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Catagelophobia or Katagelophobia (from Greek cata, "put down", and gelo, "laugh") or categelophobia is the fear of being ridiculed. The fear of being ridiculed may start taking root in early childhood, because a child is more sensitive emotionally and any exposure to inconsiderate criticism or condemnation leads to an offended psyche. Children who grow up in an environment bereft of affection and love suffer from low self-esteem. As a result they may become reclusive and withdrawn. Catagelophobia causes people to shun and avoid others as they have an underlying fear of getting mocked or teased by others.
Symptoms can vary among those affected and depend on the intensity of fear one has developed. As this phobia is often deep rooted in the affected person’s psyche, managing or controlling it is often a difficult task. Those with severe symptoms associated with this phobia may become hypersensitive in their reactions and may even on occasions, run away from a place they think they will be ridiculed, one of many triggers of agoraphobia.
- Gelophobia – fear of laughing or of being laughed by them