Monophobia – a morbid fear of being alone
Fear of being along, or if you prefer the medical term ‘Monophobia,' is an intense fear of having to live without a particular person, or for that matter, any person, in close contact. When we say ‘close' we mean that such a person needs to have someone around in the same house or even in the same room. There are cases of monophobics (as such sufferers are called), who cannot go to the toilet without someone being in the room with them.
Monophobia is very common and does not pose any actual danger. Most adults, suffering from such a fear, are aware that their fears are unwarranted, but yet find that facing or even thinking of facing the feared situation, leads to a panic attack or extreme anxiety.
Some of the symptoms of monophobia are excessive sweating, breathlessness, dry mouth, nausea, palpitations of the heart, feeling sick, losing control over oneself, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, feeling detached from reality, and even a full blown anxiety attack.
Research has shown that fear of being alone could have its roots in a fear of abandonment, or a fear of being laughed at, or possibly a lack of self confidence. Individuals, who have, at some time in their lives, been abused or emotionally disturbed, tend to suffer from monophobia. For such people, even going out alone is a task they do not wish to face and they have a strong desire to be accompanied by someone even in crowded places. In time, such a desire becomes so overwhelming that they find it difficult to leave the security of their house without someone in close proximity.
Psychiatrists have determined that separation also contributes to the fear of being alone, or unwanted. They are of the opinion that the need in children, to have a parent or a guardian at all times, stems from an early separation between their parents. As such children grow into adults, they still hold on to the need for close companionship.
When the fear of being alone becomes too intense, it requires immediate attention. Studies have shown that treatment differs in adults and in children. It is easier to treat children than adults since children can more easily adapt to changes. Adults find it difficult to change their beliefs. Cognitive therapy, together with other therapies, is used to treat the fear of being alone. Monophobia can be cured with therapy and patience.
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