Phobia of Leaving

Edward Lathrop
Webmaster and Administrator of, as well as contributor to Stop Anxiety Stop Panic.

The phobia of leaving a place where one fears venturing away from can be considered agoraphobia or at least, agoraphobic in nature.  The dictionary definition of agoraphobia is “fear of the marketplace.”  So, it is implied that a person who is afraid to venture out is suffering from agoraphobia. 

Naturally, the place this person would fear leaving would be his or her home.  Generally speaking, the person sufferingstaying home from the fear of leaving home is not afraid explicitly of the marketplace but he or she is simply afraid to go anywhere.  At least, this is true in advanced cases.

Often the fear of leaving starts when the person with the developing phobia has a panic attack away from the home.  Because of this he/she equates the panic attack with the place it occurred and therefore avoids returning to this place. 

As  time goes on, more panic attacks occur at different various places and the sufferer ads these places to those he or she will no longer visit.  Before long everyplace outside of the home is a part of his or her “do not visit” list and a full-fledged case of agoraphobia or phobia of leaving is developed.

To defeat agoraphobia one must first learn to defeat panic.  Once the sufferer learns how to overcome panic attacks he/she can eventually start on a program bringing the him/her back out into the world once again.  No longer fearing an attack will directly lead to no longer fearing what waits in store when the comfort of the home is left behind.  

Still, even at this point some guidance will be needed in order to help the patient gain confidence.  However as the agoraphobia patient gains confidence the panic attacks will no longer control his or her life, fear of leaving home will be well on its way to becoming nonexistent.

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