What is Anthropophobia?

Anthropophobia is the extreme or irrational fear of people or society.

Anthropophobia often misdiagnosed or confused with other social phobias. Phobics fear people in most or all situations, rather than, for example, only fearing people during public speaking or when eating before others, as is the case with more limited social phobias. Such subtle differences often make an exact diagnosis difficult.

Anthropophobia is also known as Sociophobia and is related to phobanthropy, which is a morbid dread of being around other people and of human society in general.

The root word “anthropo” is Greek, meaning “man, mankind or people” and whe word "phobia" comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning "fear."

If you have this phobia, you most likely have one of these phobias too ›

Symptoms of Anthropophobia

  • Worries About What Other People Think

  • Extreme Anxiety, Dread
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
  • Lack of Focus
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of Powerlessness
  • Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
  • Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Headaches

Learn more about phobia symptoms ›

Causes of Anthropophobia

Anthropophobia is believed to develop out of an excessive shyness and timidity towards people.

Anthropophobia is a social anxiety disorder. Social phobias result in avoidance of social situations due to fear of being embarrassed in public. Social phobia affects men and women equally. Extreme social anxieties often start in childhood or adolescence and may be accompanied by other anxiety disorders or depression.

The origins of social anxiety disorders are not as well understood as specific (or “isolated”) phobias, where a direct fear of injury from some specific animal, thing or situation forms a clear basis for the fear. Even so, hereditary factors may be present, such as a genetic tendency to be “high strung” or nervous, etc.

In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.

Anthropophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.

Learn more about the causes of phobias ›

Treatments for Anthropophobia

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Habit Strategies To Relax
  • Cognitive Therapy (CT)
  • In Vivo Exposure
  • Response Prevention
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Medication
  • Meditation

Learn more about phobia treatments ›

Book Shelf