Phobia of crowds rise as state continues to loosen restrictions, Yale psychologist says


(WTNH) — As more of the state opens up and more folks get the vaccine, doctors say many could start to develop a fear of crowds.

Yale Psychologist Dr. Amber Childs says she’s already heard about anxiety from a lot of her patients. She says everyone has a different comfort level and getting back to normal is going to look different for everyone. She has already had a lot of conversations with her teenage patients, especially when it comes to the lunch room.

“I think our perception of what is crowded has changed and with that training with anxiety. I think it’s something that many people are going to be contending with,” Dr. Amber Childs, Asst. Prof. Psychiatry, Yale.

She says if you are doing something for the first time in a year, like eating indoors or going to an event, expect to feel a little uneasy because for months you’ve been told to keep your distance.

If you do start to get anxious, remind yourself of the facts in your head like the transmission rate is lower. And you’re still six feet away from people. Also, you have a mask on and if you’ve been vaccinated, you’re protected.

She said it’s a more serious problem if you notice your fear is getting in the way of you living your best life where you aren’t doing things that are important to you or are necessary like going back to the office.

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