Is agoraphobia a mental illness?

Agoraphobia is a type of mental illness that is classified under panic disorders. Panic disorders are mental illnesses that manifest through experiences of intense fear and panic attacks. People with this condition avoid situations or places that induce panic attacks. Most people with agoraphobia like to stay at home for fear of developing panic attacks when they enter environments that trigger the reaction.

Agoraphobia qualifies as a mental illness because it induces debilitating fear in the patients. For those with the condition, the fear is so intense that they do not lead a normal life. For instance, some individuals do not go out for fear that they will get life-threatening panic attacks.

However, some people with no history of experiencing panic attacks often manifest agoraphobia. In most cases, such people experience a deep fear of environments associated with terrorism, accidents, or crime, such as airports, airplanes, malls, dark alleys, and elevators. Such people avoid these places for fear or losing control in public. Other people experience agoraphobia after traumatic events such as bereavement and fire accidents.

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