It seems just about every phobia now has a name. A fear of crowds is a common phobia and one which I have suffered from myself for many years. This post will share some more information on enochlophobia and similar phobias, as well as offer a way to overcome a fear of crowds.
What Is Enochlophobia?
Enochlophobia is quite simply a fear of crowds. It is quite common for people to have a fear of crowds, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have enochlophobia. When the fear results in irrational thinking and behaviors when in a crowd, or when trying to avoid a crowded situation, this is usually diagnosed as enochlophobia. Often these fears lead to physical symptoms and panic attacks, which can happen at both the thought of being in a crowded situation and actually physically being there.
Symptoms Of Enochlophobia
The symptoms of enochlophobia are very similar to those of a panic attack. Often the fear of crowds will result in having an actual panic attack. Some symptoms that you may experience include:
Increased heart rate
Shaking or trembling
Shortness of breath
These symptoms may lead to feeling things like helplessness, desperation, anger, and many other negative thoughts. Often this results in avoidance type of behaviors, which is difficult to do when crowds are a part of every day life.
What Is The Difference Between Enochlophobia And Agoraphobia?
While enochlophobia is specifically a fear of crowds, agoraphobia is slightly different. Agoraphobia can include a fear of crowds, but it also can include a fear of open spaces or places where escape is difficult. Most commonly though, this leads to a fear of leaving the house which is what most people think of when they think of agoraphobia. Although I specifically have a fear of crowds which is what enochlophobia is, I also have a fear of places where I don’t have any easy exit and this has led to a general fear of leaving the house. This is why I am told that I have agoraphobia rather than enochlophobia.
What Is Ochlophobia?
Ochlophobia is slightly different to enochlophobia in that it relates specifically to a fear of mobs more than it relates to a fear of crowds in general. Another similar phobia is demophobia, which is a fear of masses of people, very similar to enochlophobia.
What Causes Enochlophobia?
There is no single known cause of enochlophobia. It can be connected to past experiences, such as being trapped in a crowd or having an embarrassing situation while in a crowd of people. It can even be from witnessing someone else having these situations while in a crowd.
Social anxiety can also be a contributing factor, as the underlying fear of being judged by people or embarrassed in front of people can make you fearful of large groups of people. Genetics can also play a part. People who worry a lot or are overly negative thinkers tend to be more susceptible to experiencing these types of phobias, as do people who suffer from anxiety disorders.
Treatment For Enochlophobia
There are a couple of treatment options for people who suffer from enochlophobia. One of those is medication, or more specifically anti anxiety medication. Depending on your situation and what your doctor thinks is the best course of treatment, they may decide to put you on long term anti anxiety medication or short term medication such as Valium or Xanax. The problem with using medication to treat anxiety and phobias is that it is doing nothing to get to the root cause of the fear. All it is doing is masking the fear so you can get through the situations more easily, but without the medication you are essentially back to where you started and have done nothing to address the underlying cause of your phobia.
Another treatment option is cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT for short. CBT helps you to reframe your thinking into more constructive and helpful thoughts. It is a very effective treatment for many mental illnesses and I am a big supporter of it myself. The biggest drawback is that it takes time and practice of changing those negative thoughts, and often when we are in the middle of a panic attack it is extremely hard to change our way of thinking while we are trying to cope with all of the other symptoms that are rearing their ugly little heads. So you need to consistently practice CBT and over time it will start to come more naturally.
Tips For Coping With Crowds
Sometimes, being in a crowd simply can’t be avoided. If you find yourself in that situation, then here are some tips to help you manage better.
Have an exit strategy. If possible, try to position yourself near an exit or somewhere where you can see a clear path to get to the exit. Feeling that you have an ability to leave the situation can help to alleviate some of the fear associated with the crowds of people.
Always have a support person. Having someone who understands your phobia and is there to support you can make it easier to manage in a crowd. I have used this tip many times in the past, and I found that holding the support persons hand and letting them guide me through the crowd while I look down at my feet and not the crowd was very helpful.
Choose your time wisely. If possible, choose to go when places are less likely to be crowded. This can mean doing your shopping at night or avoiding big sale events or weekends at a busy mall.
Move with the crowd. If all of the crowd is moving in the one direction, such as towards an exit or entry, then try not to fight against it by moving in the opposite direction. A crowd moving in the same direction as you is far easier to cope with than a crowd that is moving against you.
How To Overcome A Fear Of Crowds
At the root of all phobias and anxiety is one little thing called fear. All phobias are a fear of something, and all anxiety is triggered by an underlying fear. The best form of treatment for enochlophobia or any other phobia is one that gets to the root cause of the problem and helps you overcome that fear.
There is one product that I have used and recommend for overcoming this fear. I suffer from anxiety and panic disorders as well as enochlophobia which eventually became agoraphobia. I wasn’t in a good way before I came across this product, and my anxiety and phobias were having a very significant impact on my day to day life.
The good thing about this product is that it is in a course format, so there is no medication or side effects to deal with. The knowledge you gain from the course can be used anytime and anywhere when you start to feel the symptoms of your phobia. After I had read through the course, I felt so confident that I could handle being in a crowd that I went straight to a busy shopping mall and spent some time walking around. Using what I learned in the course allowed me to do it with ease and actually enjoy the experience. I no longer consider myself to have agoraphobia and my anxiety has been significantly reduced. I am close to living a normal life again.
The course that helped me to get there is called Panic Away. It comes with a full 60 day money back guarantee, but I feel pretty confident you won’t need to claim it. There is no reason why you can’t have the same results as what I did and get back to living a normal life, free of the fear. You can get started with Panic Away by using the link below.
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