Almost everyone is familiar with anxiety called “claustrophobia”, which is a fear of enclosed spaces, but the term “agrophobia” only a few of you have probably heard. It is often customary to interpret the term by means of an opposite interpretation to claustrophobia, as “fear of open spaces”, but in fact it is not such a fear. People experience anxiety in a variety of places and in different situations. There are those who overcome them and there are those who are affected by anxiety dramatically and turn their lives into a series of limitations, uncomfortable and they find it difficult to live as they lived before the anxiety appeared. What is behind the concept of “agrophobia”? And how does the subject connect to anxieties and the human body? You can read about this in the next article.

What is agrophobia?

Most of us understand the meaning of the second part of the word: phobia, which implies some fear. Agrophobia is a mental disorder, which falls under the family of anxiety disorders, and it means: fear of places where anxiety may arise. In many cases, the phenomenon is preceded by anxiety attacks. The person who has experienced such an attack tries to avoid another attack in any way possible. For example: if the anxiety attack happened in his office, the person will try as much as he can not get close to the office where he worked, for fear that he will experience an anxiety attack again.


In order to diagnose agoraphobia, one should check whether the person is experiencing the following symptoms:

  1. A person with agoraphobia may feel anxious while staying in a place that is impossible or embarrassing to escape from. These feelings may arise, even if he is not sure he can get help if he feels the symptoms of an anxiety attack such as: tremor, dry mouth, daring, accelerated pulse, chest tightness, feeling confused, dizzy and more.
  2. The person will do everything in his power to avoid places that arouse his anxiety. He is willing to give up important events, social gatherings, performances, work, school or even holidays with his family, if he is afraid that they will arouse his anxiety. There are people who avoid leaving their home or even their room.


Researchers believe that the causes of agoraphobia-type anxiety disorder are a combination of biological and environmental factors. Genetically – there is hypersensitivity in the nervous system and hypersensitivity to stimuli, which lead to the formation of an anxiety attack (panic). When that person experiences severe and deep anxiety, he fears another attack and is afraid that he will lose control during the attack and there will be no one to redeem him. Hypersensitivity will “generalize” and interpret any slight sign in the person’s body as a potential cause for anxiety and the person will prefer to avoid exposure to these factors, such as places reminiscent of the place where they experienced the attack. The very fact that he has a significant relief and reduction in the level of anxiety, encourages his behavior, and this is fixed and rooted. This is a clear recipe for the development of agoraphobia.

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