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Agoraphobia in Children and Adolescents

By

Josephine Elia

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

Last full review/revision Apr 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL 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.

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: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
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Test your knowledge
Separation Anxiety and Stranger Anxiety
An important part of normal development is an infant’s growing attachment to its parents. As this bond strengthens, the infant may express fear or anxiety when the parents leave. This “separation anxiety” typically begins at around 8 months of age and resolves at around 24 months of age. Which of the following is the normal and expected infant behavior in reaction to a parent leaving the room during the time period of separation anxiety?
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Also of Interest

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