Demophobia ? Help for DemophobiaTweet
What is Demophobia ?
Demophobia- Fear of crowds. (Agoraphobia)
Demophobia or Agoraphobia means, literally, fear (phobus) of the crowded places . More practically, a sufferer is afraid of being in open, public or crowded places, especially if there is no easy or readily accessible escape route. Many agoraphobics are additionally afraid of becoming mentally and / or physically incapacitated by fear or panic in these circumstances, particularly that they will lose control and be left helpless in front of strangers.
The exact nature of the feared situation varies from one sufferer to another with some agoraphobics being more afraid of open places where there are few people while others can cope better if it is dark or if they are accompanied by a trusted companion. The condition also varies in that, while many agoraphobics experience panic attacks or panic-like symptoms, others do not.
Treatment of Demophobia
Classic psychotherapeutic treatments for Demophobia have employed a form of behaviour therapy called exposure therapy. With support, the agoraphobic person is gradually and increasingly exposed or encouraged to confront the feared situation until habituation takes place.
The idea is that the person's anxiety will decrease as exposure to the situation is shown not to have the fearful consequences that he expects, allowing behavioural change to take place. This type of therapy may also involve flooding in which the person is intensively exposed to the feared situation. Methods to control panic attacks, such as using breathing or relaxation techniques, may be employed as part of the treatment.
Cognitive therapists start from a slightly different standpoint. They take the view that the extreme anxiety in agoraphobia is a direct result of a sufferer's distorted perception of threat and danger in the feared situation, especially that' giving way' will take place and will be disastrous. The person typically overestimates the threat and underestimates his ability to cope. An interaction then occurs between the beliefs, anxiety or panic symptoms and safety behaviours such as avoidance or 'coping strategies' which help to maintain the Demophobia.