What Is The Fear of Police Called

What Is The Fear of Police Called?

What is Capiophobia?

Capiophobia is a specific phobia characterized by an intense, irrational fear of getting arrested. The word breaks down into “capio” meaning arrest in Latin and “phobos” meaning fear in Greek. Unlike a healthy respect for law enforcement, capiophobia can severely impact a person’s daily functioning and routines.

Breaking Down the Term

The term capiophobia comes from Latin and Greek roots, capturing the fear of arrest. This fear could stem from past trauma, general anxiety, or societal perceptions related to law enforcement and the justice system. While some anxiety around police is normal, capiophobia is an exaggerated dread that hinders normal life.

Prevalence of the Phobia

While not as common as phobias like arachnophobia, the rate of capiophobia may be influenced by cultural, societal and personal factors. However, it has the potential to cause significant distress.

Symptoms of Capiophobia

Physical Manifestations

Increased Heart Rate

Capiophobia can lead to increased heart rate, especially when confronted with potential arrest situations.

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Excessive sweating often accompanies capiophobia, resulting from flood of stress hormones.


The extreme fear associated with this phobia can also elicit feelings of sickness and nausea.

Psychological Effects


This phobia leads to high anxiety surrounding the possibility of detention or run-ins with police.

Panic Attacks

Full-blown panic attacks can occur when faced with arrest-related situations.


Avoiding scenarios, people, places, or media related to arrest is a common behavioral symptom.

Causes and Triggers


Past traumatic events linked to arrest can plant the seeds for this phobia.

Generalized Anxiety

Capiophobia may also arise in those predisposed to anxiety disorders.

Societal Perceptions

Negative societal narratives about law enforcement can contribute to this arrest-related dread.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Professional Evaluation

Receiving an official diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist is an important starting point.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Identifying Thought Patterns

CBT helps patients recognize and challenge thought patterns contributing to capiophobia.

Developing Coping Strategies

This therapy also focuses on building healthy coping strategies to manage fear.

Exposure Therapy

This involves gradual exposure to feared arrest-related situations in a controlled setting.

Medications for Symptom Relief

While not a cure, medications can temporarily relieve severe physical anxiety symptoms.

Relaxation Techniques

Practices like meditation and yoga help mitigate anxiety in capiophobia.

Living with Capiophobia

Impact on Daily Life

Capiophobia can severely restrict life, limiting behaviors or places to avoid arrest.

Extreme Avoidance

Some capiophobes may go to great lengths to avoid potential police interactions.

Restricted Media Choices

Watching arrest scenes on TV or movies can also trigger this phobia.

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Overcoming the Fear

Gradual Exposure

With professional help, calibrated exposure to arrest-related stimuli can help overcome capiophobia.

Seeking Support

Connecting with others conquering phobias can provide community, accountability and inspiration.

Achieving Fulfillment

With time and treatment, being arrested can transition from terror to manageable unease.


Prevalence Varies

While not widespread, cultural and societal variables impact capiophobia rates.

Recovery is Possible

Like other phobias, dedicated treatment can help manage capiophobic symptoms.

Gaining Understanding

Comprehending the roots and remedies of this phobia promotes healing.

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