Fear Of People (Anthropophobia): Behaviors, Sources, Causes, Symptoms

The fear of people, scientifically known as anthropophobia, or the popular name of hostility, is a phobia of interpersonal relationships. It manifests itself in fear of people. Whether they are men or women, it is vital to highlight that human being, in general, is a source of anxiety. This disorder is also an acute form of shyness. It can generally occur in other conditions such as fear of the dark or fear of aging.

Behaviors associated with fear of people

  • The so-called social phobia mainly affects adolescents and is often transitory.
  • Although the two terms are often associated, there is an essential difference between anthropophobia and misanthropy.
  • The latter is often a moral and almost philosophical position of hatred for humanity.

Potential sources

  • Fear of people is common among teenagers.
  • Between the ages of 13 and 18, it is not uncommon to find adolescents who withdraw into themselves and whom all social contact is an impossible test.
  • This can lead to school phobias – the inability to get to class and be in contact with other students.
  • The sources of anthropophobia can also be traumatic situations experienced in childhood that have led to intense feelings of humiliation on the part of a group.

Physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences

  • The consequences of this phobia are exacerbated shyness that often leads to isolation and autistic withdrawal.
  • On a physical level, the antiphobic suffers from permanent and flushed anxiety that, of course, increases in the presence of others.
  • It can also be associated with frequent dizziness, eye problems, and a tendency to spasmophilia attacks.

Possible treatments for acrophobia

  • Cognitive-behavioral approaches can be helpful, including Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP.
  • In the case of known trauma, EMDR is an excellent answer to treat this type of phobia.
  • Psychoanalysis helps you understand the source of the phobia and give the person suffering weapons to face the world, especially if the anthropophobia is accompanied by the aprrofobia (fear of sex drive).

Causes of pathology

People’s fear develops most often in adolescence. Anthropophobia can develop in both men and women. The causes of the disease should be investigated in childhood. This can lead to:

  • Mental and physical abuse.
  • Long term stress
  • In shock.

In the context of psychological trauma, the child withdraws. Perhaps you do not receive support or protection from others. All this leads to the fact that he feels safe only with a child. He has the conviction that contact with other people will bring him pain or humiliation. Thus, anthropophobia develops.

  • Anthropophobia often develops in people with low self-esteem.
  • Low self-esteem is also formed in childhood, and the reason is criticism and disapproval of significant adults: parents and, other parents, teachers.
  • In this case, the child seems uncertain in himself.
  • Due to fear of criticism and insults from adults or peers, the child seeks confinement.

Often, people’s fear develops in the context of scotoprophobia. This psychological state is characterized by the fear of falling into an embarrassing or dishonorable situation. Patients with this phobia constantly expect others to make fun of their appearance or behavior—the desire to avoid possible ridicule leads to social isolation.

Please pay close attention to the presented alerts since it is clinically proven that fear of people has psychological causes and often comes from the patient’s childhood. To get rid of this condition, it is essential to identify the primary sources of phobia.

Symptoms of the disease


Like other social psychological disorders, Anthropophobia is not always easy to diagnose. It is difficult to draw a dividing line between increased individual sensitivity to personal limits, love of loneliness, isolation, and a pathological fear of the people.

The symptoms of anthropophobia are:

  • Isolation.
  • The desire to limit contact with others.
  • With this disease, fear spreads even in touch with loved ones.
  • A person with anthropophobia feels physically insane when in contact with others.

Often, in patients with anthropophobia, compulsive behavior is manifested, which is a monotonous obsessive movement or action:

  • Fear of people forces a person to defend himself, and such protection favors such behavior.
  • The patient is distracted from his fear of compulsive actions in this case.
  • Other pathological changes in the psyche can accompany people’s fear.
  • A person can develop neurosis, depression, psychopathy, and obsessive states.

People with anthropophobia cannot establish regular social contacts. At the same time, they are not educated, and their ability to work is minimal, as any job that includes social connections does not suit them.


  • Anthropophobia is a psychological disorder that consists of the fear of people.
  • The fear of people is considered one of the most severe phobias because a person lives in a society, and it is difficult for him to avoid his other members.
  • The symptoms of anthropophobia: isolation, isolation, fear of contact with relatives, possibly compulsive behavior, psychopathic attacks.
  • The causes of this condition are psychological trauma or stress that has arisen in a collision with people.
  • In most cases, the disease develops against the background of childhood trauma.

There is no medical treatment for anthropophobia, but some remedies help to cope with the symptoms of the disease:

  • Reduce anxiety.
  • The calm.
  • It is better to treat people’s medications because they have a milder effect on the body and do not cause side effects and addiction.

Anthropophobia and social phobia: what is the difference?

  • These two phobias are a fear of people.
  • However, with social phobia, a person is afraid of a group of people, of a society.
  • It can be a workgroup, a group of people in public transport, or on the street.
  • Anthropophobia patients are afraid to even in the presence of a person and this person can be their friend.

Treatment of the disease

  • Anthropophobia, like other forms of phobia, is not treated medically. To get rid of this condition, long-term psychological therapy is needed.
  • It is essential to understand the phobia’s causes and overcome the fear.
  • In this case, the help of the specialist will no longer be necessary.
  • If this is not possible, you can resort to automatic training and meditation practices.
  • There are many books on fighting phobias and psychological disorders.
  • However, patients should not expect a quick result.
  • Any treatment of psychological disorders is a long process that requires a systematic approach, the regular application of exercises, and recommendations.
  • A person must realize that they have a problem and a sincere desire to solve it. Only then will the treatment be effective.
  • Here too, the help and support of family members are significant.
  • In modern society, people’s fear is often not seen as a real problem but as a form of happiness.
  • Lack of support and criticism from family and friends can destroy any anthropophobia treatment and only aggravate the patient’s condition.
  • It is important to remember that the person with this phobia will never ask for help on their own and try to solve their problems independently.
  • When the patient feels that his condition improves, it is essential to overcome fear to get in touch with people, starting with the simplest: going out to the street, taking public transport, asking passersby who the moment is, or buying food.
  • Little by little, the patient will get used to society and feel more secure.

Popular drugs

  • Although anthropophobia is not treated medically, some medications help cope with the symptoms of this disease.
  • They reduce anxiety, have a calming effect, and normalize sleep.
  • Traditional medicine recommends antipsychotics for these purposes.
  • These are substances that affect the physiology of the nervous system.
  • They all have pronounced side effects on all organ systems.
  • In some cases, they can even make the patient’s condition worse. An alternative to these means is folk remedies.
  • The folk treatment has a milder effect on the nervous system and does not cause dependence and side effects.

Analysis of a case of anthropophobia

  • A 21-year-old man with a social phobia. You cannot be in confined spaces with people around you.
  • He is afraid that others will look at him.
  • When he is in the street and others move, this fear vanishes, but he is immediately scared in restaurants, cinemas, or classrooms.
  • When being treated by a specialist, childhood trauma was found when he urinated in fear during a passage to the blackboard at six years.
  • Therefore, he accompanies his anthropophobia with a certain cynophobia (fear of urinating)

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.