Fear Being By Yourself: After a good night out with friends, you wake up the next morning and find yourself overcome with fear before you can even think back on how much fun you had. Everyone has left, so you are now—please don’t say it—alone. No matter how recently you were surrounded by those you love, the fear of being by yourself has set in and will not go away.
You undoubtedly know how this fear feels, but you might not be very knowledgeable about it. Here is the lowdown: It’s a legitimate phobia that’s also referred to as monophobia or autophobia.
Fear Being By Yourself
Ironically, you’re not the only one if you suffer from autophobia. According to Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Manhattan, it’s a rather typical phobia. “Having a partner is a common goal as well.”
However, that doesn’t make it much simpler to comprehend or get through. According to clinical psychologist Jill Squyres, PhD, of Vail, Colorado, “those who are terrified of being alone, it’s a very powerful anxiety that has a tremendous influence over how they live.”
Is it common for you to fear being alone?
According to Carmichael, fear is a healthy emotion because it is “an evolutionary response that helps you live.” “From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, humans are tribal creatures.”
Squyres continues, “those who felt anxious or terrified when they were alone promptly rejoined their tribe or clan, so they wouldn’t get wounded with no one to help.” These individuals had a higher likelihood of surviving adulthood and having offspring. Therefore, your dread serves to increase your chances of survival rather than to frighten or depress you.
However, how can you tell if it is a phobia?
When you constantly feel as though you need another person or other people nearby to feel safe—even in a setting that is meant to be comforting, like your home—you know you have a serious fear of being alone. You “may feel profoundly lonely, bored, or anxious” as soon as you’re alone, according to Squyres.
This may occur a few times, and that’s quite normal. She warns that your discomfort is significant if you begin to detect a pattern of anxiety, panic, or profound grief whenever you’re alone. Additionally, it could make you physically uncomfortable, including tiredness, headaches, sore muscles, backaches, and stomachaches.
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Therefore, it’s more than just being disappointed because you’re single. Unbelievably, you can experience this anxiety when in a relationship (more on that later).
Additionally, you can struggle to focus or complete tasks, which could have an impact on your work life. Working alone may be necessary for successful job performance or career advancement, according to Squyres, therefore having a fear of being alone can prevent you from succeeding in many professions.
Because you’re on your own, your fear can prevent you from taking the actions you want to. Granted, some activities—like karaoke or Valentine’s Day dining alone—are less enjoyable when done alone.
But according to Squyres, “there’s a difference between avoiding activities that no one loves to do alone and avoiding things that are common to do alone—like grocery shopping or getting a haircut.
When should someone who has autophobia seek therapy?
Psychotherapy can help you learn how to get over your fear if it is more serious (i.e., if it affects your personal and professional life). To control fear, anxiety, panic, and emotional reactivity, a qualified therapist can teach relaxation and breathing techniques, according to the expert. You can explore and challenge the unfavourable messages you give yourself about loneliness with the aid of cognitive behaviour therapy to avoid perceiving it as something threatening or dangerous. You might even think about visiting a psychiatrist, who can advise you on whether antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication might be able to help you deal with your fear.
Tall continues, “I would also advise people to seek treatment if they notice they consistently engage in the same types of relationships, albeit with new individuals. “A qualified therapist can see these cycles as they develop and assist in providing the client with the necessary tools to break them.”
According to Squyres, developing self-confidence in solitude is a crucial component of emotional well-being. We must all eventually realise that our actual sense of safety comes from within.
What is the fear of being alone called?
It’s a legitimate phobia that’s also referred to as monophobia or autophobia.