What is the fear of loneliness called, and how to get rid of autophobia?

Autophobia or pathological fear of loneliness can easily be considered one of the most common mental disorders in the world. People subject to this fear cannot get rid of thoughts about their own uselessness, they are afraid of being left completely alone. Those suffering from autophobia are afraid not of what exists, but of what they themselves have invented.

Outwardly, the fear of loneliness is very weakly expressed. It is difficult to recognize it when communicating with a person for a short time. It is rooted deep within the individual, causing constant discomfort and increasing stress levels. Being in society, such a person can almost forget about his problems for a while, but left to himself, he again begins to entertain dark thoughts about the significance of his person. They burden him so much that they become unbearable. In advanced cases, this type of phobia can lead people to attempt suicide in order to get rid of the feeling of loneliness.

It is not without reason that the fear of loneliness is called a problem of modern humanity. Most often, people who live in cities and lead an active social life tend to experience it. They get used to constantly being surrounded by others and tend to adapt to the standards accepted in their environment. Such people’s own inner world is quite poor and they do not develop as individuals. As a result, they think and behave according to certain stereotypes, a slight deviation from which leads to panic.

Autophobia significantly reduces a person’s quality of life. Makes him unhappy, sick and deprives him of the ability to be happy for a long time. Meanwhile, like many irrational fears, it is highly treatable. The main thing is to really start fighting it.

Autophobia - what is it?

What is another name for autophobia: isolophobia or monophobia. What is autophobia? This is the fear of loneliness. Alone with oneself, an autophobe becomes bored or scared. He is tormented by terrible memories, obsessive thoughts, a feeling of uselessness and uselessness.

Autophobia forces girls to marry a tyrant and endure humiliation or live with an unloved person, just to avoid being single. Other people constantly go to clubs, cafes and other establishments, just so as not to be alone for a minute with themselves, with their thoughts. Still others ruin the lives of their children, raising them to be dependent and childish, forever attached to their parents.


If we try to systematize the consequences that arise against the background of this phobia, we can highlight the following points:

  • The emergence of any type of addiction in order to muffle the horror and pain that arises when thinking about one’s uselessness.
  • Destructive, that is, destructive relationships into which an autophobe finds himself, just not to be alone.
  • Depression, somatization (illnesses arising from experiences), insomnia, asthenia and suicidal tendencies.
  • Loss of the meaning of life, one’s value and, in general, interests.
  • Low self-esteem, tendency to victimized behavior. That is, for example, he may find himself in situations where he will be subjected to violence. Then the fear of being left alone will motivate you to endure humiliation, beatings and other manifestations of cruelty and dominance.
  • Constant feeling of dissatisfaction. An autophobe will devalue sincere interest in his personality, attempts to get closer, and so on. Because in his perception, for example, the manifestation of love and care occurs in a different form, not the same as what is presented to him. Over time, this pushes people away, despite their feelings. It's difficult to constantly be stressed, trying to prove that another is valuable and important.

Diagnosis and signs of phobia

We found out what the fear of loneliness is called, now let’s look at its manifestations. The main distinguishing feature of autophobia is anxiety at the thought of spending an evening or a whole day without communication. The autophobe tries to plan every weekend so that he can be busy, leave the house, or have friends over at his place.

What else is characteristic of such people:

  • diffidence;
  • indecision;
  • fear of failure and punishment;
  • obsessive behavior (sometimes scares others away, which only makes the situation worse);
  • lack of opinion;
  • pleasing others in order to be in company (may tolerate humiliation, violence, or silently follow the crowd, repeating their behavior);
  • manipulation (threats of suicide, pleas, attempts to press for pity);
  • panic attacks in situations that are perceived as a threat of loneliness (separation for a while, an unanswered letter or phone call, etc.);
  • a heightened need for attention, proof of feelings from other people (“Are you sure you love me?”, “Are you not angry with me?”, “Are we still friends?”);
  • illogicality of relationships (an autophobe either connects his life with someone who loves him, just not to be alone, or constantly changes partners, creating the illusion of demand, intimacy, love, fullness of life);
  • constant search for new acquaintances, visiting new public places.

In a relationship, an autophobe torments his partner with jealousy and suspicion. He is sure that sooner or later he will be abandoned and betrayed. To any action of the partner, which the autophobe regards as a “cold attitude”, he reacts with hysterics. A canceled meeting or a forced evening alone with oneself can also end in hysterics. In this case, the patient tries to drown out loneliness with food, alcohol, casual relationships, going to a club, extracurricular work, or going into virtual reality.

It is important! The difficulty of diagnosis is that the fear of loneliness can be hidden behind alcoholism, overeating, sexual deviations, workaholism, addiction to online games or communication on social networks. The autophobe tries to fill the inner emptiness with something else.


The presence of such a disorder can be extremely subtle, making it difficult to overcome. But there are a number of symptoms characteristic of monophobia:

  • diffidence. Characterized by low self-confidence and an inability to make rational decisions. Such a person experiences difficulty adapting to the world around him and often seeks the approval of others;
  • panic attacks. A common alarm signal that demonstrates a clear fear of being unnecessary to others. Panic attacks can appear after breaking up with people. In addition, a person may experience panic attacks if something does not go according to his plan;
  • desire to communicate. A person suffering from autophobia wants to feel like a part of a team or some social group, so from time to time signs of an extrovert may appear in him;
  • illogical behavior in relationships. Such people often act unreasonably in their personal lives and may enter into relationships with those for whom they do not have feelings. Subsequently, such behavior can lead to an ill-considered marriage;
  • frequent attempts to restrain a person. This is most clearly manifested in the excessive compliance of the patient. Often his opinion fades into the background, and he does everything in order to keep a person or group of people at any cost.

There are other symptoms of autophobia, but these are especially common.

Reasons why people are afraid of loneliness

Psychotrauma is the main cause of phobia. For example, a child was separated from his mother early or the parents used harsh parenting methods: they sneaked out of the house and left the child alone, saying “stop crying, otherwise I’ll leave you here.” Or maybe a person has experienced the death of a close friend or a painful separation from a loved one. Or a child was frightened with scary stories as a child, but as an adult he continues to be afraid.

Why people are afraid of loneliness:

  • emotional coldness of parents (an abandoned child experiences fear and despair, this is carried into adulthood);
  • unmet needs of the child (for love, attention, affection);
  • punishment in the form of isolation, threats to leave alone;
  • frequent forced loneliness (from clients whose parents worked a lot and left the child alone at home, you can hear the phrase “I’m afraid to be alone at home”);
  • overprotective parenting style;
  • manipulation on the part of parents, more often mothers (“I’m going to die, and you’ll regret that I behaved like this”);
  • lack of acceptance among peers;
  • dependence on other people’s opinions, social stereotypes (for example, that marriage and children for a girl are an end in itself, an indicator of wealth);
  • gullibility and personal experience of betrayal;
  • divorce of parents, leaving the family;
  • suspiciousness, timidity, suggestibility, superstition (fear of monsters and ghosts, robbers);
  • fear of losing loved ones.

Fear of loneliness is characteristic of people with low self-esteem and complexes. They do not see themselves as an independent unit, an integral personality. And therefore they try to fill themselves with other people, to dissolve in others.

This is interesting! Some people are so accustomed to the neurotic bustle of life that they have forgotten how to relax. They are tormented by the fear of being left alone at home. Solitude causes them anxiety, the feeling that they forgot to do something, and the desire to run away somewhere.


Healthy people encounter autophobes in life. Patients need to be unobtrusively explained what the fear of being alone at home is called. When communicating with such people, you need to be extremely careful in your words and actions. They are very vulnerable, and can take every word personally negatively. But you should understand that they are manipulators without realizing it. Autophobes sometimes use others to escape their loneliness. The best help from others would be a recommendation to visit a doctor.

How to deal with loneliness phobia

Autophobes avoid their thoughts, problems, desires. To overcome fear, you need to figure out what exactly a person doesn’t like inside himself. Maybe he doesn't know what he wants to do in life. Or he doesn’t like his job, but he doesn’t dare change it. Or he doesn't see the point in what he's doing. Or he cannot build a personal life, but under the pressure of stereotypes and the natural human need for intimacy, he suffers because of this.

The difference between the fear of loneliness in women and men

Women's fear of loneliness is more often associated with marriage (fear of being left alone, fear of being abandoned). Despite the idea of ​​gender equality, society still maintains the stereotype that a woman without a husband and children is an inferior woman, unclaimed, defective. As a result, girls from childhood develop the idea that they need to find some person, and not become a person, an individual. Because of this, girls give up their studies and careers, end up in dependent relationships, and suffer from complexes.

The fear of loneliness in men is more often associated with a lack of friends, financial and personal unfulfillment, and the absence of children. Men are influenced by the stereotype “build a house, plant a tree, give birth to a son.” Like women, family is important to them, but authority among other men, business partners and being in demand among women are more important.

It is important! Fear of loneliness occurs with approximately equal frequency among men and women.


The goal of psychotherapy is to foster self-sufficiency and independence. All autophobes are hostages of relationships. At the beginning of therapy, the psychologist studies the client’s life history, special attention is paid to studying childhood, relationships with and between parents. The purpose of diagnosis is to find the primary psychotrauma. At the same time, the client’s individual psychological characteristics, lifestyle in the present, and manifestations of phobia are studied. Based on the results of a comprehensive diagnosis, the specialist selects treatment.

What is the treatment aimed at:

  • personality correction, for example, increasing self-confidence, working on self-acceptance (problems that need to be worked with are determined individually);
  • changing attitudes towards traumatic experiences;
  • modeling and mastering new patterns of behavior in present situations.

A person learns to live in harmony with himself, to use solitude to his advantage for personal development, to be selective in relationships, and to value himself.

It is important! In advanced stages, treatment is supplemented by taking antidepressants and tranquilizers. But only a psychotherapist can prescribe medications.


Hypnotherapy is used in cases where the problem is hidden deep in the subconscious, and when the client has strong psychological blocks. It happens that a person wants to be cured, but he himself interferes with the process. Hypnosis in 5-10 sessions helps to find the root cause and change your attitude towards it.

Help from a psychologist in case of illness

If you can’t cope on your own, then you need to contact a specialist. According to psychotherapists, the following things interfere with solving the problem:

  • irresponsibility;
  • selfishness;
  • intolerance and pickiness towards others.

The recovery process requires the diligence of not only the specialist, but also the patient. How quickly he can recover depends on the patient’s personal qualities. The doctor will analyze the patient’s mental state and also explain the causes of the disease. The doctor will teach the autophobe to think logically and see himself from the outside. Breathing exercises will help with panic attacks. Group psychotherapy copes well with the disease. In extreme cases, a specialist may prescribe antidepressants, since fear of loneliness is a common cause of suicide.

Getting rid of a phobia on your own

Fear of loneliness is a trait of an immature personality. A person lacks self-sufficiency. How not to be afraid of loneliness:

  • turn loneliness into solitude;
  • soul-searching – into healthy introspection and self-development;
  • self-dislike - into self-acceptance.

And now more about how to overcome the fear of loneliness.

Find the benefits of being alone

Being alone with yourself is dangerous, but useful. All people need privacy. This is an integral part of mental health and harmony. Solitude helps you look deep into yourself, hear your subconscious, your true self. Why is this dangerous? Because the ghosts of the past are flying out. And someone realizes that all the time they lived according to someone else’s scenario. I chose the wrong profession, the wrong hobby, the wrong circle of friends. That’s why it’s sickening to be alone with yourself. You don’t notice this behind the superficial chatter or everyday bustle and heaps of work.

The advantage of loneliness is that it gives you the opportunity to understand yourself and make a plan for self-development. If you want to get rid of fear, then you will have to have an honest conversation with yourself and understand what you do not accept about yourself. Solitude is freedom. You can do what you love, plan for the future, relax.

Find inner resources

Start keeping a personal diary. Write down your desires and goals, plans, share your emotions from the past day. Then you can re-read what you wrote a week or month ago. It helps in self-observation and self-analysis. Track your development, unlock your potential. Find love, support, material and social independence within yourself. Then you will not need other people, and solitude will not be torture.

It is important! Learn to give rather than take. Then you will never experience the feeling of loneliness. But for this you must have a rich inner world, fill the void with something useful.

Control your anxiety

Master relaxation methods, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga. Or find your personal secret to calming down. For some, drawing helps, for others, writing poetry, for others, taking a bath with aroma candles, listening to music, cooking or sewing. Why not treat yourself to a restaurant-style dinner?


Anyone experiencing symptoms of autophobia should talk to their doctor. Once the doctor has ruled out any physical causes for the symptoms, he or she may refer the patient to a mental health specialist.

The mental health professional will ask questions about the person's behavior and feelings. This helps them assess a person's state of mind and diagnose any mental illness that may be affecting them.

To be diagnosed with autophobia, the anxiety caused by the phobia will be significant enough to interfere with the person's ability to carry out their daily activities.

Psychology of fear in women

Why are women afraid that they will be abandoned, that they will lose a loved one, or that they will not get married? Complexes and social stereotypes are to blame. How to deal with the fear of loneliness in women? We have prepared some practical tips on how to stop being afraid of female loneliness.

Look at the problem adequately

The need for love is inherent in every person. If you are worried about problems in your personal life, then admit: “I am afraid of loneliness in my personal life (I am afraid of being left alone or not getting married).” But instead of grieving, being humiliated and looking for someone who will “pick up” you, think about how to love yourself and who you want to have next to you. As soon as you learn to respect yourself and understand where to look for a partner, what qualities he should have, and what you will never tolerate, your personal life will immediately improve.

Forget about age

Age is not an indicator of personality development or external beauty. At 40, you can have a better body than 20-year-old girls. You just need to exercise, eat right and don’t forget about skincare products. But not every woman can gain wisdom and turn the past stage into experience and knowledge. But building relationships after 30-40 is not a shame, but on the contrary, it is completely justified. Now you know exactly what you want and you’ve probably already established yourself as a professional and a person.

It is important! A healthy relationship is a union of two financially, morally and physically independent people. You must be wealthy individually, and together increase your benefits.

Determine what exactly you are afraid of being alone

What really worries you? Loss of attention, compliments, care or lack of financial support, loss of social status? Or something else?

Dose communication with married friends

Your social circle should match your interests. Communication among married friends will only increase anxiety and fears. It is better to communicate with those who are interested in finding a man, going to the theater or going to a concert. Or with those who are not at all worried about marriage and children, but are instead passionate about their career or “burning” with some kind of hobby.

Don't get hung up on the opinions of others

Most people around you don't care about you. And those who care will always find a reason for gossip. If you don't get married, no one needs you. If you got married and divorced, or your husband cheated on you, it’s your own fault. No children - punishment for sins. If you have children, stop sitting at home and go to work. Understand that people spread gossip and spy on other people's lives because they don't have a life of their own. Because they are also afraid of loneliness and are unhappy.

What difficulties does it create in life?

Autophobia is one of the dangerous phobic conditions that can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life and cause suicidal thoughts .

Autophobes are indiscriminate in partners and try to marry or marry people they don’t know well.

Marriages in most cases are unhappy and quickly break up.

The source of conflicts are constant demands for attention to one’s person, excessive annoyingness and obsessive thoughts about infidelity or betrayal of the other half.

The progression of autophobia can cause the following consequences :

  • abuse of bad habits;
  • difficulties in self-realization;
  • development of persistent neurotic disorders;
  • the emergence of pathological jealousy;
  • tendency to prolonged depressive states;
  • difficulties in family relationships and creating a family;
  • addition of phobias of other types.

What does autophobia lead to if left unattended?

Autophobia ranks first among phobias in terms of suicide risk. The need for a significant other, self-actualization, respect and self-esteem, recognition are the highest needs of the individual. Alone with himself, a person can develop, for example, engage in creativity, but other people are still needed to recognize his work. And without communication this is unlikely to happen. Fear of loneliness is dangerous for the development of depression, existential and personal crises.

It is important! The fear of loneliness is especially difficult for older people to endure. But in this case, the problem is usually associated with the fear of aging and death, the crisis of old age.

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