Agoraphobia is the most sever of all phobias (Bouton, Mineka, & Barlow, 2001). Contrary to popular belief, the “fear” in agoraphobia is not of being out in public. It is defined as intense anxiety, fear, and panic about being in places from which escape might be difficult or in which help might not be available should a panic attack occur, such as in open spaces, in a line somewhere, outside of the home alone, or in enclosed spaces (e.g., elevators; APA, 2013). The fear of being unable to escape keeps people at home, where they feel safe. Panic attacks are associated with agoraphobia in about one-third of all cases.
I know of a lady who has such bad agoraphobia, that she literally hasn’t left her house in over 15 years. She has a weekly visit from a psychologist. She became like this after someone broke in to her house, well she hid in the closet, she was robbed but thankfully never was physically harm. Imagine seeing how much the world has changed in 15 years. One day she may find the courage and the strength to step foot outside again and beat this anxiety disorder.