Enochlophobia, often referred to as Ochlophobia and Demophobia, is a term used to describe the irrational fear of gatherings and crowd of people.
Although Enochlophobia is used interchangeable with Agoraphobia ( Which is the irrational fear of having a panic or anxiety attack in a place where the victim may be subjected to humiliation or embarrassment), agoraphobia is a fear of getting “panic” attacks in public either in enclosed or open spaces and not the fear or aversion of large gatherings.
CAUSES OF ENOCHLOPHOBIA:
Women are most likely to suffer from the fear of large gatherings of people than men are. Enochlophobia is a social phobia that affects vast amounts of people worldwide.
There is no exact cause of Enochlophobia as phobics associate large crowds to thoughts, images and movies. Hence, different instances of Enochlophobia emerge with its dependence on those associations and thinking patterns.
Thus, no exact causes of the fear of large gatherings can be pinpointed as experts have placed the causes of Enochlophobia on past negative occurrences, traumatic events, biochemical irregularities, genetics and even fallacies, myths and other misconception beliefs about crowds.
Commonly, individuals who are ineffective in desensitizing themselves from the emotions and feelings of members of the large gatherings as well as shy people are more likely to be Enochlophobics.
The feeling of public violation of privacy is also perceived by the phobic and triggers the urge of protection of oneself and the aversion to large crowds, which he/she would go great lengths to avoid.
An Enochlophobic individual also views large gatherings of people as noisy which prevents his/her listening to what is being communicated.
SYMPTOMS OF ENOCHLOPHOBIA:
The signs and symptoms of demophobes (as Victims of Enochlophobia are known) are different with each individual and are physical, mental and/or emotional. Some symptoms of the fear of large gatherings are even internally expressed. They include:
* Inability to function typically and poor sense of judgement between reality and unreality.
* Ease of passage from mild anxiety attacks to a superfluous panic attack at the presumption of a crowd and might go great lengths to flee or avoid them.
* The feeling of being choked or dying, unable to breathe in the presence of large gatherings of people.
* Other physical symptoms of demophobes are upset stomach, nausea, gastrointestinal distress, increased heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
* Trembling, excessive sweating and shaking are also common with demophobes.
* Victims of Enochlophobia have active minds which are persistently hysterical of being trampled or crushed by large gatherings, fear of catching germs and diseases, close contact with sick or infected people, fear of getting lost, mixing and insecurity of being with strangers and feeling low or unimportant in the midst of the large gathering.
TREATMENT OF ENOCHLOPHOBIA:
One can also seek professional help, counseling, talk therapy, group therapy, Hypnotherapy, behavior therapy or drugs for treating their fear of crowd.
Self-help remedy techniques can also be approached;
* Getting a close friend or family member keeping the phobic engaged in the presence of a large crowd to prevent negative thoughts and feelings.
* Keeping one’s thought focused on one person in a gathering.
* Gradual desensitization by embracing smaller to larger gatherings in tandem, which increases the phobic’s comfort levels with time and patience until the victim can attend larger gatherings comfortably.
* Taking deep breaths and focusing on breathing to help ease anxiety and panic attacks.
Having read about enochlophobia, you should be able to identify and clearly understand as well as treat or manage your phobias properly. Don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the comment box.