Fear of Being Alone

The fear of being alone is also called Monophobia. Sufferers are loathe to be alone or lonely and crave for others’ company and friendship. Some people are even scared to go alone to the restroom. In this article, we reveal the causes, symptoms, effects and appropriate treatment for the fear of being alone.

Causes of Monophobia

  • Children who are punished by their parents and get locked up in a room for long hours can develop monophobia.
  • If a parent abandons his/her child, the child can go on to develop monophobia as he/she may feel unloved and unwanted.
  • Death of a close friend, parent or loved one is another cause.
  • Another cause of loneliness and the fear of it is divorce or relationship breakup.
  • Lack of self-confidence can also make one fearful of being alone.

Symptoms of the Fear of Being Alone

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Feeling detached from reality
  • Losing control over your emotions
  • Inability to speak or even think clearly
  • Violent shaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid or improper breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

Effects of Loneliness
The very fear of being alone and lonely can cause phobias, panic attacks, depression, suicidal tendencies and psychosomatic illnesses. Patients often seek to drown their worries and sorrows by getting addicted to alcohol and harmful drugs. Research reveals that chronic loneliness can increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Social isolation and loneliness can also affect the person’s quality of sleep.

Advice for Monophobia
Patients should try to become comfortable in their own company and put mind over matter. They should realize being alone need not necessarily mean feeling lonely. In fact, sometimes it is better to take some time off to isolate yourself from the madding crowd and unsavory colleagues. When you are alone, you can relax completely, think calmly and experience great peace of mind. This is probably why some spiritual seekers take solace in silence and solitude.

Treatment for Monophobia

  • You can try to objectively analyze the cause of the problem and its physical and emotional effects.
  • To cope with anxiety attacks, you can try deep breathing techniques.
  • Consult a therapist if you think you cannot personally handle the fear of being alone.
  • You can also try techniques like Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Energy Psychology, Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to overcome your phobia.
  • It is not advisable to take recourse to drugs to treat the problem as they offer only a temporary cure and do not address the root cause of the issue. Besides, some drugs and medications may cause adverse side effects.
  • Stress relief and relaxation techniques like guided mental imagery, muscle relaxation methods and positive thinking can also help to overcome anxiety, depression and loneliness.
  • Seniors and lonely persons can also try pet therapy and own a lovable pet to ease their loneliness and depression.

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