Sophomore fears department stores

March 10, 2011 — by Jennifer Jin

As a 3-year-old, Rohan Cotah went with his mother to shop at the department store Dillard’s. But suddenly, the store was swarming with shoppers, and he quickly got separated from his mother. Only after two torturous hours was he able to find his mother again.

“It was so scary for me that I even threw up,” Cotah said.

This incident caused seven years of turmoil for Cotah.

“I’m scared of places where it is really big and has a lot of people,” Cotah said. “That makes it easy for people to get lost.”

Until Cotah was 10, he tried to avoid going to department stores. However, his friends started to go to the mall without him so he began to feel left out. As a result, he started hanging out at the mall with his friends and began to overcome his fear.

“It was something I had to overcome in order to fit in,” said Cotah.

Additionally, he started to go to some department stores.

“I kind of overcame it the last couple years because I can contact my parents if I need to [with my cell phone],” said Cotah.

Even so, Cotah tries to avoid going to department stores as much as possible.

“I like to order online,” said Cotah. “I already know my sizes and everything, so it’s easy and convenient for me.”

One store that he avoids the most is Macy’s.

“Anytime you go there, it’s really crowded,” said Cotah. “I just can’t deal with it.”

Although Cotah has mostly overcome his phobia, it leaves a painful past.

“It’s a really silly phobia,” Cotah said. “But it’s something that did affect me.”

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