Rhabdo is a latin word meaning rod and fear of a rod or rhabdophobia can mean one of three things.
First this could mean fear of being severely punished. This image of being punished could be due to stories in the past of people being hit repeatedly by a cane or stick as punishment or some that were even “caned-to-death”. This gruesome image could have cause rhabdophobia in some persons.
Another meaning of rhabdophobia is the fear of being criticized. People may sometimes find criticism as something that can help them improve themselves or their performance at work but rhabdophobes will find this instead humiliating and degrading to be criticized and these are people who usually take criticisms poorly or may even hate the person who criticized them.
Lastly, rhabdophobia can be used to define the fear of the magic wand, it being usually in the form of a rod and this fear could be brought about by the fear of magic per se.
People with this fear become extremely anxious when faced with any of the above and may have full blown panic attacks. Rods of any form can cause them also to feel anxious because they are reminded of the thing they fear most.
Cognitive and behavioral therapy may benefit some patients with this fear.