Autophobia is an intense fear of loneliness. No one wants to be alone. We all like different people around us and to have good social connections. Loneliness can be uncomfortable. But when, even thinking of being alone gives you anxiety, it becomes a phobia.
Phobias are a psychological condition that belongs to the cluster of anxiety disorders. It refers to feeling fearful towards something that is not necessarily scary or dangerous. If you have an intense fear of loneliness, you should consult a Psychologist in karachi.
Autophobia can affect your social connections and relationships. You don’t want people to leave and may stay in an abusive relationship.
What Happens In Autophobia?
In autophobia, you experience intense fear when you are alone or think of being alone. Even when you are with your friends or family, you may be thinking about when they will leave, you will be alone. This makes you anxious. You may also develop a fear of being alone in old age, which makes you anxious even though you have not experienced such a thing. It can also affect the choices you make in the present. The fear of future loneliness may negatively affect your quality of life in the present.
Symptoms Of Autophobia
Symptoms of autophobia are similar to anxiety disorder symptoms. These include:
- Feeling lightheaded
- Shaking or trembling
- Stomach upset
- Excessive sweating
- Racing heartbeat
You experience these symptoms when alone or when you think that you will be alone in the future. Some people fear getting separated from a specific person. Like a mother with autophobia may feel anxious if separated from her baby. The person varies from person to person. It can be a family member, a loved one, or a friend.
What Causes Autophobia?
The exact cause of autophobia is unknown. But the way you were raised in childhood can impact your life, and you may develop different fears when you grow up. Some traumatic experiences can also cause you to develop an extreme fear of being alone.
Factors that can influence your life and cause autophobia include:
- Divorce of parents during childhood
- Death of a parent during childhood
- Getting separated from a loved one in a crowd or in some other way
- Experiencing a traumatic event alone
- Witnessing a traumatic event alone
Such events can deeply imprint your mind, and you may not want anyone to leave you. The fear that a traumatic event will occur again may make you feel anxious when alone.
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How Is Autophobia Treated?
Autophobia can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotherapy. Doctors may also prescribe anxiety-lowering medications so that you feel less anxious.
Cognitive behavioural therapy includes exposure to the stimulus that makes you fearful, slowly and gradually. In autophobia, you fear being alone. So your psychologist may suggest you be alone for a few minutes and gradually increase the time over days. This way, you will start to feel less fearful of being alone.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is when you talk to your psychologist. They will help you find the root cause of your fear and also help you deal with your thoughts when you are alone.
Relaxation techniques like meditation or listening to calming music can also help lower anxiety and make you feel better.
Autophobia is when you dread being alone. It can affect your relationships, social connections, and overall quality of life. With treatment, this condition can be managed well. If you have autophobia, you can consult a Psychologist.
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