Do you have Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia: an abridged version of tyhe DSM IV Criteria:
(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is a guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders in the United States.)

Please note:
This page has been included for information purposes only - as a guideline to diagnosis- and although these criteria are displayed to provide a guideline to diagnosis they cannot substitute a visit to a doctor or mental health practitioner.
One more thing:
A "diagnosis" is merely a label .
It does not define you as a person.
Be very aware of the power of Labelling- see my pages on the need for certainty and The Power Of Words - see what the experts say about the negative power of Labelling.
A. Anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected or situationally predisposed Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms.

Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train or automobile.
Note: consider the diagnosis of Specific Phobia if the avoidance is limited to one or only a few specific situations, or Social Phobia if the avoidance is limited to social situations.

B. The situations are avoided (e.g., travel is restricted) or else are endured with marked distress or anxiety about having a Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms, or require the presence of a companion.
C. The anxiety or phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Social Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to social situations because of fear of embarrassment),
Specific Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to single situation like elevators),
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., avoidance of dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination),
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., avoidance of stimuli associated with a severe stressor),
or Separation Anxiety Disorder (e.g., avoidance of leaving home or relatives).

A. The presence of Agoraphobia related to fear of developing panic-like symptoms (e.g., dizziness or diarrhea).
B. Criteria have never been met for Panic Disorder.
C. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.
D. If an associated general medical condition is present, the fear described in Criterion A is clearly in excess of that usually associated with the condition.

The differential diagnosis to distinguish Agoraphobia from Social Phobia and Specific Phobia and from severe Separation Anxiety Disorder can be difficult because all of these conditions are characterized by avoidance of specific situations.

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