Essay by HawthornesPupilHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.7

Don't use this if you go to high school in VT!


Everyone is afraid of something. Some people are afraid of taking exams, walking alone in a rough neighborhood, or even insects, but merely being afraid of something isn't enough to classify you as a phobic. People that have phobias have irrational fears that hamper their existence. Millions of Americans are afflicted with phobias or panic disorder. To escape their fear, they go to great lengths to avoid the object, place, or situation that provokes it. They change jobs simply to avoid an elevator ride, for example, or cut back their social life. Some tire their families with their clinging dependency and nearly all lose out on much of life. Although there are three main types of phobias (all of which torture their hosts), Agoraphobia is the most impeding.

Agoraphobia is often misunderstood to be the fear of crowds or open spaces, because of its literal definition "fear of the marketplace".

But it is actually a psychological disorder in which the person affected has an extreme fear of not being able to escape a situation. For example, agoraphobics tend to be afraid of large outdoor places such as theaters, malls, or grocery stores. Like panic disorder, agoraphobia is one of several anxiety disorders, and the two are usually connected. In fact, according to the Nation Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), panic disorder progresses to agoraphobia in about one third of the people it affects. They are similar in the aspect that Agoraphobia is triggered by a panic attack, causing an individual to be scared of returning to the place where the attack occurred. Many cases of agoraphobia are so severe, that the person affected is too afraid to leave the safety of their own home.

Agoraphobia tends to begin...