Cathisophobia the ‘fear of sitting’ is yet another odd but horrible fear to live with. In greek the word ‘cathiso’ means ‘sitting’ and ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’. It is also known as Kathisophobia and is related to Thassophobia (fear of sitting or idleness)


The causes of this phobia may differ with the age of the sufferer.

In elderly people sitting for longer durations can be distressful because of the anticipated pain and discomfort.

In children (especially who are rebels) sitting obediently in classroom can cause the feeling of being controlled or being chained down and thus trigger Cathisophobia.

For people who have had a past traumatic experience like being held hostage, being tortured by having made to sit on nails, pins or embers; can have this fear.

Some people suffer from this phobia only around certain people and situations. For instance the fear of sitting with a celebrity or while waiting for an exam result.


Anxiety disorder symptoms like panic, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, etc. are some of the common symptoms that can be experienced by a cathisophobe when made to sit down.


Sitting is an essential part of daily life. A cathisophobe will do all that he can to avoid sitting. This can cause a huge impact on his quality of life. Imagine not being able to sit in a vehicle, in a class or at office. It surely is a very difficult phobia to live with. But with proper professional intervention it can be treated with the help of counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques.

          Vidhi Pipara Adolescent Psychologist – Guidance on personal or psychological problems in Ahmedabad,Gujarat and India.

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