Fear of being in a crowd is a type of social phobia called enochlophobia. Individuals with this phobia often have various rationalizations of this phobia such as fear of being trampled in a crowd, getting deadly diseases, getting lost in the crowd or feeling insignificant. People who are introverts are most likely to have this kind of phobia, but not all introverts have anxiety problems. 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 he felt like suffocating when he was unable to move in a mob or in a crowded place. He 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.