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Autophobia can be defined simply as the fear of being alone. Those that suffer from this type of anxiety disorder may experience an intense fear at the thought of doing anything by them selves and may require the company of a particular person such as a parent, spouse or friend, while others simply need to know that other people are close by. Autophobia is sometimes thought to be the result of early negative experiences such as traumatic childhood abuse, the sudden loss of a parent or the abandonment of a child by a parent.
Those that experience autophobia may be afraid that they will not be equipped to take care of themselves if an emergency arises or they may have a deep seated fear of being unloved or ignored. The symptoms of autophobia can manifest in much the same way as with a panic attack and include; nausea, rapid heartbeat, shaking and the fear of impending doom. With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, those that suffer from autophobia can learn how to overcome autophobia fear and go on to lead lives free from the fear and anxiety of being alone.
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Treatments for Autophobia
There are several treatment options available for those that suffer from autophobia. Many find help through traditional therapies such as psychotherapy and anti-anxiety medications while others find relief through non-traditional sources such as hypnotherapy. Read on for a list of the most common treatments available for autophobia.
- Hypnotherapy. During hypnotherapy, a therapist speaks directly to a patient’s sub-conscious, attempting to “re-program" the mind to eliminate the fear that is associated with autophobia. During hypnotherapy, a therapist is often able to suggest more positive ideas surrounding the act of being alone, allowing the patient to revamp their thinking and natural reactions to the situations that once caused them anxiety. Hypnotherapy was approved by the American Medical Association as a form of therapy in 1958.
- NLP. Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, is the study of the pattern of the fear that is present with autophobia. This therapy helps the patient to understand what triggers their fear, effectively communicate their feelings and diffuse the anxiety associated with being alone. During NLP, a neuro linguistic therapist will listen to the patient speak about their feelings regarding being alone and analyze their choice of words. The therapist will then help the patient to learn to communicate in a more positive manner and slowly shift any preconceptions.
- Anti-anxiety Medications. This classification of drugs is useful in managing the symptoms of the anxiety associated with autophobia, but will not address the root cause of the autophobia. Anti-anxiety medications are most successful when combined with other forms of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Energy Psychology. This broad classification of therapies includes various relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and acupressure. All of these therapies seek to shift the electrochemistry of the brain by stimulating energy centers within the body. While energy psychology may be seen as non-traditional by many, these therapies have been in practice for centuries in many parts of the world.
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