Do your legs wobble with uneasiness every time you come across a multitude of people? If so, you could be suffering from Enochlophobia – the bizarre fear of crowds. It’s a type of social phobia that’s experienced when people walk in public places, congregate in church or even attend their son’s football practice. The fear of crowds can be caused by an assortment of issues such as past traumatic experiences and embarrassing social situations.
One thing’s for sure, you shouldn’t allow the fear of crowds to interfere with your normal life. There are some basic treatments you could try out, like slowly engaging with small groups of people until you’re comfortable around larger crowds. But first and foremost you need to recognise the signs of someone who is afraid of being in the company of large groups of people.
Here are 5 signs to look out for that may indicate you have a fear of crowds
You experience certain physical symptoms when around crowds
When your heart starts pumping faster and you run short of breath when around large gatherings of people, then you could be suffering from Enochlophobia. Other physical symptoms associated with this strange fear of crowds include sweating, vomiting, nausea and extreme panic attacks. If you’ve ever experienced some of these symptoms (or all of them) then it’s worth seeking help, because it suggests you may have a fear of crowds.
You’re convinced you’ll embarrass yourself in a crowd
Let’s face it, mingling with lots of people in social gatherings is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, some people find it overly unbearable to engage with a crowd of people. The very thought of arriving at a jam-packed event makes them uneasy, mostly because they don’t like the attention being on them and they worry that they’ll stand out or even embarrass themselves. This fear of crowds could stem from a traumatising ordeal you might have gone through in the past.
You avoid attending social events
If you constantly disappoint your loved ones by failing to show up to their events, this could be down to having an irrational fear of crowds. This phobia could be caused by a variety of issues, for instance all the negative news propagated by social media about the deadly public onslaughts conducted by rogue individuals could have caused you to panic. Or maybe you fear being trampled on by people in public hangouts such as malls.
You postpone most activities that involve engaging with the world
You could be rescheduling your social meetings and public speeches more often than you’d prefer. Activities that would normally be fun, like shopping and attending concerts, frighten you more than they excite you. Some people even avoid congregating in church because of their irrational fear of crowds. If this sounds like you, an abundance of effective treatments currently exist to help you deal with Enochlophobia once and for all.
You avoid signing up to clubs and social fitness classes
If crowds constantly put you off, you mind will device techniques to avoid them at all cost. For instance, you could be making regular resolutions to join the gym but lack sufficient motivation when you’re about to set the ball rolling. Working out among a group of strangers frightens you. You even avoid joining the local town clubs. These symptoms could be caused by your abnormal fear of crowds.
If you have any concerns about your mental health, or you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms above, it is recommended to make an appointment with your GP who will be able to talk you through the best course of treatment to help you overcome your fears once and for all.