Agoraphobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, particularly where an escape could be difficult or not immediate.

Sufferers typically become anxious even if they think about being trapped in one of these situations, they are therefore prone to high levels of avoidance.

Agoraphobia is highly variable in severity, mild sufferers may often lead fairly normal lives by avoiding anxiety provoking situations. However, in severe cases sufferers may be incapacitated and house bound.