Merck Manual

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Agoraphobia in Children and Adolescents

By

Josephine Elia

, MD, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children

Medically Reviewed Apr 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
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Agoraphobia is a persistent fear of being trapped in public situations or places with no way to escape easily and no one to help.

Symptoms

Adolescents experience intense fear or anxiety during or before activities such as

  • Using public transportation

  • Being in open spaces

  • Being in enclosed public spaces (such as a store or movie theater)

  • Standing in line or being in a crowd

  • Being outside the home alone

Diagnosis

  • Symptoms

For agoraphobia to be diagnosed, the fear or anxiety must be unreasonable and

  • Persist for 6 months or more

  • Cause significant distress

  • Interfere with social, academic, or other functions

Treatment

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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