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DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Agoraphobia

A) anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected or situationally predisposed Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms. Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd, or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile.

B) The situations are avoided (e.g., travel is restricted) or else are endured with marked distress or with anxiety about having a Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms, or require the presence of a companion.

C) The anxiety or phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Social Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to social situations because of fear of embarrassment), Specific Phobia (e.g., avoidance limited to a single situation like elevators), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., avoidance of dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., avoidance of stimuli associated with a severe stressor), or Separation Anxiety Disorder (e.g., avoidance of leaving home or relatives).

Related Criteria

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Panic Disorder With or Without Agoraphobia

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Panic Attack

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Episode

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependence


  1. DSM-IV. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC.

This material was taken from the DSM-IV. It is intended for educational purposes only.

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Created: March 7, 2005
Last Modified: 10/17/2010





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