11 Famous People With Agoraphobia (Paula Deen & Kim Basinger)

Agoraphobia is a form of anxiety disorder which causes suferrers to avoid situations and places which might cause them to feel:

  • scared;
  • trapped;
  • embarrassed;
  • panicked;
  • helpless.

The term “agoraphobia” was first coined by the German neurologist Carl Westphal in 1871. The word originates from the ancient Greek word “agora,” referring to a marketplace or a place of assembly.

An estimated 1.8 million people in the United States aged over 18 years have agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder.

In general, females are more likely to suffer from any type of anxiety disorder, and 100 percent more females than males have agoraphobia.

The incidence of agoraphobia appears to be similar across ethnic groups and races in the United States. It tends to begin by adolescence or early adulthood.

Symptoms

Common agoraphobia symptoms include fear of:

  • using public transportation, like – a plane, bus, or train;
  • open spaces, like – bridges, parking lots, or malls;
  • enclosed spaces, like – elevators, movie theaters, or small stores;
  • waiting in line;
  • crowds;
  • leaving home alone.

Causes

In many cases, the condition occurs after a person has experienced a panic attack. About 33 percent of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, agoraphobia occasionally develops with no prior history of panic disorder.

Here Is A List Of 11 Famous People With Agoraphobia:

#1 Shirley Jackson

She was an American writer who is best known primarily for her works of mystery and horror. Over the duration of her career, Shirley composed about 200 short stories, 6 novels, and 2 memoirs.

Shirley Jackson suffered from such severe agoraphobia in the last part of her life that she was occasionally unable to leave her house.

#2 H.L. Gold

He was an American science fiction editor and writer who was most noted for bringing a fresh and innovative approach to science fiction while he was the editor of Galaxy Science Fiction. Additionally, he briefly wrote for DC Comics.

Born in Canada, H.L. Gold moved to the US at the age of two. H.L. Gold suffered from increasing agoraphobia and, in 1961, he retired from Galaxy Science Fiction due to his health problems.

#3 Emily Dickinson

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-white_photograph_of_Emily_Dickinson_(Restored).jpg

She was a reclusive American poet who was very unrecognized in her own time. However, posthumously, Emily is known for her innovative use of syntax and form.

In 1955, a complete collection of her poetry became available for the first time when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published ”The Poems of Emily Dickinson.”

Emily Dickinson dealt with agoraphobia, confining herself to her family’s property, where she baked, wrote, and tended the garden.

#4 Woody Allen

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woody_Allen_(2006).jpeg

He is one of America’s most prominent filmmakers. For his amazing contribution to cinema, Allen has been nominated for the Academy Awards 23 times in numerous categories.

Woody Allen is afraid of almost everything. For instance, he has chromophobia (fear of colors), insectophobia, agoraphobia, and acrophobia.

#5 Bobby Fischer

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bobby_Fischer_1960_in_Leipzig_in_color.jpg

He was the 11th World Chess Champion and an American chess grandmaster. He was the first American-born player to win the World Chess Championship.

At age 14, he was a record-setting chess master who became the youngest player to win the U.S. Chess Championship. Actually, many consider Fischer to be the greatest chess player of all time.

Bobby Fischer was extremely paranoid and agoraphobic.

#6 Sally Field

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sally_Field_(1990)_crop.jpg

She is an American actress and director who started her career appearing in the movie Gidget.

Field received Golden Globe Award nominations for her performances in:

  • Steel Magnolias (1989);
  • Murphy’s Romance (1985);
  • Norma Rae (1979), for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress;
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977);
  • Places in the Heart (1984), for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress;
  • Kiss Me Goodbye (1982);
  • Absence of Malice (1981).

Sally Field suffers from agoraphobia, extreme shyness, eating disorders, and anxiety attacks.

#7 Marcel Proust

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marcel_Proust_1895.jpg

He was a French critic, novelist, and essayist who was best known for his novel ”À la recherche du temps perdu,” which was published in 7 parts between 1913 and 1927.

Marcel Proust also suffered from agoraphobia.

#8 Paula Deen

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/20926969332

She is an American cooking show television host (hosting ”Paula’s Party”, ”Paula’s Home Cooking” and ”Paula’s Best Dishes”) and celebrity chef. Deen has also published 15 cookbooks.

Currently, Paula resides in Savannah, Georgia, where she owns Paula Deen’s Creek House and The Lady & Sons restaurant with her sons.

At one time, Paula Deen’s fear of leaving the place was so severe that she was unable to leave her house.

#9 Kim Basinger

Image credit – https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Kim_Basinger_(1990).jpg

She is an American model and actress who is a laureate of the awards Golden Globe and Oscar for playing a mysterious Hollywood blonde in the 1997 drama L. A. Confidential.

In 2001, Kim was also featured in a documentary called ”Panic: A Film About Coping,” in which Basinger describes her battle with this form of anxiety disorder. However, she has recently beaten agoraphobia with therapy.

#10 Barbra Streisand

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barbra_Streisand_at_Health_Matters_Conference.jpg

She is an American songwriter, actress, singer, and filmmaker who has won:

  • nine Golden Globes;
  • the Presidential Medal of Freedom;
  • four Peabody Awards;
  • a Kennedy Center Honors prize;
  • an American Film Institute award;
  • a Special Tony Award;
  • five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy;
  • the Grammy Legend Award;
  • the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • two Academy Awards.

Streisand is among a small group of celebrities who have been honored with a Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award. Furthermore, she is one of only 2 artists in that group who have also won a Peabody.

Barbra Streisand also has agoraphobia. It took nearly 3 decades for her to conquer her fear.

#11 Chuck Palahniuk

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chuck_Palahniuk_(21962).jpg

He is an American freelance journalist and novelist who is best known for creating novels that include ”Choke”, ”Fight Club” (that also was made into a popular film of the same name), and ”Lullaby.”

Palahniuk describes his work as “transgressional” fiction. Chuck Palahniuk also suffered from agoraphobia.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/000579678590018X
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/493159
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361850/