When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...********************
"When most people think of agoraphobia, they think of "fear of open spaces" (about the opposite of claustrophobia). However, in psychological terms, that is not what agoraphobia is. It is a complicated disorder, often very crippling.
Agoraphobia is basically the fear of leaving one's "safe place". A safe place could be their house, their home town, or even just their room.
This anxiety disorder is classified as "agoraphobia with panic disorder" and "agoraphobia without panic disorder". The first is probably most common, as people fear having a panic attack in public, then they fear that being in public will trigger one, then they fear having one even more, and so on in a vicious cycle. Agoraphobia, untreated, has a tendency to get worse and worse..."
It sounds like your "safe place" is in public.. so it's kind of like you kind of have agoraphobia, but that your safe place is around a large group rather than being alone.. I'm no psych., but it seemed really interesting to me. My agoraphobia pretty much started out with my only "safe place" being in my bedroom. I've gotten a LOT better with meds and therapy, but it is still there. Now I get out and work, although it's a struggle. It's funny that one of my safe places is my doc's office (and therapist's as well)... I almost feel safer there than anywhere else, and I'm sure that doc's offices make most of us with this panic... although the waiting rooms have the complete opposite effect on me.
Very interesting thread and concept... our minds are so complex....