Eremophobia: (An Update)

In this article we will discuss Eremophobia

Phobia

Phobia is a word derived from Greek language which is known as fear. This might be an exaggerated aversion with something.

There are various factors which can possibly contribute to the development of phobia. Environmental and genetic factors are likely to pave way for the development of a phobia.

Anyone can expose themselves to any kind of phobia by thinking irrationally about a particular thing.

A person with some kind of phobia will try to avoid things which he considers to be hazardous.

Phobias are mental disorders which can be cured or overcome.

Eremophobia

Eremophobia is often regarded as to be afraid of being in solitude or fear of loneliness.

Eremophobia is a word derived from Greek language which means solitary or lonely and similarly phobia is also a Greek word meaning fear. There different other terms used for eremophobia.

For example, eremiphobia, eremophobia, autophobia, monophobia and isolophobia. Above mentioned all words give same meaning of being alone or being in solitary.

A person who is afraid of being alone is likely to develop these kinds of phobias.

A person suffering from eremophobia develops an irrational and extreme fear of solitude.

This kind of fear can be experienced by any individual as it is regarded as an expression like many other expressions.

Developing relationships with other people is something which is found in the genes of a person and if someone does not experience this or fails to develop relationships he is more vulnerable to experience some particular feelings of restlessness.

The feelings of being alone varies from person to person depending on the reality of person.

Few people tend to be alone and they develop likings towards such moments of solitude and few people tend to avoid such particular situations.

Similarly, few people find a chance to be alone because they feel comfortable and enjoy such moments and few people try to escape moments of loneliness as they don’t feel comfortable being alone.

Regardless of the fact that people enjoy moments of solitude everyone and anyone can feel a particular type of fear of being alone.

Characteristics of Eremophobia

When a person comes across such situations where he becomes afraid of being alone is pathological, we speak of eremophobia, that is, of phobia to be alone.

Eremophobia in psychological terms is regarded as anxiety disorder, especially when it is covered under the definition of phobias.

Eremophobia is differentiated from all other types of phobias and this differentiation is purely based on feared stimulus.

In such a way while in other phobias feelings of fear are instigated and a person starts to feel anxious when he is near to an object to which he fears the most, similarly in eremophobia a person becomes afraid when he faces loneliness.

As we have seen that in eremophobia the fear stimulus is not physically present but it is an unavoidable situation.

So, eremophobia is similar to other phobias which arise in particular situations such as claustrophobia which is referred to as being in a closed space, i.e., the phobia of tunnel or phobia to fly.

Causes of Eremophobia

The causes of eremophobia are still not fully known to researchers. But many researchers have put their theories and hypothesis regarding the actual causes of eremophobia.

It is a notable fact that fear of being alone or loneliness is found in almost everyone.

This is a normal kind of fear and this needs to be distinguished from the existence of a phobia.

To understand the causes of eremophobia a theory narrates that few phobias arise from stimuli and particular situations that we are destined to get afraid of , being the result of the progression of the species.

For example, if we talk about the phobia related to insects we can easily understand that this being afraid of dangerous particular insects is natural because they pose a real threat to our existence.

But on the other side, if in the case of solitude a person feels the same thing, as he feels in the case of insects, in earlier ages an individual would only be an effortless target of a predator, being capable for defending or procurement of food greatly lessened.

So, a person who was involved in a group and felt afraid of loneliness had earlier to survive, transforming this characteristic onto his upcoming generations.

If we combine this received disposition with the presence of few types of stress elements or looming conditions tied to being unaccompanied, it may provide a ground  to appear and grow a personality disorder or phobia like dependence.

There is also another assumption about this phobia is that this phobia is inherited through conditioning.

There comes a point in life where solitude is linked with a stressful situation or event or feeling of helplessness where one can lose control of life and then this fear is generalized with other situations in which loneliness is involved.

Take an example of those children who are abandoned in their early ages, or those children who lost their parents.

Another important factor is getting bullied at school or failing to make friends can also cause fear to arise.

Another important thing to remember is that eremophobia usually occurs with social phobias in teenage.

At this age losing friendship or getting rejected by others can significantly create hindrance in attaining an identity.

This can make it difficult to live alone with the passage of time.

This type of phobia can occur in those individuals who don’t have enough social skills, low self-esteem, insecurities and lack of self-confidence.

It is important to note that eremophobia can be dangerous as it can also cause the fear of death.

As, a person fails to get over thoughts of being alone and failure.

Symptoms of Eremophobia

Notable symptoms of eremophobia are described below.

Physical Symptoms

When a person with eremophobia faces a situation of loneliness can demonstrate a lot of symptoms.

For example, fast heartbeats, shivering, breathing fast, excessive sweating, headache, muscle tension, suffocation and even he can feel stomach pain.

The symptoms which a person may show vary from person to person but to be able tell about the eremophobia will heat up the fear and it will produce physical symptoms of extreme anxiety.

Cognitive Symptoms

When a person comes across a situation where he develops eremophobia he will likely have a continuous process of negative thinking about being alone and will also doubt his own self about facing loneliness.

These thoughts become excessive and intense when a person is alone and starts to feel anxious.

Behavioural Symptoms

Lastly, two behaviours are considered when talking about eremophobia.

First one is utterly avoiding such situations where he is likely to be alone and the other one is to run away immediately when a person becomes alone.

Treatments of Eremophobia

There are many different ways to treat the people with phobias and many therapies have been found beneficial in this regard.

Following are few beneficial treatment methods for eremophobia.

Exposure Therapy

This therapy is usually applied on people with any kind of phobia which means this is a useful tool to treat people with phobias.

This therapy is used to treat those people who have adopted avoidant behaviour which people have developed with the passage of time.

The ultimate aim of this therapy is to bring improvements in the quality of life of a person who is dealing with phobia.

So that phobias cannot create any hindrance in exercising his capabilities of dealing with life.

The therapist, in this treatment method, will expose a person to particular objects or situations from which he is afraid.

He will repeat this process. This will be first performed in a controlled environment where the person will feel safe and then moving onto the.

Next step the therapist will bring this situation in real life.

These attempts of exposing patients to such situations aim to desensitise the patients from their fear.

It is believed that if a person more often encounters something he fears the more likely he is to get rid of that fear with the passage of time.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another commonly used therapy in the treatment of phobias. 

It is considered more helpful and vital in treating the patients suffering from the phobias including eremophobia as well.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps the therapist in uncovering the hidden aspects of why the patient is feeling, thinking and behaving in a particular manner.

A person suffering from eremophobia can easily understand through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the reason why he has developed this and why he thinks about his fear the way it is.

Having the understanding of these things will certainly help a person to adopt a more realistic approach  whenever he will be thinking about being alone and the fear associated with it.

Hypnosis

Phobia exists in the subconscious mind of a patient which means that it is impossible to comprehend that a specific kind of phobia is not dangerous, it doesn’t matter how much the patients tells himself.

Our body and our mind will still react to fearful situations.

Hypnosis intends to directly get in touch with our subconscious mind and try to alter our thinking patterns about phobias.

The process of hypnosis involves putting a person into a relaxed state of mind.

Therapist will communicate with the client about the phobia without letting him lose control of himself all the time.

If the client does not exactly know the root cause of phobia then it might take some time to probe the root causes of the phobia.

After getting to know the cause of phobia the therapist will go further in treatment and will use various techniques to alter the responses of the client.

This will make the client to slowly and calmly confront the phobia while being normal and calm.

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FAQ’s about  Eremophobia

Q1.What is eremophobia?

Eremophobia is often referred to as fear of being alone.

There different other terms used for eremophobia.

For example, eremiphobia, eremophobia, autophobia, monophobia and isolophobia.

Q2. What are the causes of eremophobia?

Eremophobia may usually develop in childhood.

For example, if a child is abandoned by his parents or his parents died he will likely to develop eremophobia.

There are genetic causes of eremophobia as well.

Q3. What are symptoms of eremophobia?

There different types of symptoms a person with eremophobia can demonstrate such as, behavioural symptoms, physical symptoms and cognitive symptoms.

Q4. What are treatment methods for eremophobia?

Following are few notable and beneficial methods to treat eremophobia.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Exposure Therapy

Hypnosis.

What we recommend for Phobias

Professional counselling

  • If you are suffering from Phobias then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you address the fears you are facing.

Panic Courses

  • Phobias and anxiety go hand in hand and in the end they result in Panic. A panic course such as this may help you alleviate those feelings of fears as it has with over 50,000 people.

Weighted Blankets

  • Weighted Blankets may help you sleep better if your phobias are affecting your quality of sleep. Weighted blankets apply enough weight on you that they make you feel much more relaxed and calm at night.

References

common-phobias.com/Eremo/phobia.htm

itspsychology.com/eremophobia/

www.healthline.com/health/autophobia#outlook

en.yestherapyhelps.com/eremophobia-phobia-of-loneliness-symptoms-causes-and-treatment-15075

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