A phobia is simply described as an irrational or obsessive fear. Just as described, a phobia sounds very unreasonable to someone who doesn’t have it, but can be a genuine restriction to the phobic.
Hodophobia is a type of phobia that has to do with fear and avoidance of places or conditions that might make you panic, feel unsafe, embarrassed or helpless. It is a very personal phobia and manifests itself in numerous ways, from hesitancy to travel to new places to a near-inability to leave the home. Some people are afraid only of specific methods of transportation, such as planes (aviophobia) or trains (siderodromophobia), while others fear all types of trips.
Specific symptoms of may include the fear of;
- Moving out of your house alone
- Multitudes or staying in the midst of a huge crowd
- Enclosed spaces like lift, cinema, malls etc.
- Using Public transport be it bus, plane or train.
All these situations increase anxiety, and you may feel panicked, distressed and express embarrassing physical reactions. These may include sweating, shaking, stomach aches, diarrhea, headaches or shortness of breath.
People suffering this phobia find it hard to travel freely, and when they do, they do with reluctance and fear. This phobia may arise from a previous exposure to danger and may last anywhere from six months to a lifetime. At its most extreme a suffere may become Agoraphobic, remaining in Isolation for fear of leaving the home.
Someone suffering intense Agoraphobia may be predisposed to depression, drug abuse and mental disorders due to their isolation.
The best way to prevent/avoid Hodophobia (the fear of travel) appears o be to face the fear. Anxiety usually dissipates once we accept that we are safe. Taking short outings with friends or relatives may help to boost your confidence.
You can read more on this subject here at healthcentral.com
You may also be interested in our 7 rules to keep you safe whilst traveling
With thanks to Olamide Olaleye for his insights