An anxiety disorder characterized by fear of public and/or unfamiliar places. Those suffering from agoraphobia often avoid entering such environments for fear of experiencing a panic attack and finding themselves unable to escape.
Example: Our neighbor is reluctant to leave her house; we tried to get her to come out for dinner with us once, but halfway to the restaurant she panicked and made us turn the car around.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Sep 2008