Catagelophobia (A complete guide)

This article will give a brief idea of Catagelophobia. Then it will focus on the symptoms and causes of Catagelophobia.

Then it will highlight Catagelophobia treatments both psychotherapies and medications.


Catagelophobia refers to the irrational fear of being ridiculed.

People suffering from this disorder might have anxiety or even a panic attack with a mere thought of being mocked or made fun of.

These people are already very self-critical and if somebody else ridicules them or criticizes them, they think that they are being ridiculed or mocked by the person.

People suffering from Catagelophobia are more likely to suffer from Glossophobia which means fear of public speaking and/or Agoraphobia which means fear of crowded places.

They also think that they are often judged by other people.

People suffered in the past try to avoid such circumstances and people so that the instances do not repeat.


The main symptom of Catagelophobia which can be derived from the word, phobia itself is intense anxiety and it depends on several factors like genetics, environmental factors and the severity of the condition.

Lack of self-esteem and lack of self-confidence have also been seen in these patients, some Catagelophobia patients isolate themselves from people because they think that is the main cause and this way they can heal themselves.

They even worry to go out where there are chances of the crowd to be present like social gatherings etc. 

Some more common symptoms are-

  • Anxiety or Panic attacks with a mere thought of being ridiculed
  • Breathlessness 
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Sweating and Muscle Tension
  • Avoiding people


There is no certain cause that has been found so far for Catagelophobia, though, there are several factors that contribute to this condition.

One factor would be genetics, as a person who has a family history of anxiety disorders or phobias are more likely to develop Catagelophobia.

Another factor would be the environment in which the person had bad experiences while growing up.

Both factors are likely to play important roles in developing Catagelophobia.

Someone developing a fear of being ridiculed can be because of the childhood fear of some incidences where he must have ridiculed or mocked of.

If the child has experienced bullying behavior in his childhood then also such fear and phobia can occur. 

It can also be developed due to already suffering from a disorder like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), like obsession with being ridiculed that a person eventually develops Catagelophobia.


There is no particular treatment that has been designed especially for Catagelophobia.

But some treatments which have been proved to be helpful in anxiety and phobias have been considered to be helpful with Catagelophobia as well and those are-


  • Talk Therapy-

Talk Therapy can be beneficial for someone suffering from an irrational fear of being ridiculed as it can help the patient to let out all the fears he has in a constructive way and it eventually helps in developing new and more constructive thinking pattern

  • Exposure Therapy:

It is one of the most common and effective therapy with patients suffering from anxiety and phobias.

It works by having the therapist slowly expose the patient to which he fears in an attempt to desensitize him about it.

With Catagelophobia patients this form of therapy is tricky as the patient sometimes is not ready to be mocked at or suffer being ridiculed, not even a bit.

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Catagelophobia:

It is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers mindfulness training to help people suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, etc.

Mindfulness meditation can significantly help people suffering from Catagelophobia, how it will help one in distracting himself from their fear by refocusing their attention on something else, like breathing.

This is the most basic and easiest way one can meditate and be in the present.

  • CBT:

It is another common form of treatment that is used to help people suffering from GAD and OCD.

And it may also be effective in helping to treat conditions like Catagelophobia, it works by having the therapist help the patient to think why it is that they think, feel and behave, the way they do.

Psychiatric Medications:

  • Anti-anxiety medications:

These medications are very helpful in preventing panic attacks and anxiety issues. It is very helpful when the condition is very severe.

Some common anti-anxiety medications are Xanax, Diazepam, Klonopin, etc. These medications should be taken only in the supervision of a medical professional.

  • Antidepressants:

These medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders such as Catagelophobia.

Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.

These types of drugs are taken on a daily basis and can be helpful in preventing panic attacks and daily anxiety issues.

But always consider consulting a psychiatrist first before starting or stopping any medications.

This blog gave a brief idea of Catagelophobia. Then it focused on the symptoms and causes of Catagelophobia.

Then it highlighted Catagelophobia treatments both psychotherapies and medications.

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