Afraid of being alone? Whether people want to admit it or not, being afraid of being alone is more common than you think. We have probably all been there at some point. We are afraid of ending up alone, without friends or even without family. Afraid of going out for dinner alone, sitting alone on a terrace or traveling alone. We are afraid of failure and having no one who can comfort us when we are miserable. We have probably felt this feeling at some point in our lives. If this feeling, the fear of being alone, sounds familiar, it may be a sign of autophobia.
What is autophobia?
Autophobia, or monophobia, is the fear of being alone or lonely. Being alone, even in a protected place like your own home, can lead to serious anxiety. People with autophobia feel that they need another people to feel safe. This phobia is often confused with the fear of staying alone (anuptaphobia), but the two phobias differ from each other. Someone who suffers from autophobia can often only relax when they are in the company of other people.
People who suffer from autophobia can experience their fear in a different way. For some people, the fear even hinders their daily lives. Symptoms are:
- Fear of fainting
- A disability to concentrate on anything other than the disease
- Failure to think clearly
- Stress over up-coming times and places where you may be alone
- Fear of being secluded
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, sweating, shaking
- Cold and hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling feelings
- Increased heart rate
Where does it come from?
Autophobia is an irrational fear that arises when you fear that you will be alone. Although there may not be a real threat of being alone, you will still not be able to control your symptoms. You may only be able to function normally if you no longer feel alone. If you are alone, you may feel a desperate need to end your loneliness as quickly as possible. In addition, it may be a result of a trauma in which you suffered because you were alone and vulnerable, or because you had no one at the time to help you deal with a terrible event.
What can you do about it?
- Face your fear. Facing your fear sounds scary, but it is a good start. Ignoring your fear can be quite dangerous, because the longer you ignore the fear, the more misery you create for yourself. When you ignore your fear, you are the most vulnerable to hurting yourself and displaying unhealthy behaviour, such as becoming very affectionate to someone you have just started dating for example.
- Challenge yourself. Change your mindset. This is easier said than done, but through exposure exercises you treat avoidance behaviour that has developed over time. The goal is to improve your quality of life so that your phobias no longer limit your daily life.
Are there things in daily life that you would like to change but you don’t know how? Do you feel lonely? Are there issues you can’t solve yourself? Download the NiceDay app! We offer 1 on 1 coaching. You do not have to do it alone: professionals are there for that extra support.