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Catagelophobia the Fear of Ridicule

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

What You Should Know About Catagelophobia

What is Catagelophobia?


     Catagelophobia is the fear of ridicule, or being ridiculed. It is one of the many phobias which exist, although perhaps one of the more common ones. Many people don't like to be ridiculed and some may even fear it, some more than others. It's when the fear of ridicule is extreme that it becomes a phobia, catagelophobia to be precise. Many people are afflicted by it, both young and old and often can interfere with a persons life, especially their social life. Some people with more severe cases of catagelophobia might not even have a social life at all, because of their phobia.

Isn't it natural to be afraid of ridicule?

     Yes, perhaps it is. However not to the point where a person avoids all contact with others, doing anything, saying anything in hopes of not being ridiculed. That is when a small fear is an extreme fear and thus described as a phobia like catagelophobia.

     Catagelophobia may not be the only phobia to exist in the world, but it is a very problematic one. Problematic for the person suffering from catagelophobia as well as the people around them. Everyone fears ridicule, if even only a little, but it doesn't stop them from having a social life like catagelophobia can do.

What Causes Catagelophobia?

     Like with any other phobia, catagelophobia could have been caused by a traumatic situation in an individuals past. People whom have suffered an embarrassing and irreversible moment in their life, might become afraid of the event reoccurring. That, or of doing something else equally as or even more embarrassing and earning the ridicule of their peers.

     People are cruel, especially children and even adults can't always keep a lid on it. Accidents happen and not everyone has the right answer, but that doesn't make it right for others to snicker or make jokes about them behind their back. Sometimes the jokes aren't even done behind the persons back.

     Worst of all is when someone who happens to be shy might speak up or try to do something to help, only to be ridiculed. They might have the worst case of catagelophobia, because they're already shy and afraid. Being ridiculed would only make it worse and any slight fear they might have had before could become so strong that it turns into a phobia.

     Still, sometimes there's not any trigger at all. The mind after all is a powerful thing and it doesn't always work for the good of the person who has it. The mind is quite capable of creating a fear with little to no basis for the development of the phobia at all.


The Signs and Symptoms of Catagelophobia

      Feelings of nauseousness when contemplating the thought of ridicule. People with phobias, whether it's catagelophobia or some other phobia will find themselves feeling nauseous when face to face with their fear. Sometimes only the thought that they might have to face it will make them nauseous. It is a sign that one should seek immediate help from a mental health professional, before things get even more out of hand. Before catagelophobia interferes with day-to-day life be it at work or with a group of friends.

      Having dry mouth and clammy hands is yet another sign that someone is facing catagelophobia. That is if a situation where one might be ridiculed or think they could be ridiculed triggers the symptoms. Although having a dry mouth and clammy hands could be an indicator of something else, including other fears and phobias. However if these symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms around the fear of ridicule, then one needs to seek help for their catagelophobia. Before it gets worse.

      A rapid heart beat which is pounding so hard and so fast that it feels like ones heart is trying to escape from their chest. This accompanied by high blood pressure could cause one to faint, or even suffer cardiac arrest if its bad enough.

     Freezing up on the spot is a symptom for many phobias as are the aforementioned. Each phobia may be a different excessive fear of something else, but they all have the same symptoms. The only difference is what triggers the symptoms. For catagelophobia, its ridicule which triggers the symptoms, including freezing up on the spot. It's like one can't move, because their legs feel like jell-o, or simply don't want to move, because the fear is so intense its interfering with the brains signal to move.

      Once one realizes they have a phobia, be it catagelophobia or some other phobia they should seek help as soon as possible, whether or not the fear is minimal. Fears can get worse over time if not properly treated. It is better to be on the safe side, rather than sorry. After all catagelophobia can interfere not with just a persons psychological and sometimes even physical health, but their employment and social life.


Can Catagelophobia be Treated?

      Yes, catagelophobia can be treated, as long as someone is willing to be treated and knows what they have. It's so much easier to get the phobia treated when one understands what the underlying cause is. However when its the mind just making a fear out of nothing, it might prove more difficult to overcome.

      While medicine can be prescribed they can have side effects. However sufferers of catagelophobia or any phobia for that matter don't need to take medicine, because they can get over it without taking medicine. One only needs to speak with a psychologist or mental health expert.

      If anyone within the mental health field tries to get an individual medicine for a phobia, somethings up. Especially if the problem which can be overcome with cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy and was never tried. If that's the case, then there's something fishy going on.

      An individual should seek a second and even a third opinion should a psychologist or mental health expert try to give them medicine. Catagelophobia can be treated without medicine and any medicine given could cause other problems, sometimes much worse than the phobia itself.



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  1. "Catagelophobia? Immediate Expert Help for Catagelophobia." Change Thats Right Now. 3/May/2012 <Web >
  2. "Do You Suffer From Catagelophobia?." Phobia Fear Release. May/3/2012 <Web >

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