Causes of agoraphobia are unknown. There are a number of theories about what can cause agoraphobia. One hypothesis is that agoraphobia develops in response to repeated exposure to anxiety-provoking events. Suffering with panic disorder or other phobias, or experiencing stressful life events, may play a major role in the development of agoraphobia. Girls and women are more likely to develop agoraphobia compared to boys and men. it is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms. Physical examination also helps in diagnosis of the disease. Diagnosis of Agoraphobia must meet criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Early treatment of panic disorder can often prevent agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is typically determined when symptoms are worse than panic disorder, but also do not meet the criteria for other anxiety disorders such as depression.