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Dromophobia: characteristics, symptoms, causes and treatment

Dromophobia: characteristics, symptoms, causes and treatment

June 24, 2024

There are a large number of situations, people, objects or animals that generate an irrational fear in part of the population. All these make up a long list of phobias that most people face to a greater or lesser extent.

One of these phobias is dromphobia . This strange anxiety disorder prevents people who suffer from crossing any street or street, reaching to interfere in a very significant way in the daily routine of this.

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What is dromatophobia?

Like the rest of phobias, the dromofobia is considered an anxiety disorder in which the person experiences an excessive and irrational terror to cross the street , and in which the extremely high anxiety he feels every time he has to cross a street inhibits him from doing so.

Despite the fact that dromatophobia is a little known phobia, it can become a very disabling disorder, in which people who suffer from it live many difficulties when residing in urban areas because of the fear they feel in the moment of crossing the street.

Fortunately, there are very effective treatments for dromatophobia thanks to which the person is able to overcome the phobia and lead a normal life.

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Clinical features

As mentioned earlier, dromatophobia is considered an anxiety disorder. It is necessary to specify that the focus of the phobia is not the street or its intersections, but the action of crossing the street per se.

The main consequence of the dromphobia is that the person avoids all those situations or actions in which he must cross the street, to the point of getting to seclude yourself in your home , thus interfering with their daily obligations and needs.

Like many other anxiety disorders, dromatophobia is distinguished by being a phobic fear, which has the following characteristics:

  • Excessive and disproportionate fear taking into account the real danger of the situation
  • It is an irrational fear
  • The person is unable to master this fear
  • Generates avoidance behaviors of the situation
  • It's about constant fear and permanent


The main symptom of the dromphobia is the experimentation of a great anxiety, with all the symptoms that this one has associated. This symptomatology does not appear continuously in time, only when the person confronts or knows that he is going to face the feared action, in this case crossing the street.

This symptomatology can be classified into three categories, according to physical, cognitive or behavioral symptoms.

1. Physical symptoms

In general any phobia, as well as the experimentation of an exaggerated fear produces a series of changes and alterations at a physical and organic level, due to the acceleration of the activity of the peripheral nervous system. These physical symptoms include:

  • Acceleration of heart rhythm
  • Increase in the respiratory rate
  • Palpitations
  • Feeling that air is missing
  • Muscular stiffness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Gastric pain
  • Nausea, dizziness and fainting
  • Vomiting

2. Cognitive symptoms

These physical symptoms are accompanied in turn by a series of distorted and irrational thoughts about the situation or situations in which the person must cross the street.

These thoughts are distinguished by containing a high negative charge, in which the person can reach perceive that some type of accident or catastrophe may occur at the moment , or while crossing the street.

3. Behavioral symptoms

As usual in specific phobias, the phobia itself ends interfering in the behavior patterns of the person . Altering his way of proceeding in daily life and generating two types of response: avoidance behavior and escape from the situation.

Avoidance behaviors are those behaviors that the person with dromophobia performs in order to avoid having to perform the behavior, such as not leaving home. While escape behaviors originate when you are about to face the dreaded situation, an example would be crossing all the streets running.

Causes of dromatophobia

Although it is not always possible to detect at first sight, or know the causes of a phobia, there are a number of possible causes common to all phobias which encourage and promote them.

These mechanisms or associated risk factors are:

  • Genetic elements
  • Personality
  • Cognitive styles
  • Direct conditioning
  • Vicarial learning


There is a series of established diagnostic criteria and mandatory compliance when evaluating and diagnosing a person with dromatophobia.

  • Excessive, persevering and irrational fear that originates from the anticipation of the action or the confrontation to it, in this case it is concreted in the action of crossing a street or urban route.
  • The patient admits that the fear he feels is exaggerated and illogical .
  • Exposure to the dreaded action immediately triggers an anxiety or crisis response.
  • The person avoids or dodges the situation.
  • The feeling of anxiety or fear , and the avoidant actions associated with it, interfere in a remarkable way in the person's daily life, or provoke a clinically relevant malaise.
  • The duration of symptoms must be at least 6 months.
  • The above symptoms they can not be explained by another type of mental disorder or illness .


As discussed at the beginning of the article, despite how disabling this specific phobia can be, there are effective treatments for that the person may end up leading a normal rhythm and lifestyle .

In the case of phobias, the type of intervention with the highest success rate is cognitive-behavioral therapy, where systematic desensitization (DS) has been shown to be highly effective.

In this systematic desensitization the patient is exposed in an imaginary way to a series of situations related to the phobia, which are arranged gradually, from less to greater degree of fear. Likewise, Relaxation techniques are applied to decrease the level of anxiety.

Tellur - Zho (June 2024).

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