Information related to Agoraphobia as well as the specific symptoms follow below. While some of these Agoraphobia symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals, and others, only properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. A multitude of factors are considered in addition to the psychological symptoms in making a proper diagnosis, including medical and psychological testing considerations. This information is for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.
Agoraphobia diagnostic criteria 300.22 (F40.00):
A. Marked fear or anxiety about two (or more) of the following five situations:
1. Using public transportation such as automobiles, buses, trains, ships or planes.
2. Being in open spaces such as parking lots, marketplaces or bridges.
3. Being in enclosed places such as shops, theaters, or cinemas.
4. Standing in line or being in a crowd.
5. Being outside of the home alone.
B. The individual fears or avoids these situations because of the thoughts that escape might be difficult or help might not be available in the event of developing panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms such as fear of falling in the elderly or fear of incontinence.
C. The Agoura phobic situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety.
D. The agoraphobic situations are actively avoided, require the presence of a companion, or are endured with intense fear or anxiety.
E. The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the agoraphobic situations and to the sociocultural context.
F. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for six months or more.
G. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
H. If another medical condition such as inflammatory bowel disease or Parkinson’s disease is present, the fear, anxiety, or avoidance is clearly excessive
I. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, for example, the symptoms are not confined to specific phobia, situational type; do not involve only social situations as in social anxiety disorder; and are not related exclusively to obsessions as in obsessive-compulsive disorder, perceived effects of flaws in physical appearance as in body dysmorphic disorder, reminders of traumatic events as in posttraumatic stress disorder, or fear of separation as in separation anxiety disorder.
Note: Agoraphobia is diagnosed irrespective of the presence of panic disorder. If an individual’s presentation meets criteria for panic disorder and Agoraphobia, both diagnosis should be assigned.
Diagnostic Information and Criterion from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition American Psychological Association