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Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has a fear of situations that may prove difficult or embarrassing to escape in the event of an anxiety attack. It is commonly known as a fear of public places or open spaces but it is not the place itself that causes the anxiety, rather the fear that the sufferer will not be able to receive help if it is needed. Sufferers will avoid these places, often confining themselves to the home, in order to keep a feeling of control. Treatment options include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, gradual exposure therapy (or desensitization) and counseling.