In this article we will discuss tests to help you self-assess whether you have agoraphobia.
The tests include one that is created by us, we also included some other tests that you can do from trusted third party sources.
We will also discuss what is Agoraphobia and the diagnostic process of the disorder.
What is an Agoraphobia test?
Agoraphobia tests are self-assessment tools that can help people evaluate their symptoms and be used as a guide to help them recognize their own conditions and get the help they need.
These tools of assessment do not substitute or should not be used in place of an official clinical diagnosis done by a clinical professional and oftentimes these assessments are not recognised by the clinical field.
The agoraphobia test created by us is a 2-minute self assessment test that has a list of 10 items exploring the experiences of possible symptoms that you might experience if you have agoraphobia.
You can access our test here.
Some other Agoraphobia tests that you can use to self-assess yourself include:
- Panic and Agoraphobia Scale
- Severity Measure for Agoraphobia test
- The recovery village Agoraphobia Self-Assessment Quiz
- Mind Diagnostic Agoraphobia test
What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.) is a mental disorder clubbed under anxiety disorders where individuals have a disproportionate fear of public places.
People with this disorder often perceive environments that are too open or crowded to be dangerous. This sense of danger and fear is driven by an irrational fear of being anxious, humiliated, having a panic attack or being trapped with no source of help.
Such a condition comes with high anxiety of crowded spaces and can often lead to panic attacks which can further result in more fear and anxiety leading them to actively avoid engaging with such circumstances and often becoming shut-ins.
What is the diagnostic criteria of Agoraphobia?
According to the DSM-5, the Diagnostic Criteria for Agoraphobia include the following:
- Intense fear or anxiety caused by the actual or predicted exposure to 2 or more of the following situations:
- Using public transportation
- Being in open areas
- Being in closed-off areas
- Standing in line or a crowd
- Being alone outside of the house
- Avoidance of situations listed above because the individual believes that help might be unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
- These situations usually incite fear or anxiety.
- These situations are avoided, require help to get through, or are endured with a lot of anxiety.
- The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
- Fear and avoidance behaviour is persistent, as it typically lasts for at least 6 months or longer.
- The fear or avoidance causes the individual significant distress and dysfunction in various important areas of their life like work, relationships etc.
- The anxiety and avoidance is not explained by the symptoms of another medical disorder or a situational circumstance.
These criterias must be met for an individual to be diagnosed with this disorder. The symptoms must be present and persistent in all situations for at least 6 months and must cause dysfunction in their lives.
How does one get diagnosed for Agoraphobia?
If you suspect yourself of having Agoraphobia based on the criterias listed above, the diagnosis and treatment process will go as follows.
You can start by seeing your medical doctor- a general physician- and explain your condition. You will have to explain your symptoms, their frequency, and instances when anxiety was high.
You will also have to mention how the symptoms impact your relationships, your work, and your life in general.
Post the initial conversation, your general practitioner might want to do a physical exam, a few tests, and might also ask you to get your thyroid gland a check to rule out any underlying medical condition.
Following this your doctor might refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist to help you get treated for the disorder if you are diagnosed with it.
What are the Treatment options for Agoraphobia?
There are various forms of treatment for agoraphobia. These treatment include:
- CBT- Cognitive behaviour therapy to break down distortions and negative psycholes of thinking and also exposure therapy to help overcome the fear of going out.
- Self-help techniques that can help in developing awareness and adopting self-help techniques like deep breathing and mindful meditations to help cope and calm ourselves.
- Stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing etc that can be applied when anxiety is high.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – utilized as a means of breaking a negative cycle of thinking and behavior, CBT conditions patients to adopt more positive ways of thinking, combined with exposure therapy to challenge fears
- Medication to help stabilize any neurochemical or biological factors related to the disorder.
In many cases, agoraphobia is best treated with a combination of medication and therapy – most commonly CBT and pharmacological treatments.
What are some other Agoraphobia tests?
Here are some alternative Agoraphobia tests that you can use to self assess yourself before seeking out professional help.
Kindly note that none of these tests are a replacement for medical or clinical tests and assessment done by a licenced practitioner.
Panic and Agoraphobia Scale
The Panic and Agoraphobia Scale is a measure of the severity of symptoms and illness in patients with panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia).
It is available in both clinician-administered and self-rating formats- to be used both in clinical settings and also as a self-report measure for one’s own knowledge.
It contains 5 sub-scales: panic attacks, agoraphobic avoidance, anticipatory anxiety, disability, and functional avoidance (health concerns) which assess the severity of the symptoms and the impact it has on an individual.
You can access this test here
Severity Measure for Agoraphobia Test
The Severity Measure for Agoraphobia for Adults is a 10-item measure that assesses the severity of symptoms of agoraphobia in individuals age 18 and older.
The test is to be used by individuals upon receiving the diagnosis of agoraphobia prior to and after treatment visits.
These patient assessment tests can be used both in research and in client monitoring during treatment to enhance clinical decision-making however not only for diagnosis.
You can access the test here
The Recovery Village Agoraphobia Self-Assessment Quiz
This self-assessment quiz is based on diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition and can be used to assess one’s self for possible Agoraphobia.
This test does not replace a clinical diagnosis from a licensed professional, if you test results indicate a possibility, it is advisable that you see a professional.
You can access the test here
Mind Diagnostic test
This mental health test is an assessment that one can use to understand whether there is a possibility that they have been affected by the disorder- Agoraphobia.
The test assesses the individual for possible symptoms in the past 7 days and is used for adults only.
You can access the test here
In this article we discussed tests to help you self-assess whether you have agoraphobia.
We also discussed Agoraphobia and the diagnostic process of the disorder.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Mcintosh.A What you need to know about agoraphobia. Medicalnewstoday. 10th September 2010. Retrieved on 22the November 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162169