The primary fear of someone suffering with Agoraphobia, is experiencing a panic attack in a crowded public place surrounded by unfamiliar faces and no escape routes or help in sight.
A panic attack can be a terrifying experience where the heart races and it may be difficult to maintain normal breathing patterns. The sudden feeling of dizziness can often make a person feel like they are about to pass out or that they are having a heart attack.
Agoraphobia is commonly misunderstood as a fear of open or public spaces. In reality, it is not actually these spaces that are feared, but rather the threat of having a panic attack or panic symptoms in one of these settings.
An individual with Agoraphobia experiences extreme anxiety about places or certain situations where escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or where help may not be readily available should a panic attack occur.
This extreme anxiety often results in an intense fear of leaving one’s comfort zone and often results in isolation and an extremely negative effect on functioning and relationships.