A severe fear (or phobia) of solitude and isolation is known as autophobia, sometimes known as monophobia
Both when a person is actually physically alone and when they fear and anticipate being left alone, this kind of terror may start to take hold. (In other words, it can be a fabricated phobia.)
Although the exact cause of autophobia in some people is unknown, experts think it may be tied to deep-seated fears of being overlooked, unwanted, or unprotected.
It frequently happens along with other anxiety disorders, symptoms, and trauma histories. Autophobia and other phobias, such as agoraphobia, the severe or illogical fear of going into crowded or open spaces, can coexist.
Many of the symptoms and traits common to other anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia, panic attacks, hyperventilation disorders, social anxiety, PTSD, generalized anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and social phobia, also apply to autophobia.
- Both mental and physical symptoms may be present in autophobic individuals. Typically, they consist of:
- being concerned about getting lost and alone. This may entail experiencing severe anxiety while contemplating being secluded or alone.
- self-loathing, low self-worth, and occasionally sadness. This is related to the fear of rejection and condemnation.
- fear of not receiving assistance in an emergency This may lead to a fear of going out in public in crowded areas where one might blend in and be missed.
- Fear of anything unsettling or strange.
- Imagining worst-case scenarios, such as excessive fear of passing away, being hurt, or upcoming catastrophes if someone is isolated (a symptom tied to generalized anxiety disorder).
- Fear of visitors, intruders, robbers, or unusual sounds when at home.
- putting considerable effort towards avoiding being alone.
- Fear of passing out and losing consciousness as well as one’s judgement.
- Attacks of panic and a strong urge to leave the house.
- Lightheadedness, sweating, shaking, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, and difficulties sleeping are physical signs associated with elevated stress and anxiety.
- increased likelihood of substance use disorders (such as alcohol or marijuana to cope with stress and anxiety).
Phobias, according to psychologists, can result from childhood problems including abandonment or abuse, low self-esteem, and even genetic causes.
Autistic phobia development risks include:
- Parents leaving young children behind, which causes tension and anxiety. when they reach adulthood and experience a dread that all of the important people in their lives would desert them as a result.
- experiencing emotional rejection or abandonment from loved ones.
- PTSD history and significant life-altering incidents.
- losing a loved one or ending a meaningful relationship, especially early in life (which causes fear of being without one specific and important person).
- a history of poverty or financial hardship.
- unhealthy intimate relationships.
- A recent upsetting event that is too much for you to bear.
Most of the phobias, psychotherapy is the first line of defense. Unfortunately, admitting a problem or asking for help can be difficult for those who have phobias, yet doing so is often essential for overcoming them.
Exposure treatment is a technique frequently used in therapy to help people overcome phobias. Through exposure therapy, a person progressively gains the confidence to confront their fears head-on in tiny doses.
A therapist works with a client who has autophobia to gradually increase their time alone until they find it less frightening. Exposure treatment can be carried out in actual situations (in vivo exposure) or with the help of hypothetical situations.
Systematic desensitization One form of exposure therapy that is very slow-moving and successful for treating phobias is systematic desensitization. It does not make anxiety worse.
cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is employed to assist clients in altering their brain processes and identifying irrational ideas that fuel their fear. Through the use of more realistic and empowering beliefs in place of irrational ones, the client can change how she perceives her worries and responds with the assistance of a CBT practitioner.
A phobia sufferer who has severe anxiety that is affecting his quality of life may also be administered medication (such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants) to help manage symptoms while also attending therapy.
Being Alone Makes You Feel More Connected
Almost everyone experiences moments of isolation and loneliness. Simply increasing the amount of connection in a person’s life, even when they are alone, can be beneficial when they experience typical levels of loneliness and moderate autophobia symptoms.
Making phone calls or participating in video chats with friends are two ways to feel more connected.
To avoid extended stillness, listen to music or play “background noise.” You can also watch TV, listen to podcasts, or watch videos online.
Creating a Regular Schedule for Self-Care Can Help You Feel Better
People with anxiety may find it easier to cope with their dread of the unknown by adhering to a consistent schedule.
By getting up and going to bed at the same times every day, engaging in regular exercise, eating regular meals, and filling your day with other activities and habits that occupy your time and give you a purpose and a sense of accomplishment, you can establish a routine that keeps you focused and reduces stress.
A person who struggles with phobias should ideally schedule these kinds of activities throughout their day:
- Exercise on a regular basis, especially daily walks outside if you can
- eating a diet low in inflammation
- Getting sufficient rest (seven to nine hours every night)
- Limiting usage of alcohol and other drugs, as well as avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.