Anthropophobia, also known as anthrophobia, is fear of people or society. The term is derived from the Greek terminology, ‘Anthro’ means human and ‘Phobos’ means fear. Anthropophobia is a part of the social anxiety disorder (SAD). Social anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder where the person feels fear in social situations, gatherings, and meetings.
Being in these situations make them nauseated and put mental stress on them, affecting their social functioning and their daily aspects of life. Sometimes, the person suffering from Anthropophobia can feel anxious just by thinking hard about being around people, let alone experiencing the presence.
The causes of anthropophobia are not always clear. It can vary from person to person and their past experiences. Sometimes there might not even be a cause for a person to have anthropophobia. The possible causes can be:
Although anthropophobia has yet to be classified as a clinical condition, hence there are not likely to have any clinical syndrome as well. Below are a few symptoms likely to be noticed in people with anthropophobia:
The signs that seem to be anthropophobia sometimes can also be something underlying. That includes post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder or a delusional disorder.
The high intensity of anxiety related to phobia like anthrophobia can can patients to seek relief through the use of drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately the drug abuse of any kind can make the anxiety felt even more worse. Additionally it can also create new problems like:
Challenges While Diagnosing Anthrophobia:
Someone may self-professed anthrophobia. But if it's part of different conditions, a medical professional would have to be the one to make that distinction and diagnose, To do this diagnose, they'd use the criteria in the DSM-5 through:
There is no home test for a phobia. While there may be online tests or surveys, these shouldn't be taken as medical advice.
Anthropophobia includes a wide variety of social fears or trepidations. A few people fear specific circumstances as public speaking or eating with unknown individuals. Others fear basically every social situation. However, in social anxiety disorder, the person is affected by the attention of people in social scenarios.
In anthropophobia, the person is affected by the presence of people regardless of the situation. It also depends on the type of person that they’re encountering, the response to a kind and loving relative can be different from a stranger in public.
The people with social anxiety disorder feel less nervous or not nervous at all around the familiar gathering, as long as they’re not the centre of attention. In anthropophobia, the number of people or acquaintances with the people around won’t matter, they’re going to be reluctant towards the presence of people.
It can be challenging for people with anthropophobia to sustain in our society. Our society is designed in a way that promotes social interaction to function properly. For people with anthropophobia, it can be hard. But there are ways to work around with its symptoms.
It is always a good idea to seek help from the people you trust or contact a counsellor. Your trusted friends and companions can help you get over the symptoms.
There is no particular treatment for anthropophobia. But there are methods that work on phobias and anxiety generally. These treatment options depend upon a lot of factors like the type of phobia, person’s condition and severity of the phobia.
The generally used methods are Cognitive Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Relaxation Therapy etc. Your doctor might suggest a few medications to help you with the symptoms. But medication is never a solution for the phobias.
Therapy can be helpful for phobias, particularly when utilized with various other treatment methods. Apart from that, your therapist might use traditional talk therapy methods in combination with cognitive and exposure therapies for better results.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): has been demonstrated as exceptionally effective for the treatment of phobias. In CBT, your specialist attempts to stifle negative thoughts and attempts to change your reasoning mechanism.
Exposure Therapy: is also a type of CBT, where the patient is let to face the fears head-on. This therapy is performed in a controlled and safe environment. For a person with anthropophobia, it can be meeting with people and spending a while with them under the close supervision of the doctor.
Relaxation Therapy: can also help people with phobias, it has been extremely useful for people with specific phobias. In relaxation therapy, the patient is taught a few numbers of techniques to relax voluntarily during the triggers. These techniques might include some breathing exercises, meditation to practice daily, muscle relaxation techniques etc. Relaxation therapy makes you capable enough to reduce mental and physical tension voluntarily.
There are ways to prevent the phobia from your end, if it’s not severe. However, the patient should not hesitate to seek help from a therapist. The treatment will be different for person to person. Apart from that the patient can try these:
Living with the anthrophobia can be challenging. But there are things you can do to ease symptoms.
Never deal with your phobia alone. Talk to your doctor or counselor. They can help with treatment and provide support. A trusted friend or family member can be helpful to take you out of phobia.
A healthy lifestyle can make you feel better overall. This may even help ease some symptoms of anxiety related with phobia. Drink a lot of water, dehydration can affect mood and watch your alcohol intake. While alcohol might initially have a calming effect, it can disrupt sleep, leaving you unrested.
Caffeine can contribute to anxious feelings. Some individuals might find it helpful to limit consumption. Other things that may help:
Everyone gets nervous at certain social situations, but if you have social phobia every day can be extra challenging. Do not let your fear keep you away from living life to the fullest. Below are the 7 tips to help you feel better:
If you’re the person living with a phobia alone, then we suggest you seek for little help. It can be a little hard, being around people or talking to them about your situation but start with someone close to you, whom you can trust. Although they’re not a substitute for a professional therapist this is where you should start.
They might help you with your therapy and to cope with the symptoms. A healthy lifestyle and daily meditation can help you relax. Monitor your alcohol intake, try to quit smoking, drink a lot of water and have a good sleep. These little things can turn your life around.