LivingWhat is autophobia?

What is autophobia?

The autophobia is an anxiety disorder whose origin arises from the idea and the experience of spending time alone. Like other anxiety disorders, autophobia can cause some physical as well as psychological symptoms.

Autophobia, also known as monophobia or isophobia, is a specific phobia. It is not the same as feeling lonely. It is a phobia of isolation, of loneliness, of being ignored. Those with this disorder do not necessarily have to be physically alone to experience symptoms. For a person diagnosed with autophobia, the idea and experience of spending time alone can cause severe anxiety.

The term autophobia comes from the Greek “auto” (by itself) and the word “phobia” (which means fear). In the literal sense, autophobia occurs when people are afraid of themselves. However, this is not what this mental health condition refers to.


What is the difference between autophobia and loneliness?

Many people experience loneliness when they don’t have enough social interaction or lack meaningful relationships or even feeling lonely in a crowded room. Being sad for these reasons is quite rational and very different from experiencing autophobia.

Autophobia is an irrational and severe anxiety, triggered by the idea of spending time alone or being without a specific person, which affects a person’s ability to carry out their daily activities.

Symptoms


It can make you feel insecure, believe that you cannot breathe, or convince yourself that you are going to die. The prospect of spending specific periods of time alone or without another person causes a great deal of anxiety.

Sometimes people with autophobia can feel isolated or alone even when in a group, as they feel disconnected from the people around them.

Autophobia can also lead to physical symptoms associated with panic attacks , including: dizziness, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, or shaking.

Experiencing autophobia can lead to the following behaviors: trying by all means not to be alone by finding company as soon as possible; not wanting people to leave, even when it’s not practical.

Causes and related conditions

The prospect of spending time alone, even in a seemingly safe and familiar environment, like your own home, can trigger extreme anxiety for a person with autophobia. By relying on fear, they may be able to realize that what they are feeling is irrational, but this does not mean that they can control their symptoms.

The cause of autophobia is unknown. It can be related to childhood experiences that create a fear of abandonment, but there is no research available to support this. Examples include the death of a parent or the divorce of a parent.

Diagnosis

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of autophobia should speak to their doctor. Once the physician has excluded the physical causes of the symptoms, he or she can refer the patient to a mental health specialist.


When it comes down to it, most people can handle their autophobia well, and
the outlook for people with the disorder is positive.

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