How to Live with Enochlophobia, Or A Fear of Crowds

How to manage it

Because enochlophobia can lead to intense fears, it could be a challenge to live with. You might especially struggle if you’re regularly exposed to crowds.

Avoidance could help, but relying on this practice all the time may make your phobia worse. Instead, you can turn to other methods that might help you better live with or even reduce your fear of crowds.

Mindfulness is one way you can try to ease your enochlophobia. Focus on being in the moment, so your mind doesn’t wander to what-if scenarios. Doing this can help you stay grounded and prevent irrational fears from cropping up.

If you do encounter a large crowd or plan on being in one, try to visualize yourself safe and confident in your surroundings. When possible, you might ask a friend or loved one to accompany you to a crowded event.

Reducing anxiety could also help you manage symptoms of enochlophobia. Everyday strategies include:

  • regular exercise
  • a healthy diet
  • enough sleep
  • adequate hydration
  • less caffeine
  • relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises
  • time spent on activities you enjoy
  • social activities that involve small groups

Treatments

Therapy is the primary form of treatment for enochlophobia. It may include a combination of talk therapy and desensitization techniques, such as the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of talk therapy that helps you work through your fears and learn how to replace irrational thinking habits with rational ones.
  • Exposure therapy. In this form of desensitization, you’re gradually exposed to crowds. Your therapist may even accompany you.
  • Virtual reality technology. This emerging form of exposure therapy may help you desensitize yourself to crowds without physically being in them.
  • Visual therapy. With visual therapy, you’re shown photos and images of crowds to help reshape your thinking before real-life exposure.
  • Group therapy. This practice can connect you with others who also deal with phobias.

Sometimes, a healthcare provider might prescribe medications to help ease anxiety symptoms you might experience with enochlophobia. Therapists can’t prescribe these. Possible medication options include antidepressants, beta-blockers, and sedatives.

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