The etymology of agoraphobia gives us some insight into what this disorder involves.
The last section of the word -phobia will undoubtedly be familiar to the reader and comes from a Greek word (phobos) meaning 'fear' or 'terror'.
But what about Agora, well this too finds its origins within the Greek language. It literally means 'marketplace' or 'place of assembly'.
Agoraphobia is the tendency of an individual to feel great unease or fear when facing certain situations. But what are these situations?
Just going out?
In public perception, the agoraphobic individual feels the phobic fear merely by going out. However, the DSM has a more extensive criteria and requires at least 2 of the following 5 to qualify an individual as agoraphobic.
1. Using public transportation
2. Being in open spaces
3. Being in enclosed spaces
4. Standing in line or being in a crowd
5. Being outside of the home alone
The DSM lists criteria A through I and features a wide array of qualifying criteria.
Part 2 of this post will deal with demographics and causes
Have you ever suffered from symptoms of agoraphobia?