Agoraphobia Diagnostic Criteria

A. Marked fear or anxiety about two (or more) of the following five situations:

1. Using public transportation (e.g., automobiles, buses, trains, ships, planes). 2. Being in open spaces (e.g., parking lots, marketplaces, bridges). 3. Being in enclosed places (e.g., shops, theaters, cinemas). 4. Standing in line or being in a crowd. 5. Being outside of the home alone.

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B. The individual fears or avoids these situations because of 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 (e.g., fear of falling in the el­ derly; fear of incontinence).

C. The agoraphobic 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 6 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 (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, 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 defects or 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).

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