What is Eremophobia?
Eremophobia can be either the fear of being alone or fear of self. It is considered a specific phobia and it is also called Autophobia, Monophobia, or Isolophobia.
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.
Eremophobia 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 Eremophobia and “Borderline Personality Disorders”.
The origin of the word is from the Greek 'eraemia' meaning 'solitude' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'
Symptoms of Eremophobia
Extreme Anxiety, Dread
- Shortness of Breath
- Rapid Breathing
- Heart Palpitations
- Excessive Sweating
- Dry Mouth
- Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
- Lack of Focus
- Feelings of Powerlessness
- Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
- Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
- Avoidance Behavior
Causes of Eremophobia
Eremophobia 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, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.
Eremophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
There is evidence to suggest that Eremophobia 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 the phobia.
Treatments for Eremophobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology