MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading

Agoraphobia in Children and Adolescents

By

Josephine Elia

, MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision Mar 2019| Content last modified Mar 2019
Click here for the Professional Version
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version

Agoraphobia is a persistent fear of being trapped in public situations or places with no way to escape easily and no one to help.

Agoraphobia may develop in adolescents, particularly those who have panic attacks, but is uncommon in children.

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

Adolescents may have panic attacks when they try to do the distressing activity. They may then avoid that activity.

Diagnosis

  • Symptoms

For agoraphobia to be diagnosed, the fear or anxiety must

  • Persist for 6 months or more

  • Cause significant distress

  • Interfere with social, academic, or other functions

Treatment

  • Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is especially useful for agoraphobia symptoms.

Drugs rarely help adolescents with agoraphobia, except to help control panic attacks.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Also of Interest

Videos

View All
Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Video
Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder
3D Models
View All
Cystic Fibrosis in the Lungs
3D Model
Cystic Fibrosis in the Lungs

SOCIAL MEDIA

TOP