you have Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia: an abridged
version of tyhe DSM IV Criteria:
(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is a guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders
in the United States.)
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
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.
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.
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.
The situations are avoided (e.g., travel is
else are endured with marked distress or anxiety about having a Panic
Attack or panic-like symptoms, or require the presence of a companion.
The anxiety or phobic avoidance is not better
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
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., avoidance of dirt in someone with
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).
DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR AGORAPHOBIA WITHOUT HISTORY OF PANIC
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
The differential diagnosis
Agoraphobia from Social
and Specific Phobia and from severe Separation
can be difficult because all of these conditions are
characterized by avoidance of specific situations.