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Agoraphobia, Cause and Treatment

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nopanic.org.uk

Agoraphobia was a term coined by the German neurologist Westphal in 1871. In his original description, Westphal described four patients (all men) who had attacks of anxiety in public places.

Interestingly, he described how several of them used alcohol to reduce their fears. The term ‘agoraphobia’ derives from the Greek, the word ‘agora’ meaning the market place.

This term, Westphal felt was appropriate because it described how people felt vulnerable in public places and in particular where there was no obvious exit.

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