Phobia Wiki


Catagelophobia or katagelophobia (from Greek cata, "put down", and gelo, "laugh") is the fear of being ridiculed.

This phobia may take root in early childhood, as a child is more sensitive emotionally and any exposure to inconsiderate criticism or condemnation leads to an offended psyche. Children who grow up in an environment bereft of affection and love suffer from low self-esteem. As a result, they may become reclusive and withdrawn. Catagelophobia causes people to shun and avoid others for fear of getting mocked or teased by them.

Symptoms can vary among those affected and depend on the intensity of fear one has developed. As this phobia is often deep rooted in the affected person’s psyche, managing or controlling it is often a difficult task. Those with severe symptoms associated with this phobia may become hypersensitive in their reactions and may even on occasions, run away from a place they think they will be ridiculed, one of many triggers of agoraphobia.

Compassion focused therapy and other forms of behavioral therapy are effective methods that may be used to treat individuals with high levels of embarrassment and self-criticism.

See also

  • Gelophobia – fear of laughing or of being laughed at