Enochlophobia describes people who get nervous in/of crowds or fearful in/of crowds. The word is originated from the Greek ochlo meaning "crowd" and phobos meaning "fear". This would make ochlophobia, which is technically the same term as enochlophobia.
Sufferers may often fear being trampled in a crowd, getting deadly diseases, getting lost in the crowd or feeling insignificant. People who are introverts are more likely to have this phobia. This fear can originate from a large concert, rallies, sporting events or any of a number of activities where a large crowd would be present.
Patients with this fear might have had a traumatic experience wherein they felt like suffocating when they were unable to move in a mob or in a crowded place. They might have also had an embarrassing experience in front of a crowd and thus developed this phobia. Most of these people have low self-esteem and would rather be in a group composed of a handful of people than being in a crowded place.
Symptoms of enochlophobia include tremors, nausea, sweating, blackouts, feelings of desperation, anger, panic attacks and a feeling of being smothered.
Overcoming enochlophobia involves consulting with a therapist or counselor. Rational discussion about crowds and their danger should be included. Desensitization may actually involve the client being placed in a crowd together with the therapist so he or she might overcome this fear.
- Agoraphobia – fear of being in a public place