Fear Of Loneliness Vs Loneliness
Its important to note that there is a distinction between loneliness and the fear of loneliness. Loneliness is the actual state of feeling sad in the moment that you are alone. Fear of loneliness is worry that youre going to be alone at some future point in time .
Notably, feelings of loneliness can also trigger a fear of loneliness. You might be doing okay reading a book alone in your home when you start to get lonely.
You begin to feel sad that you are alone. Then your mind begins to think that youre always going to be alone, or that something bad is going to happen when you are alone. This triggers the fear of loneliness.
Can Phobias Affect Your Daily Life
President Roosevelt stated, The only thing we need to fear is fear itself, and many people do just that!
Phobophobia can have an impact on every area of your life. Activities that you once used to enjoy will feel boring, you might want to stay indoors to protect yourself from other things you fear, and you might start suffering from extreme anxiety. Symptoms of this phobia include:
- Severe anxiety
- Overthinking and obsessive thoughts about your fears
- Dry mouth
- Losing control over your life
A person affected by this condition might also experience visions of terror or death. To avoid such intense anxiety, they become more anxious, and the loop continues. It is often tough to identify what triggers these reactions, so your symptoms can occur at any time of the day.
Since phobias cause extreme anxiety, one might become self-destructive, get involved in substance abuse , or even develop suicidal tendencies. If left untreated, phobophobia can leave you in grave danger, so it is essential that you speak with a professional and attempt to handle this problem.
Do you fear your fears?
How Is Fear Different From A Phobia
Imagine seeing a cockroach crawl up your leg. Just reading that, do you already feel the panic rising and the urge to brush off your leg, just in case? It may seem like an exercise, but such a reaction means that you fear cockroaches but dont necessarily have a phobia of cockroaches .
However, if a person spends a lot of time thinking about cockroaches around them, and this obsession consumes a large part of their daily life and makes them feel extremely anxious, it is called a phobia.
This might not feel great to admit, but fear and anxiety are normal emotional responses to either a perceived or real threat, not necessarily a sign of a clear phobia.
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Overcoming The Fear Of Being Forgotten
Many Athazagoraphobic individuals take medications, believing these can cure them of this condition. However, medicines and drugs are unreliable in that they are not completely devoid of side effects and need to be taken for longer periods to see continued results.
Some medical practitioners believe in prescribing natural/homeopathic remedies to boost the patients memory. Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, omega-3 fatty acid supplements etc are some proven medicines that can arrest memory loss and improve general cognitive brain function.
Patients must also focus on eating a diet rich in walnuts, salmon, fruits and vegetables as well as exercising regularly to keep depression at bay and delay age related memory loss. Caregivers and family of the sufferer should also support and encourage the patient to talk about his/her fear.
Other therapies like Hypnotherapy, neuro-lingusitic programming and psychotherapy are proven to be highly effective in treating Athazagoraphobia as well. These therapies get to the root cause of the phobia and also help re-program the brain to overcome it once and for all.
Symptoms And Signs Of Autophobia
When an individual with autophobia is overwhelmed with the idea of being isolated, emotional and psychological health symptoms and problems and physical symptoms can also arise. Autophobia symptoms come in a variety of combinations and intensities, but they can include the following signs and symptoms:
- Obsessively worried about being isolated or having thoughts about what could happen if you are alone
- When one is alone, one may feel disconnected from ones self.
- Wobbling, trembling, abdominal pain, blurred vision, severe headaches, gasping for air, heart palpitation and nausea are some of the physical signs that can occur.
- Terrified to death, a strong urge to get out of the situation
When facing the likelihood of being isolated, many patients with autophobia develop instantaneous anxiety effects, which have all of the same problems as when they are currently alone. An individual with a particular phobia like autophobia rejects the element they are afraid of, and if they come into contact with it, they become very anxious.
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Convert Negativity To Positivity
There are two sides constantly battling inside of us one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?
What if I mess up this speech? What if Im not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?
Its no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think youre incompetent, then it will eventually become true.
Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: Ill ace this speech and I can do it!
Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative what ifs.
Heres a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:
Evidence Based On Content
The analysis of the content of the items was carried out by expert judges who rated the scale based on two criteria: Representativeness, indicating the correspondence between the content of the items and the definition of the construct, and Relevance, the importance of including the items on the scale. An Aikens V of 1.00 is observed for all items in the two criteria, suggesting evidence about the content of the BSFL.
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How Is Phobophobia Caused
Phobophobia occurs when you are terrified or afraid of fear itself, and more specifically, youre scared of gaining more phobias. When you think about your existing list of phobias and other things youre afraid of, you often feel anxious, which can lead to changes in your sleeping and eating schedule. This hysterical and unreasonable fear may lead to panic disorder.
Phobophobia occurs when a person continually thinks about an event or particular object that scares them, or they become triggered by imagery related to their phobias .
Chemical imbalances in the brain caused by a variety of medical conditions and injuries can also cause us to have irrational fears.
Medical conditions, along with the characteristics of the patient like personality, age incidence, physiological variables, sex incidence, cultural influence inside and outside the family, and biochemical factors also might be responsible for a person having such intense fears.
An adverse incident can cause a person to develop a phobia. For example, if you get stuck in a dark elevator alone for a long time, yosu might become claustrophobic and grow scared of travelling alone in lifts from that point forward, and instead choose to take the stairs.
Usually, nothing from the external environment triggers your phobia your internal thought process is what stimulates these phobias. There are initial sensitising events that are the root cause of most phobias, but following that, they mainly exist in your head.
Can Phobias Be Cured
Quite certainly! Phobias need to be treated as soon as possible by a professional. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and hypnosis can help some people get rid of their phobias. Cognition refers to mental processes of acquiring knowledge and understanding through experiences, thoughts and senses. CBT is psychotherapy in which negative pattern of thoughts about the self and world are challenged which need to be cured by changing unhelpful cognitive behaviours, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies which provide strategies to solve the problem.
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Many self-help techniques can help you reduce your phobias. Firstly, you can start by talking to someone you trust, as this will make you feel less anxious. Relaxation techniques, along with yoga and meditation, can also help you relax. Joining a support group can be highly beneficial, as this will help you distract yourself and authentically express your feelings or emotions in a non-judgmental environment.
FEAR has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours!
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Common Types Of Therapies
Many therapy techniques can be used to treat monophobia, but common options include:
- Exposure therapy is a behavioral and evidence-based therapy frequently used in the treatment of phobias. A safe environment is set up by a psychologist so that the client can be gradually exposed to the fearful situation of being alone. This exposure to the feared situation while in a safe place helps to decrease the fear and avoidance behaviors. There are several different types of exposure therapy, including real-life situations and imagined situations .5
- Systematic desensitization is one variant of exposure therapy which is very slowly paced. The exposure is combined with relaxation exercises so that the feared situation becomes associated with being relaxed.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another effective treatment for phobias and is the most comprehensive therapy. It involves three phases: didactic, cognitive, and behavioral. The didactic phase sets out the expectations for treatment outcomes, while the cognitive phase addresses the thoughts which contribute to the feelings of fear or anxiety. The behavioral phase often includes relaxation exercises and systematic desensitization.1
- Group therapy involves regular meetings with peers who also struggle with monophobia. Group members share their challenges as well as provide each other with emotional support and encouragement.
Monophobia & Situational Phobia Tests And Diagnosis
There is no specific test for Monophobia it is diagnosed via interview with an experienced mental health professional. It is important to see a health professional if you are concerned that you or your child may have monophobia. If you are wondering if your condition may be diagnosed as a phobia, you might take one of the self-tests suggested below. These cannot provide any definitive diagnosis but only allow you to consider your symptoms more thoroughly.
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Meditation And Mindfulness Exercise
Meditation, mindfulness exercise, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and practicing relaxation techniques help overcome the fear of being lonely. Even listening to a guided meditation or using a meditation app can help you self-regulate and lower anxiety levels. However, these relaxation techniques are more of a short-term solution to take control of your anxiety or panic attacks.
Where Does Your Fear Come From
According to Squyres, there are three main causes of your fear:
- It can be a sign of a phobia about being alone.
- It can be a result of a trauma in which you were harmed because you were alone and vulnerable, or you had no one to help you deal with a horrifying event.
- It can be part of a larger panic disorder or borderline personality disorder where an inability to self-soothe and fear of abandonment are additional factors at play.
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I What Is Phobia Of Being Alone
Monophobia or phobia of being alone is the fear of being alone. People who suffer from this fear are scared of staying alone in the dark, in a room or in public. Monophobia is usually seen as part of agoraphobia.
Patients of agoraphobia may also scared of standing in queues, standing on a bridge or sitting in a place where they dont feel safe or they feel trapped, like at a hairdressers and dentists. There can be additional phobias, predominantly social ones like fears of blushing, being stared at, trembling, writing in front of people, or talking, eating. They also suffer from depressive and obsessional symptoms.
How To Overcome Monophobia
Regardless of the specific fears about being alone, symptoms usually include anxiety and depression or obsessive thinking. In addition to seeking help through therapy, a variety of anxiety management skills can be helpful in managing the symptoms.
Ways of coping with monophobia include:9
- Deep breathing exercises, using diaphragmatic breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation training
- Self-soothing habits
- Daily exercise for relief of stress and uplifting of mood
- Welcoming humor and the benefits of laughter
Monophobia is experienced as intense fear about being alone, but this fear may have a different meaning for different individuals. Sometimes there are social concerns, such as the fear of being physically harmed by strangers and needing the presence of a particular person to feel safe. It may be a fear of physical accident or injury and needing to know that someone is nearby to help as needed.
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Is The Fear Of Being Alone Normal
Monophobia is experienced as an overwhelming and irrational anxiety that is not based on a real threat. The person with monophobia often realizes that there is no threat but still feels a desperate need to end their solitude. During childhood, the fear of being left alone is common and normal. For most children this fear is outgrown before adulthood. It is only considered to be abnormal if the fear becomes persistent and extreme to the point that the child cannot function at home or at school during brief periods of being alone.
Although many adults and seniors prefer to not be alone, most are still able to function and complete their daily routines without excessive anxiety about being alone. When the level of anxiety or fear prevents a person from functioning daily, the person is experiencing monophobia.
How To Let Go Of Monophobia
Letting go of monophobia does not need to feel challenging. By changing the little things in your lifestyle and thought patterns, you can begin to gradually release the fear.
The following are three simple and practical tips you can use to start your self-healing journey of letting go of the fear of being alone.
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Improve Your Next Speech
As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:
- Are there any areas for improvement?
- Did I sound or look stressed?
- Did I stumble on my words? Why?
- Was I saying um too often?
- How was the flow of the speech?
Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, youll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.
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Symptoms Of Fear Of Being Forgotten Phobia
People with the fear of being forgotten phobia tend to have low self esteem and self confidence. Often, such people are inherently introverted, depressed or tend to lack the ability to interact normally in society. They are, by nature, shy and passive. At the same time, it is difficult for the person as s/he undergoes deep turmoil thinking repeatedly of simply fading into oblivion.
Then there are patients who have weak memory which worsens with age. They are also afraid of being diagnosed with Alzheimers or other neurodegenerative diseases because their own parent/s has suffered from such conditions. Such patients tend to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on medications that claim to improve memory.
Like in any other phobia, Athazagoraphobia can also set in panic attacks in the individual. S/he will likely display the following symptoms when thoughts of being forgotten arise in their minds:
- Breathlessness or shallow rapid breathing
- Feeling like being choked, dying
- Sweating profusely
- Inability to form coherent sentences
The symptoms vary from case to case depending on the type of Athazagoraphobia as well as its intensity. Some patients are severely depressed or angry all the time due to this phobia. Often they tend to be isolated rather than face being ignored. They also try to do everything possible to ensure they are not forgotten-burying mementos in the soil, tying knots around fingers or around trees and so on.
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What Causes The Fear Of Being Alone Forever
There are three common contributors to the fear of being alone forever: your past, your self-esteem and your social conditioning. Past abandonment when the person whose love you craved mostas a child abandoned you or acted distant and uncaring is a big cause of this fear for many adults. You may therefore associate being alone with being abandoned and unloved.
Many people also suffer from a lack of self-love which traces back to limiting beliefs developed as children or teens. They arent comfortable being alone because they dont want to spend time with themselves. Deep down, they may not like who they are. Or they may have a constant need for stimulation in order to avoid their own thoughts and feelings.
The last contributor is social conditioning. Worrying about ending up alone is extremely common in our culture. We are raised on the idea of soulmates, a person who will complete our lives and make us whole when what we really need to worry about is becoming whole on our own. A soulmate is just a complement to an already full life.