Fear Of Ourselves: Symptoms, Investigations, Treatment

Fear of ourselves or autophobia , also called monophobia, isophobia or eremophobia, is the specific phobia of isolation; a morbid fear of being selfish, or a fear of being alone or isolated. Those who suffer do not need to be physically alone, but only need to believe that they are being ignored or unloved. Contrary to what a literal reading of the term would imply, autophobia does not describe a “fear of self.” The disorder is typically develops from and is associated with other disorders of anxiety .

Autophobia can be associated with or accompanied by various other phobias , such as agoraphobia , and is generally considered part of the agoraphobic group. This means that autophobia has many of the same characteristics as certain anxiety disorders and hyperventilation disorders. The main concern of people with phobias in the agoraphobic group is to get help in an emergency. This means that people may be afraid of going out in public, of being caught in a crowd, of being alone, or of being stranded.

Fear of ourselves should not be confused with agoraphobia (fear of being in public or caught in large crowds), self-hatred, or social anxiety , although it can be closely related to these things. It is your own phobia that tends to be accompanied by other anxiety disorders and phobias.

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Autophobia is closely related to monophobia, isophobia, and eremophobia. However, its definition varies slightly. According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, eremphobia is a morbid fear of being isolated.

In contrast, the Medical Dictionary of the Medical Professional defines autophobia as a morbid fear of loneliness or self.


Autophobia can stem from social anxiety. When people with this phobia are left alone, they often experience panic attacks, which is a common reaction in those who suffer from social anxiety. This illness can also stem from depression because when people become seriously autophobic, they begin to find certain tasks and activities almost impossible to complete.

This usually happens when people with automatic phobia are faced with the possibility of going to a public place where there are many people or simply to a place that is uncomfortable or unfamiliar to them. This phobia can also be closely related to agoraphobia, leading to decreased self-confidence and uncertainty about your ability to complete certain activities that need to be done alone. People who suffer from this phobia tend to imagine the worst possible scenario. For example, they might have a panic attack and then think that they are going to die from this event.

Another experience that doctors believe leads people to develop this phobia is children who are abandoned, usually by their parents, when they are very young. This first causes childhood trauma that then lingers and affects them as they grow older. This turns into autophobia because now they are afraid that all the important people in their lives will abandon or abandon them. Therefore, this particular phobia can stem from the behavior and experiences that these people have had when they were growing up.

However, abandonment does not necessarily mean being physically alone, but also being financially or emotionally isolated. Having drastic life-changing experiences, particularly causes more trauma that makes this phobia worse. People who have very high anxiety and in this case are more “nervous” are more susceptible to this phobia. ”

Although this phobia often develops at a young age, it can also develop later in life. Individuals sometimes develop this fear with the death of a loved one or the end of an important relationship. Autophobia can also be described as the fear of being without a specific person. Tragic events in a person’s life can create this fear of being without a specific person, but this will often eventually progress into a fear of being isolated in general.


Symptoms of autophobia vary from case to case. However, there are some symptoms that a multitude of people with this disease suffer from. One of the most common indications that a person is autophobic is an intense amount of apprehension and anxiety when alone or thinking about situations in which they would be secluded. People with this disorder also often believe that there is an impending disaster waiting to occur when they are left alone.

Below is a list of other symptoms that are sometimes associated with autophobia:

Mental symptoms

  • Fear of fainting
  • A disability to focus on anything other than illness.
  • Fear of losing your mind.
  • Not thinking clearly.

Emotional symptoms

  • Stress about the times and places to come where you may be alone
  • Fear to loneliness.

Physical symptoms

  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Sweating
  • Temblor
  • Nausea
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Dry mouth
  • Incrise of cardiac frecuency.


Autophobia is a form of anxiety that can cause a minor an extreme feeling of danger or fear when alone. There is no specific treatment to cure autophobia as it affects each person differently.

  • Most patients are treated with psychotherapy in which the amount of time they are alone increases slowly
  • There are currently no conclusive studies to support any drug used as a treatment.
  • If the anxiety is too intense, medications have been used to help the patient continue therapy.
  • It is not uncommon for patients to not realize that they have this anxiety and to dismiss the idea of ​​seeking help.
  • Like substance abuse, autophobia is mental and physical and requires the assistance of a medical professional.
  • Medications can be used to stabilize symptoms and inhibit substance abuse.
  • Group and individual therapy is used to help relieve symptoms and treat the phobia.

In mild cases of autophobia, treatment can sometimes be very simple .

  • Therapists recommend many different remedies to make patients feel as if they are not alone, even when that is the case, such as listening to music when they are running errands alone or turning on the television when they are at home, even if it is just for noise from bottom.
  • Using noise to interrupt silence in isolated situations can often be of great help to people with autophobia.
  • However, it is important to remember that just because a person may feel lonely sometimes does not mean that they have autophobia.
  • Most people feel lonely and isolated at times; this is not an unusual phenomenon.
  • Only when the fear of loneliness interrupts a person’s everyday life does the idea of ​​being autophobic become a possibility.


In an article called “Psychogenic Hyperventilation and Death Anxiety” by Herbert R. Lazarus, MD, and John J. Kostan, Jr, MSW, autophobia or monophobia was referred to as very closely related to death anxiety, or a feeling of impending doom. A patient may feel so scared from the autopsy that he may hyperventilate and feel as though he may die from it .

  • It is also observed that patients with hyperventilation and death anxiety may also develop or have autophobia due to being so afraid of dying, being seriously injured, or otherwise finding themselves in a desperate situation, that they become mortally afraid of being alone.
  • Without someone to help them in case they need it, autophobia-induced anxiety can occur alongside other anxieties or phobias included in the agoraphobic group.

Georgia Tarrant
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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.