The term "agoraphobia", which sounds very similar to the super soft wool of the famous angora bunny, hides a serious anxiety disorder, namely claustrophobia. It is one of the phobias and is a fear directed to a particular object or situation.
The correct use of the term (agora, greek: = market place, public meeting place) is usually unclear, because the agoraphobia is often confused with the fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia). It is correct, however, that he describes the fear of crowds and large squares. Therefore, the still common German translation "claustrophobia".
The "claustrophobia" manifests itself in the fact that affected people avoid public places and situations. They are afraid of not being able to escape fast enough if they feel embarrassed or get into a dangerous situation.
The definition has changed
The agoraphobia was formerly the fear of public places or wide streets, more precisely: of crowds, of the public. According to an expanded definition, which takes into account recent medical findings, the term also includes the fear that in a situation threatening or embarrassing body symptoms and without being help, not to be able to get away, to lose control over themselves. Today one understands under agoraphobia:
- As before, the fear of wide squares, avenues, streets, (empty) halls and (church) rooms, etc., but only rarely as a sole sign of disease.
- Fear and thus avoid situations in which it could be particularly uncomfortable or dangerous to get a fit of anxiety: to leave the "protective" house and (alone!) To go shopping, work, leisure time, etc.
- The use of difficult to understand, z. T. ridiculous acting aids to mitigate such fears such. B. Companion, symbolic objects such as walking stick or other familiar items, children or shopping carts, pets, "escape" corner seats near the door, sunglasses, etc.