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Anthropophobia : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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Overview

The dread of people is known as Anthropophobia. It isn’t a clinical diagnosis in the traditional sense. Anthropophobia is a fear or worry that people experience when they are in the presence of other people. Anthropophobia, unlike other social anxiety disorders, is a fear of people, not of social circumstances.

This blog dives deep into understanding anthropophobia, its causes, signs, tests, and treatment options.

What is Anthropophobia?

The fear of people is known as Anthropophobia. People who suffer from Anthropophobia may stay away from crowds, avoid eye contact, or worry about being judged. Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not list Anthropophobia as a clinical disease, it is believed to be a distinct phobia.

Anthropophobia, like other phobias, is characterized by excessive worry that is disproportionately larger than the real threat. Many people who suffer from phobias understand that their fears are unreasonable. However, they have trouble in overcoming intrusive and frightening thoughts and fears.

What are the symptoms of Anthropophobia?

‘Anticipatory anxiety is a common symptom of Anthropophobia. Anticipatory anxiety is a feeling of dread, worry, or terror over something that is going to happen. People with Anthropophobia may be very concerned about being among other people. 

Physical symptoms are frequently associated with anxiety. People may have the following experiences:

When to see a doctor for Anthropophobia?

If certain symptoms persist, it is important to visit a doctor immediately. A doctor can most likely begin with a full medical examination to rule out any physical reasons for anxiety. The doctor may also prescribe drugs to help the patient cope with the symptoms .If the patient is unwilling to take any form of medication, the doctor may recommend counselling and other forms of psychotherapy such as hypnosis.

What are the causes of Anthropophobia?

Anthropophobia isn’t usually caused due to something obvious. If a person experiences the following, then they may be more susceptible to acquiring Anthropophobia.

  • Betrayal of close family members.
  • Family history of anxiety disorders.
  • Hormonal imbalances. 
  • Issues in adrenal glands. 

What are the treatment options available for Anthropophobia?

Anthropophobia does not have a single treatment option. They may include:

  • When it comes to specific phobias, exposure therapy is frequently the initial therapeutic option. Exposure treatment reduces symptoms for up to 90% . Exposure therapy entails gradually exposing the patient to specific phobias. In this therapy, the person may envision engaging with others. Later on, the patient can practice physically being in small groups.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) involves discussing symptoms with a therapist. The patient learns to recognize and replace irrational thoughts with rational ones. For those with severe phobia symptoms, CBT may not be as effective as exposure therapy.
  • Hypnotherapy is a type of therapy that combines directed relaxation and concentration. The doctor guides the patient to a state of intense concentration that enables them to temporarily oblivious to their surroundings. Hypnotherapy is frequently used to improve the success of phobia treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders and some specific phobias may benefit from medication. To avoid panic attacks, a patient may be prescribed drugs before particular circumstances (intense, sudden anxiety that causes physical symptoms). Medication is not appropriate for everyone, so talk to a doctor before starting a new course of medication.

How to prevent Anthropophobia?

There is no specific strategy to keep Anthropophobia at bay. Healthy habits may help minimize the severity of the symptoms. A patient may be recommended to drink plenty of water and minimize alcohol and caffeine to avoid dehydration.

Conclusion

The fear of people is known as Anthropophobia. It’s not to be confused with social anxiety disorder. Rather than being afraid of social circumstances, those with Anthropophobia are afraid of humans. Physical signs of Anthropophobia include racing heart, perspiration, and nausea. Speak with a healthcare provider if your fear of people is interfering with your daily life. Therapy, medicine, or practising relaxation techniques at home are all options for treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is anthropophobia curable?

It is manageable with treatment so that the phobia no longer interferes with day-to-day activities.

How can one minimise the risk of developing Anthropophobia?

A healthy lifestyle may help reduce severe symptoms of anxiety. A person can:

  • Stay away from caffeine and limit alcohol consumption
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Add whole grains, lean protein, healthy fat, fruits, and vegetables to the diet
  • Ensure at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Regularly talk to a loved one to decrease the risk of social isolation.

What are the long-term effects of Anthropophobia?

When a patient receives timely treatment, there is an improvement in the symptoms. However, if left untreated,  Anthropophobia increases the risk of:

  • Social isolation.
  • Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  • Substance abuse including alcohol or drugs.
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