  Read Full »
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. For panic attacks and persistent anxiety, there is a need to get a medical checkup done. Hyperthyroidism, cardiac issues like angina, etc., could cause increased risk of panic attacks. So, if the panic attacks are persistent, then get one ECG done to rule out heart cause...  Read Full »

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Related Tags