Agoraphobia is classified as an anxiety disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, characterized by the avoidance of places and/or situations that may cause acute panic, or a feeling of being trapped without a way out. At its worst, individuals feel unable to leave their home due to anticipatory anxiety of what might happen if they were out in public.
Agoraphobia Stats – Population Trends
According to data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) study, it is estimated that 9% of U.S. adults suffered from agoraphobia in the past year. Women represent a slightly greater proportion of the diagnostic population compared to men (9% vs 8%, respectively). Severity was distributed rather evenly among those with a formal diagnosis (Mild 28.7%; Moderate 30.7%; Serious 40.6%). The problem can occur throughout the lifespan, and is often seen in adolescents.
**For a deeper look into Agoraphobia, read our article, "Defining Agoraphobia: Treatment and Prevention Considerations"