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Why do some people have a phobia of open spaces?

Discussion in 'Agoraphobia' started by Admin, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    On one extreme of the phobia scale we have agoraphobia and on the other we have a fear of open spaces. This perfectly illustrates the challenges of today and how situations at different ends of the spectrum can impact an individual’s life.

    Why do some people have a phobia of open spaces? Could this be as simple as protection in numbers?
  2. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I don’t suffer with agoraphobia myself but I have read before that a fear of open spaces is caused by the worry of being in a situation where you started to feel you needed to escape from and you would have nowhere to go or you wouldn't be able to find an exit quick enough. I also read that agoraphobia for some people could also be due the fact that in a wide open space they’d have nothing physical to hold onto. I wasn't sure about this one but can anybody please tell me if this is true or relevant to them?
  3. kelbel

    kelbel Member

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    As an agoraphobia sufferer, I find it funny that the actual meaning of the word "agoraphobia" means "fear of open spaces" as I think that's a really inaccurate description and confuses people. Most people who suffer with it have a fear of being too far away from home, or (as you mention Jade) a fear of being trapped in a situation they cannot escape from (such as a busy shopping centre, in a lift or on a plane). I've not heard of it being a comfort to have anything to physically hold onto and that's not relevant to me, but perhaps it differs slightly from person to person.

    Ironically, sitting in the countryside is one of the most relaxing things i do so definitely not a fear of open spaces lol! I don't know how it's managed to get such a misleading name - no wonder people are confused by exactly what it is.

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