There are quite a few people who prefer to avoid public places because they dislike them but others are actually fearful of them. Approximately 1.3% of the U.S. population will at some point in their lives experience fear of public places so intense it can be classified as a phobia. A phobia is an out of proportion fear of something that does not pose a threat or the threat is minimal. Agoraphobia is a specific phobia where the sufferer fears public places.
Symptoms of agoraphobia can include:
Physical symptoms can include:
Agoraphobia treatments typically include medicine and psychotherapy. The medicine prescribed is usually an antidepressant or anxiety medicine. The American Psychological Association has a resource that allows you to find a practicing psychologist in your area.