What is Ambulophobia?

Ambulophobia is the extreme or irrational fear of walking. The root word “ambul” is Latin for “walk”. This phobia generally appears well into adulthood, although it can also arise earlier. The sufferer feels uncertain and unsafe about walking and may need a walking stick or someone to hold onto in order to be mobile.

Ambulophobia is closely related to and interchangeable with Basophobia / Basiphobia, Stasibasiphobia or Stasiphobia which all describe the extreme or irrational fear of walking or standing.

Ambulophobia is also related to Bathmophobia which is the persistent and irrational fear of stairs or steep slopes and barophobia which is the persistent and irrational fear of loss of gravity.

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Symptoms of Ambulophobia

  • Keeping Things Close To Avoid Moving or Standing to Get Them

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Extreme Anxiety, Dread
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
  • Lack of Focus
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of Powerlessness
  • Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
  • Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Headaches

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Causes of Ambulophobia

Sufferers may be suffering from physical causes such as osteoporosis, arthritis, bursitis and/or tendinitis such that walking causes pain. Fear of walking or falling can result from having muscular issues such as Parkinson’s disease, etc.

The fear of falling and injury are natural and inborn fears, and this fear can be associated with any use of the legs.

Fear of bone demineralization, recent paralysis attack, etc. can also lead to fear. The individual experiences negative thoughts of excruciating pain that the mind has learned to develop as a response and it becomes difficult to unlearn these thoughts.

Many elderly patients with severe Parkinson’s disease experience tremors or shaking that leads to falls and painful broken bones. They tend to develop phobic concerns due to these painful experiences.

People of all age groups can develop this phobia. It is common in individuals working in construction industries where one might have faced a debilitating injury while on scaffoldings placed at a great height. This can lead to Traumatophobia which feeds the fear of falling phobia.

Ambulophobia is a specific (or “isolated”) phobia, centered on non-social key factors. Isolated phobias tend to have some previous trauma (often in childhood and often physically injurious) as a root cause; a fear of bees may stem from an injury in childhood, for instance.

Upbringing can also play a role, such as parental warnings about a direct threat (such as “snakes can bite and kill you”) which is especially notable in cases where a threat is more imminent. (An allergy to bees or peanut butter, for instance, would naturally reinforce a real medical concern.)

It is thought that genetics and hereditary factors may play a role in specific phobias, especially those related to a danger of injury. (A primal “fight or flight” reflex may be more easily triggered in those with a genetic predisposition, for instance.)

By contrast, social phobias (like a fear of body odor or touch) are less well understood, are driven by social anxiety and are broadly labeled as “social anxiety disorder”.

In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.

Ambulophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.

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Treatments for Ambulophobia

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Habit Strategies To Relax
  • Cognitive Therapy (CT)
  • In Vivo Exposure
  • Response Prevention
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Medication
  • Meditation

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