What is Autophobia?

Autophobia can be either the fear of being alone or fear of self. Autophobia is considered a specific phobia and it is also called monophobia, isolophobia or eremophobia.

The first meaning is being scared of being alone or isolated while an irrational fear of one’s self is generally associated with self-hatred or low self-esteem issues. Most sufferers are extroverts who would prefer activities and interaction with others.

Autophobia is generally considered a part of agoraphobia and it can be accompanied by several other associated phobias. There is thought to be some connection between autophobia and “Borderline Personality Disorders”.

The root word “autos” is Greek meaning “self”.

Symptoms of Autophobia

Phobics may exhibit “clingy” behavior in relationships and will of course be scared of being alone, with obsessive fears of being abandoned by loved ones.

  • extreme anxiety, dread
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid breathing
  • heart palpitation
  • excessive sweating
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • confusion / inability to articulate clearly
  • lack of focus
  • irritability
  • diarrhea
  • 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 Autophobia

There is evidence to suggest that autophobia may be tied to inherited traits of adrenaline deficiency.

Extroverts are generally reliant on other people for entertainment / self-esteem and may find it more difficult to spend time alone, and this may “lay the groundwork” for fear of being alone.

Autophobia is a specific (or “isolated”) phobia, centered on non-social key factors. Isolated phobias tend to have some previous trauma (often in childhood and often physically injurious) as a root cause; a fear of bees may stem from an injury in childhood, for instance.

Upbringing can also play a role, such as parental warnings about a direct threat (such as “snakes can bite and kill you”) which is especially notable in cases where a threat is more imminent. (An allergy to bees or peanut butter, for instance, would naturally reinforce a real medical concern.)

It is thought that genetics and hereditary factors may play a role in specific phobias, especially those related to a danger of injury. (A primal “fight or flight” reflex may be more easily triggered in those with a genetic predisposition, for instance.)

By contrast, social phobias (like a fear of body odor or touch) are less well understood, are driven by social anxiety and are broadly labeled as “social anxiety disorder”.

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 or seeing something on the news or on TV and movies.

Autophobia, 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

Treatment for Autophobia

  • 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

The list of books below are hand picked by the staff at Massive Phobia. It's a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Habit Strategies, Trauma Healing, Mindfulness, Meditation, Buddhist Knowledge and Somatic Study. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.