Monday, June 19, 2006

What is Agoraphobia?

What is Agoraphobia?

Recently, I have been writing articles for e-zines on the topic of agoraphobia. I am fast confirming a previous notion I had that there are not many people writing internet articles on agoraphobia and there are many people who don't know what agoraphobia even is.

That's funny to me because the average person is familiar with most phobias. Take for instance, social phobia, claustrophobia, arachnophobia, etc. Also, the average person has heard of most anxiety disorders. I mean who hasn't heard of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder?

So why isn't agoraphobia getting its share of the ink? Even at the local bookstore, there are many self-help books with anxiety disorder and panic disorder in the title, but often there are few or no books specifically dedicated to agoraphobia. If you are an agoraphobic you have to read about your disorder in sections of these other books.

Well, I came up with a theory as to why agoraphobia seems to be a dark horse among anxiety disorders and phobias. It may well be because it doesn't fit neatly under either category, nor is easily recognizable by its name.

Among the anxiety disorders, agoraphobia is the only one without "disorder" in the name.

Among the phobias, agoraphobia puts a word in front of "phobia" that no one has ever heard of (unless you are Greek). What exactly does it mean to be afraid of the "agora."Most of us would get that hyrdophobia is fear of water or that insectophobia is fear of insects - but agoraphobia - that leaves a lot of people guessing.

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