Many people believe that being agoraphobic means you are unable to leave your home. This or other misconceptions may have led you to conclude that you don’t have agoraphobia. Read further and see if any of the these misconceptions reflect your understanding of agoraphobia.
ALL PEOPLE WITH AGORAPHOBIA ARE HOUSEBOUND: Being housebound is the most severe form of agoraphobia. In fact, only a minority of people with agoraphobia are housebound. Many people have mild symptoms.
AGORAPHOBIA IS A FEAR OF CROWDS: While some people with agoraphobia fear crowds, others prefer them. Some people with agoraphobia feel that being around others provides a certain degree of safety.
IT’S NOT AGORAPHOBIA IF YOU JUST NEED SOMEONE TO COME ALONG: If you need someone to be with you, even if you can do everything you like, you still can have severe agoraphobia. Relying on someone else for the rest of your life is a restriction imposed by fear. It leaves you dependent on others.
AGORAPHOBIA IS A FEAR OF BEING ALONE: Many people with agoraphobia are afraid to be alone, but not everyone is. Some people are more afraid when someone else is around because they are concerned about being embarrassed in front of others.
FEAR OF ENCLOSED SPACES IS ALWAYS CLAUSTROPHOBIA: Claustrophobia is a much more acceptable fear in our culture than agoraphobia. If you think of it, people readily admit to being claustrophobic, while few admit as openly to being agoraphobic. Claustrophobia refers to a fear of being restricted to small spaces, such as elevators or tiny rooms without windows. Some people with agoraphobia are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, but usually they have other fears as well. Because the experience often involves fear of the same sensations and catastrophic outcome.
AGORAPHOBIA IS A FEAR OF OPEN SPACES OR PUBLIC PLACES: It is true that some agoraphobics avoid open spaces or public places, but many do not. When agoraphobics do fear situations, it is because of the threat of experiencing a sudden rush of sensations or symptoms, that is, a symptom attack.
AGORAPHOBIA IS A FEAR OF HEIGHTS: A fear of heights is called acrophobia, which sounds similar. Some people with agoraphobia are afraid of high places, but this is rarely the main part of their fear.
AGORAPHOBIA IS ALWAYS THE FEAR OF PANIC ATTACKS: This is not actually the case. People can fear many kinds of symptom attacks. Common to all cases of agoraphobia is the belief that a symptom attack will lead to some catastrophic outcome.
If you have Agoraphobia, you may fear a number of situations, but no matter what the situation, your fear always involves feeling or expecting to feel something disturbing in those situations. You think you cannot handle or cope with certain sensations, which you believe can have terrible consequences. Most people with agoraphobia have not truly experienced the ultimate catastrophe they fear. They may have experienced distress or embarrassment, but no catastrophe has ever actually occurred.