Studies show that high avoiders are more likely to have had their first panic attack in what is called a classic agoraphobic situation.
In fact, having a first panic attack in public with a strong feeling of embarrassment is significantly associated with the development of agoraphobia (AG).
By contrast, people who had their first panic attack at home experienced more severe distress than those who had their panic attack at the office and whose symptoms were less severe. In addition, they experienced a fear of dying that is more intense than those who had their panic attack in public.
Lastly, there is evidence that people who had their first panic attack in their car or in public transport had a higher rate of comorbid agoraphobia (i.e., panic disorder and agoraphobia).
Hara, N., Nishimura, Y., Yokoyama, C., Inoue, K., Nishida, A., Tanii, H., . . . Okazaki, Y. (2012). The development of agoraphobia is associated with the symptoms and location of a patient’s first panic attack. Biopsychosoc Med, 6(1), 12. doi:10.1186/1751-0759-6-12
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