Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone)

In this brief guide, we will look at anxiety from being alone and home alone as well as other situations where one might experience anxiety.

Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone) 

Anxiety from being alone & home alone can arise out of the need to feel secure and safe by being around people, and it can often lead to extreme responses and avoidance of any situation where the person might find themselves alone at home.

When someone experiences too much anxiety from being alone & home alone, they may constantly look for ways to have people around or avoid being on their own completely, and this may lead to their fear of being alone worsening further.

When someone experiences anxiety from being alone or home alone they will usually look for ways to have commotion around them all the time so that they don’t feel quite so alone and so that they do not experience anxiety.

However, this is the wrong thing to do because this only teaches one’s mind that they can simply avoid a difficult circumstance rather than deal with it in a healthy manner, which is what they need to actually do.

Anxiety from being alone is known as either Monophobia or Autophobia, and both terms refer to the same feeling of general malaise and fear or even bodily sensations one might experience when they are alone.

Anxiety from being alone is a type of phobic anxiety, meaning that it is usually restricted to the specific situation, in this case, being alone, and it usually does not hamper other aspects of the person’s life.

However, this does not mean that they never experience anxiety out of that situation, and in many people who experience anxiety from being alone in extreme ways, there may be the presence of Anticipatory Anxiety as well.

Anticipatory anxiety is used to define feelings of anxiety that someone experiences when they think about being in the anxiety-provoking situation, and in case of someone who is anxious about being alone, this may happen when they consider the fact that they are going to be home alone at some point.

Naturally, anxiety from being alone or home alone can be quite debilitating, in fact, many people may avoid it so much that they may refuse to live alone at all, and they may even develop separation anxiety disorders even in adulthood.

Symptoms of Anxiety

To understand if someone is just afraid of being alone or actually experiencing anxiety from being alone, one needs to understand the symptoms of anxiety, which are generally as follows:

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than what the person is anxious about
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Trembling
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Avoidance of things that trigger anxiety

In the particular case of anxiety from being alone, however, the symptoms and diagnostic guidelines of specific phobia apply. In particular, Situational Phobia is the category under which anxiety from being alone may be considered.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5), the guidelines based on which specific phobia is diagnosed are given as follows:

  • “Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
  • The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.
  • The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
  • The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the socio-cultural context.
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, including fear, anxiety, and avoidance of situations associated with panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating symptoms (as in agoraphobia); objects or situations related to obsessions (as in obsessive-compulsive disorder); reminders of traumatic events (as in posttraumatic stress disorder); separation from home or attachment figures (as in separation anxiety disorder); or social situations (as in social anxiety disorder).”

These guidelines also show that in someone who experiences anxiety from being alone, one of the chief complaints may often be an extreme avoidance of the phobic situation, which means that someone may not want to be home alone at all.

Causes of Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone)

One of the biggest causes of anxiety from being alone may be maladaptive patterns of attachment during childhood, and people who have experienced difficult interpersonal relationships with their primary caregivers may be more likely to experience anxiety from being alone.

People who had insecure attachments as children are extremely likely to experience anxiety in situations of loneliness or being left alone or even romantically rejected by others because they do not have the necessary tools to create healthy and well-rounded relationships with others.

At the same time, an individual with this style of attachment is also more likely to experience this kind of anxiety when they are alone because they never learn to deal with the feelings of being alone in an appropriate way.

Apart from the fear of being home alone or anxiety from being alone, people may also experience a fear of being alone in public, which is often linked to conditions like social phobia agoraphobia.

This type of anxiety is often said to be triggered by feelings of loneliness and someone with this condition may experience challenges with self-regulation, which is the skill someone has to be able to focus on their own life and on their own behaviour.

This makes sense, given that anxiety is after all often understood as a feeling of losing control or falling prey to a difficult circumstance when people feel anxious it is often because they are afraid of not being able to deal with what comes their way.

Another cause of anxiety from being alone maybe some type of unresolved traumatic memories of dangerous situations or to feelings of inadequacy that someone feels at the prospect of dealing with an adverse situation that arises when they are alone.

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This is often a concern for many people who fear being alone when in their own homes, and therefore these individuals can often feel extreme and intense fear of things like:

  • Strangers
  • burglars
  • being unwanted
  • a sudden medical problem
  • being unloved
  • hearing unexpected or unexplained noises

Of course, anxiety from being alone need not always be unjustified, and there are definitely legitimate reasons for the feelings of fear, for example in case of someone that lives in a neighbourhood with a high crime rate. 

There are also instances where anxiety from being alone just arises out of the simple act of staying vigilant when someone is alone, particularly in case of people who have not done it before and therefore feel the need to keep a lookout for anything that goes wrong.

This vigilance can often turn into anxiety and stop serving the purpose of safety altogether, and turn into anxiety instead, which the person may not be able to deal with at all.

Negative Effects of Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone) 

Anxiety from being alone or home alone can often worsen over time when left untreated and get to a point where the person is not able to function properly at all, leading to a difficulty in leading a normal daily life.

This experience of someone who dealt with this condition says everything one needs to know about how bad anxiety from being alone can get:

“When my boyfriend announced that he’d be returning to the South over Christmas, I felt unusually apprehensive. The first night he was away was the worst. It was impossible to sleep. I was certain that I could hear someone at the door, heart-pounding, and totally trapped in my perfect little home. The entire night felt like it would never end and despite every light being on in the house, I was literally blinded by panic. I must have slept at some point, but most of my memories of that evening are of me, clutching a hammer, praying for the night to end. And as the sun started to rise, I stumbled down the stairs, removing the furniture that I’d piled up against the front door and acknowledged that there was a problem.”

Coping with Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone) 

Coping with anxiety from being alone is pretty much the same as coping with other types of situational or other types of anxiety, and often seeking professional help is one of the best ways to go about it.

Biofeedback and Relaxation are often used methods for the treatment of anxiety disorders, and in case of phobias like anxiety from being alone, a therapist may also try techniques based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy, like Exposure or Systematic Desensitization.

Here are some other ways to cope with anxiety from being alone in the meantime:

  • Meditate
  • Take Deep Breaths
  • Think of what you can only do in private and when you are alone and do it
  • Watch something so there is noise around you
  • Try to focus on the stillness of your situation
  • Call a friend
  • Call your family
  • Get a pet 
  • Try to create something artistic
  • Decorate your room. Buy indoor plants or paint the walls.

Aside from the abovementioned, there are also other ways to cope with anxiety from being home alone.

If you need help with this, you should take a look at Hemi-Sync Complete Review. You can use these to meditate, relax, or concentrate.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at anxiety from being alone and home alone as well as other situations where one might experience anxiety.

If you have any questions or comments about what we discussed here or if you have anxiety from being alone or home alone, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

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Online Therapy

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Anxiety Course

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Light Therapy

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Anxiety from Being Alone (& Home Alone)

How do I stop being anxious when home alone?

To stop being anxious when home alone you can try the following things:

Focus on something that gives you pleasure
Talk to friends on the phone or video
Avoid reading negative things on social media
Try to do things you have been putting off
Try to appreciate the silence and focus on its positive aspects
Try to get used to being alone by seeking out aloneness voluntarily

Why does being alone give me anxiety?

Being alone may give you anxiety because of negative or traumatic events in your past, as found by a World Mental Health Survey which shows that adversity and lifetime trauma are important risk factors for a fear of being alone. In fact, this survey also found that being alone can not only give you anxiety but also even lead to a full-on separation anxiety disorder. 

How do I stop being scared of living alone?

To stop being scared of living alone, you can try the following things:

Make plans to spend time with friends virtually or in-person
Have parties or get-togethers at your place
Talk to your family frequently
Look up and reconnect with someone you have not talked to in some time
Get engaged in community works.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/health/autophobia#diagnosis

https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/noelle-howey-essay

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fear-of-being-alone-2671883

https://www.healthline.com/health/autophobia

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://theinsecuregirlsclub.com/features/why-do-i-panic-when-im-home-alone

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