Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
Panic Disorder is diagnosed in people who have frequent panic attacks that may seem to come on out of the blue and fear their next panic attack. Panic attacks usually begin in adulthood, but some children and adolescents can experience periods of panic as well.
Agoraphobia is a disorder in which a person fears and attempt to avoid places or situations that may bring on a panic attack. People can have Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia. Some commonly avoided places and situations for those with Agoraphobia are:
Public transportation....subways, trains, buses, planes
Personal Transportation.....difficulty driving or being a passenger
Large Crowds....concerts, sports arenas, festivals
These avoidances tend to worsen over time and can lead to a person becoming housebound. This is NOT because they fear leaving their home but rather because their avoidances restrict their ability to leave the house.