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Monophobia: What Is Monophobia?

Updated on April 24, 2012

Monophobia is a Mental Illness

There are a lot of phobias that people have, some are quite common while others are fairly rare. One of the fears that is not all that common is monophobia. There are a lot of people who believe that they suffer from this phobia but in most cases this is not the case. Most people are simply uncomfortable being on their own they are not actually scared of it, at least not a level that would qualify as a phobia.

Monophobia is an irrational fear of being alone. It is important to understand that this is very different from not wanting to be alone. There are a lot of people who are not comfortable with being on their own but this usually does not reach the level of being monophobia. In order for your condition to be considered to be an actual phobia there needs to be physical symptoms. The fear also has to be irrational something that is not the case for a lot of people who are afraid of being alone.

In most cases if you do suffer from monophobia there will be physical symptoms in the form a panic attack. Other common symptoms are things like a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath or profuse sweating. If you experience any of these feelings when you are alone than there is a good chance that you are suffering from monophobia.

A lot of people who are afraid to be alone are actually afraid for reasons that are not irrational and therefore it is not a phobia. For example if you have been the victim of a violent crime a fear of being left by yourself is not at all irrational, it is after all safer to be around other people. If this is the case there are probably issues that you need to work out but they are not a fear of being alone, therefore you would need a different type of treatment.

There is another definition of monophobia that you should keep in mind as well, that is an irrational fear of being away from a particular place. Usually this is a place where you feel safe and that you are not comfortable leaving. Again there will physical symptoms if you are away from your safe place. Having to be in a particular location may actually be a bigger problem than being afraid to be alone as it will have a much bigger impact on your life.

The physical symptoms of monophobia make getting over it a challenge. If you have a panic attack anytime you are alone or when you leave the house it is going to be hard to get over the problem. The most common approach is to slowly desensitize yourself by spending short periods of time on your own. If you have a relatively minor case of monophobia this can work fairly well. However if you have a serious case where you panic as soon as you are left alone it is probably not going to work. In that case you are going to need the assistance of a therapist to help you address the cause of your fear before you move on to desensitizing exercises. In some cases your doctor may also prescribe anti-anxiety medicine to help keep you from panicking when you are alone.


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    • Nordy profile image

      Nordy 5 years ago from Canada

      Great, solid advice. It has been years since I have worked with phobias, and I certainly never came across anyone with monophobia, but the advice you have given hear is really good. Voted up and useful.