Ambulophobia (fear of walking) Symptoms, causes, and Treatment

Ambulophobia (fear of walking) is a mental health disorder that negatively affects the quality of life of people who suffer from it. This disorder can have various causes, from traumatic experiences to genetic, social, and other mental health problems.

In general, the fear of walking and falling impairs a large part of the social, family, and work activities that a person can have in their daily life. The existence of an irrational fear is not usually comprehended by other people and there are sincere problems in building social ties. In this Psychologyorg article, we will talk about ambulophobia (fear of walking): what it is, its causes, symptoms, and treatment.


What is the phobia of walking

Walking phobia (or ambulophobia) is a mental health disorder characterized by the presence of an irrational and excessive fear of walking in public places. On the other hand, fear of walking constitutes an anxiety disorder that can be included within the group of specific phobias delimited by the DSM-V [1] because of its qualities.

However, to make a correct diagnosis, a series of diagnostic criteria must be met:

  • Fear and/or persistent anxiety before an object or specific situation.
  • Avoidance of the situation or object.
  • incommensurate fear concerning the actual danger that the constituent or situation represents.
  • Duration of six months or more.
  • Deterioration of social, work, and family relationships.
  • The alterations cannot be explained by the presence of other mental disorders and/or the intake of toxic substances or medications.

Ambulophobia, also known as the fear of walking, is a specific type of phobia. Specific phobias affect approximately 12.5% of adults in the United States at some point during their lives. However, there is a lack of specific statistics on ambulophobia as it is considered a rare phobia.

Ambulophobia is more often observed in females (37.7%) and people over 70 years of age (42.1%). Factors such as depression, Parkinson’s disease, orthostatic hypotonia, a history of falling or witnessing another person falling, and disability of at least a moderate degree can increase the likelihood of ambulophobia.


Why am I afraid to walk?

The reason for fear of walking can vary from individual to individual. Next, we will talk about the main reasons:

  • Social factors: the facts of insecurity, lack of tranquillity, and distrust of society can be conditioning factors for fear of walking.
  • Environmental factors: traumatic occurrences within the family impact the development of fear of walking. In this sense, the transmission of fears about public places by family members makes up this pathology.
  • Genetic factors: the alteration of the genes transmitted by genetic inheritance also interferes with the responses that the central nervous system produces in front of the stimuli that come from the outside. In this sense, excessive activity of neural connections interferes with the fear of walking. On the other hand, if one of the person’s parents has been diagnosed with ambulophobia, there is a good chance that the same pattern of behaviour will be repeated.

Ambulophobia symptoms

Fear of walking has several symptoms that permit it to be identified, both physical, emotional, and/or behavioural. We show you below:

  • Intense fear of walking through open and public places.
  • Feelings of insecurity.
  • Catastrophic ideas about walking.
  • The difficulty facing social, family, and personal activities.
  • excessive sweating
  • laboured breathing
  • Tremors.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Despite presenting any of the symptoms mentioned, the diagnosis of ambulophobia must be made by a mental health professional. Therefore, if the symptoms are severe, you should go to a mental health centre to address this phobia.

How to lose the fear of walking

The concern about walking can be overcome by transferral out specialized treatments and counselling for the remission of representative symptoms. Next, we explain the most effective treatments to lose fear and insecurity when walking.

Psychological therapy

First of all, one of the fewest effective ways to Deal with ambulophobia is to perform psychological therapy. The assistance of a mental health professional can provide tools to help identify the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that occur at the idea of ​​walking.

On the one hand, cognitive behavioural therapy works on current problems through techniques such as gradual exposure to feared stimuli, and body relaxation, among others. On the other hand, psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that tries to solve the fear of walking from the memory of childhood situations that are related to the current problem. In this sense, the person can make other decisions in the face of the fear of walking.

Psychiatric medication

Anxiolytics reduce the levels of anxiety that occur in ambulophobia pictures since they intervene in the connections produced in the central nervous system. However, their intake should be supervised by a specialized mental health professional.



In conclusion, ambulophobia is a real and potentially debilitating condition that can greatly impact a person’s daily life. It is characterized by a persistent and irrational fear of walking or moving around, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and heart palpitations.

While the exact causes of fear of walking are not fully understood, it is thought to be related to anxiety disorders, trauma, or phobias. Treatment options for fear of walking include therapy, medication, and self-help techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of fear of walking, it is important to seek professional help. With the right treatment, many people can overcome their fear of walking and regain their ability to move freely and confidently in their daily lives.


Q: What is ambulophobia?

A: Ambulophobia is a fear of walking or moving around. It is a type of specific phobia that can be very distressing and impact a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.

Q: What are the symptoms of ambulophobia?

A: Symptoms of this can include intense fear or panic when faced with walking or moving, physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, heart palpitations, avoidance behaviours, and difficulty carrying out daily activities.

Q: What causes fear of walking?

A: The exact cause of this phobia is not known, but it is thought to be related to anxiety disorders, trauma, or phobias.

Q: How is ambulophobia treated?

A: Treatment for fear of walking may include therapy, medication, and self-help techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness. A mental health professional can assist in determining the best course of treatment.

Q: Can the fear of walking be cured?

A: While there is no cure for this phobia, many people can manage their symptoms and regain their ability to walk and move around through treatment and self-help techniques.

Q: What should I do if I think I have ambulophobia?

A: If you are experiencing symptoms of this phobia, it is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider. They can help diagnose the state and develop a treatment plan that best suggests for you.

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