Autophobia is the fear of being alone or of loneliness. Solitude, even in a safe place like home, can cause extreme anxiety in those who struggle with the disorder. Even if it is clear that they are physically safe, patients still may fear:
This overwhelming anxiety is irrational and not based on actual threat, and many patients recognize that there is no basis for their extreme anxiety yet still cannot control their symptoms. They are unable to function normally until they are no longer alone and feel the desperate need to end the solitude as soon as possible.
In order to manage the symptoms of autophobia, many patients turn to drugs and alcohol. Drinking and using drugs rarely makes the anxiety go away, but many believe that it will give them an escape from the uncomfortable feelings. In many cases, however, it can make the level or intensity of anxiety experienced far worse and kick start a whole new set of problems that now must be addressed through treatment, especially once addiction sets in.
Emotional and mental health issues and physical symptoms can strike when a person living with autophobia is faced with the possibility of being alone. Symptoms of autophobia will vary in combination and intensity but can include:
Additionally, many patients struggle with anticipatory anxiety symptoms characterized by all the same issues experienced when actually in solitude when faced with the possibility of being alone.
Too often, patients do not seek treatment for specific phobias like autophobia. Because many patients recognize that their fears are unfounded, they may be embarrassed to admit to the problem and discuss the details with a medical professional. They may think that they should be stronger and simply utilize willpower to overcome symptoms. Unfortunately, autophobia, like substance abuse, is a medical disorder that is both physical and mental in nature. As a result, in order to effectively manage symptoms, patients must seek treatment at a program that has the resources to offer them all treatment services that will be effective. These can include:
Find the treatment that will help your loved one cope with all the mental health and substance abuse symptoms they face when you contact us at the phone number listed above.
Integrated Treatment of Substance Abuse & Mental Illness