How to Live with Enochlophobia, Or A Fear of Crowds

Enochlophobia refers to a fear of crowds. It’s closely related to agoraphobia (a fear of places or situations) and ochlophobia (a fear of mob-like crowds).

But enochlophobia has more to do with the perceived dangers posed by large gatherings of people you might encounter in your daily life. It also includes the fear of getting stuck, lost, or harmed in a crowd.

This fear falls under the umbrella of phobias, which are defined as irrational fears that may cause severe anxiety. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 12.5 percent of Americans will experience phobias at some point during their lifetime.

If you have a fear of crowds, you might find certain situations challenging, especially if you live or work in a highly populated area. Although there’s no official medical diagnosis for enochlophobia, some methods of therapy can help you overcome your fears. Other treatments can assist with the related symptoms.

How it affects daily life

Phobias like enochlophobia can lead to intense fear over events unlikely to take place. Even though you might realize that such an intense fear of crowds isn’t rational, it doesn’t lessen the real anxiety that can occur as a result of your phobia.

If you have enochlophobia, you might experience intense anxiety whenever you encounter a crowd of people. Your fear might not be limited to typically crowded events, such as festivals, sports games, or theme parks.

You might also experience a fear of crowds you could encounter on a daily basis, including:

  • on a bus, subway, or other form of public transportation
  • at movie theaters
  • at grocery stores or shopping malls
  • at outdoor parks
  • at beaches or public swimming pools

It’s not only direct contact with crowds that can trigger enochlophobia. In some cases, just thinking about being in a crowd might result in stress and anxiety.

Phobias like enochlophobia might also affect other areas of your life, such as work and school.

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