Fear of Crowds

What is Fear of Crowds and what do people suffering from Fear of Crowds feel like?

Having a fear of crowds is a very real and valid phobia. It can complicate your life in ways you never imagined and often creates a feeling of being smothered. Although many people can suffer from it, it affects each person differently.



  • Thinking obsessively about being in crowds and how you would/will react
  • Having the fear itself take over your thoughts to the point where you can’t think of anything else
  • Bad images of crowds and what can happen when you are part of a crowd
  • Feelings of not facing reality
  • Being afraid that you are going crazy
  • Worried that you might faint


  • Worrying about events that involve crowds
  • Having that worry turn into overwhelming fear
  • A plan to leave the situation, even though it is only in your mind
  • Physical:
  • Dizziness, shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • A pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling like you are choking
  • Sweating more than normal
  • Stomach upset and distress

All of the above can happen at the mere thought of managing your fear of crowded places and being involved anywhere near a large crowd. If being in that crowd is unavoidable, these symptoms can intensify, and It can bring your fear of crowds phobia uncontrollably to a higher level.

Fear of large crowds can be extremely stressful to you and can have a lasting, damaging and mentally unstable effect. If this is what you experience at the slight thought of being part of a crowd and having the accompanying fear of the crowd, you may be at the point where intervention by a professional is needed.

At this juncture, medications to soothe the fear of crowds phobia may be in order and should be prescribed by a doctor. Don’t just settle on self-medicating or taking advice and medication from someone else who has experienced the same thing.

That is the worst thing you can do! Unfortunately, family and friends try to help, but they are not experts and, in trying to do some good for you, can often suggest things that are not to your advantage. Plan on seeing someone who has the knowledge and the experience to treat someone with your symptoms. Remember that what works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for the next person.

So that’s why it’s bad to listen to others and how they were treated and how they dealt with it. Each person is different and can be managed differently, which includes drugs. Fooling around with drugs on your own can be very dangerous and have ill effects in the long run. They should be left to the experts.

Anxiety drugs can help in the short term, but they can also come with several unpleasant side effects, which can also be dangerous. Don’t become so dependent on the drugs that before you know it, you are coming to terms with your phobia, but at the same time, you could be becoming addicted to the drugs.

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This is a Catch-22, and there is a fine line involved in finding what treatment is best for you without harming yourself in the process and preventing long-lasting ill effects. Then what will happen is that you will be doing more harm than good along with dealing with the phobia itself, and that’s not a solution for anyone suffering from this condition.

Some of the very popular antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil and Effexor have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat phobias, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on them totally, and a professional should carefully monitor your use of them. When the situation calls for help with your phobia, take these drugs in moderation and let them control your entire situation.

Then you are only adding another problem to the problem you already have, which is not the right way to go.

Talking to your doctor is the best place to manage your phobia. He can suggest a therapist who may be able to help you. When you have the details worked out and make an appointment to see the therapist, make sure you let him know your condition details. Don’t leave anything out; sometimes, the smallest details can make the biggest difference.

He will most likely start by trying Exposure Therapy, a cognitive-behavioural therapy. It usually involves five steps, and not all of them are pleasant, but professionals feel this type of therapy is necessary to find a way to treat the phobia.

Evaluation: At this first stage of the therapy, you will need to do some soul-searching and tell the therapist all you can about your condition and how it affects you and those around you. Don’t be shy about giving a very good account of what happens to you when you experience the fear and anxiety of your particular fear of crowds.

Feedback: After the therapist hears what has been going on with you, he can safely and adequately make an evaluation of a treatment plan that he feels is the best for you. It can involve both drugs and behavioral types of therapy, all geared to help you gain a handle on the phobia you are suffering with. This type of information from him maybe the most helpful of all. You will know exactly what is planned for your treatment and how you can expect it to help you.

Develop fear anxiety:This part of the therapy will not be the most pleasant. It will expose you to scenarios that you are most afraid of. So you will have to “buck up” and try to deal with these unpleasantries while under the therapist’s careful watch. You should feel better that you are being watched, and he will keep you safe while undergoing this phase.

Exposure: Begin by exposing yourself to the things on the list that you most fear and can safely deal with while the therapist evaluates your behavior in these situations.

Building: Here, you can now understand what you must do to try and conquer the fear. You will now move on to more difficult situations and learn how to deal with them head-on. The therapist will assist you.

In the end, a successful conclusion will hopefully allow you to live phobia free.

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