Kim Basinger reveals battle with agoraphobia: What is it and how is is diagnosed?

Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger has revealed she suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia that has left her unable to leave the house.

The star, 68, best known for roles in LA Confidential, Batman and 8 Mile, has been largely out of the spotlight in recent years.

In a clip from an interview on Jada Pinkett Smith’s chat show Red Table Talk, which aired on US breakfast show Good Morning America, Basinger said: “I wouldn’t leave the house. I would no longer go to dinner.”

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What is agoraphobia and what causes it?

Kim Basinger attends the Last Chance for Animals' 35th anniversary gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)

The NHS describes agoraphobia as “a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong”.

Agoraphobia is not only a fear of open spaces, but someone with agoraphobia may be scared of, travelling on public transport, visiting a shopping centre or even leaving their home.

Those suffering from the condition are likely to suffer symptoms similar to a panic attack such as a rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, feeling hot and sweaty or feeling sick.

Agoraphobia usually develops as a complication of panic disorder, an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks and moments of intense fear.

Traumatic events, such as bereavement, may contribute towards agoraphobia.

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Kim Basinger agoraphobia

Basinger said: “It’s really horrible to feel that as really fiercely as I did during those years and not know what it was.

“It’s like something just completely shuts down within you and you have to relearn everything.

“I had to relearn to drive. And for many years I would not go through the tunnels at Malibu.

“Everything used to make me nervous, like … where do I step to open the door? Everything became a big job to figure out how to do it.”

Basinger, who shares daughter Ireland with ex-husband Alec Baldwin, added that she also experienced physical symptoms, saying: “You live with a dry mouth all the time. You’re very shaky. You’re just so exhausted all the time.”

How to watch Red Table Talk

The full interview will be part of the next episode of Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch.

Red Table Talk can be watched when it is released on Tuesdays.