font size

Agoraphobia (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are the risk factors for agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia tends to begin by adolescence or early adulthood. Girls and women, Native Americans, middle-aged individuals, low-income populations, and individuals who are either widowed, separated, or divorced are at increased risk of developing agoraphobia. Individuals who are Asian, Hispanic, or of African/African-American descent tend to have a lower risk of developing this disorder.

While having a history of panic attacks is a risk factor for developing agoraphobia, agoraphobic individuals are at increased risk for developing panic attacks as well. Other anxiety disorders that tend to co-occur with agoraphobia include social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Even the use of alcohol can result in severe, temporary anxiety.

When should one seek medical care for agoraphobia?

Call a doctor when the signs and symptoms of anxiety are not easily, quickly, and clearly relieved. For example

  • if the symptoms are so severe that medication may be needed,
  • if the symptoms are interfering with someone's personal, social, or professional life,
  • if someone has chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, palpitations, dizziness, fainting spells, or unexplained weakness,
  • if someone is depressed, feeling suicidal or homicidal.

When the signs and symptoms suggest that anxiety may have been present for a prolonged period (more than a few days) and appear to be stable (not getting worse rapidly), it's advisable to make an appointment with a doctor for evaluation. But when the signs and symptoms are severe and come on suddenly, they may indicate serious medical illness that needs immediate evaluation and treatment in a hospital's emergency department.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Agoraphobia - Treatments Question: How do you treat or manage your agoraphobia? Do you take medication?
Agoraphobia - Experiences Question: Please share your experiences of agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with agoraphobia?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/agoraphobia/article.htm

Emotional Wellness

Get tips on therapy and treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD