Sometimes sleeping alone at home is boring or even scary. Perhaps you are an inveterate bachelor, or are experiencing a divorce or the death of a spouse. Whatever the circumstances, loneliness and fear appearing at night can be resisted. If you work out the right schedule for yourself, have fun and be distracted, ensure your safety and communicate with other people throughout the day, it will be easier for you to cope with the fear of spending the night alone.
Autophobia causes and conditions
The causes of autophobia may be different. In some cases, it is provoked by completely explainable factors - childhood injuries, especially the psyche, unpleasant, tragic events in life. In other cases, atypical stressors and situations become prerequisites.
The development of autophobia in childhood is the most common. After all, how often do we hear from our parents the following: “If you cry, I’ll leave you here alone / I will hand you over to an orphanage / I will give it to someone else’s uncle.” Such words really help prevent a tantrum. Only now the parents forget that the child is not yet able to distinguish words that are said seriously, from a joke or an imaginary threat. He naively takes everything on faith. His fear that his parents will leave him is really great, he is real. Therefore, he stops crying, experiencing deep fear, intense anxiety. It is in childhood that the fear most often forms of being abandoned.
In an adult, such fear can form after a tragic break in relations with relatives, a partner, after the death of someone from a family or friends.
It is not always possible to identify the true cause of the fear of loneliness. However, psychologists identify a number of the most common causes of the development of anxiety disorder. Among them:
- Lack of parental attention: father and mother are constantly at work, the child is often left alone at home. Parents do not respond to the crying of the child, to his requests to stay with him.
- At first, the baby’s life, the parents did not educate him, did not develop personal qualities, did not take into account the characteristics of the child’s psyche.
- The child was punished with loneliness: locked up in an isolated room, threatened to leave him alone on the street, in the hospital, in the store, to be taken to an orphanage.
- Communication with peers from dysfunctional families.
- Experiences in puberty, lack of understanding and support from parents or peers.
- Growing up, a person begins to fear that he will not be able to get his own family, have children.
- Excessive credulity and naivety as a character trait: some individuals are easily attached to unreliable, unworthy people.
- Care of a partner or divorce from wife / husband, death of a relative, close friends.
- Low self-esteem, shyness, lack of communication skills.
- Failures in personal life: betrayal or unexpected departure of a partner.
- Memories of an injury from the past associated with being alone.
- Constant workload at work, in everyday life and, as a result, lack of informal communication with people.
Not always the reason is only one: as a rule, autophobia in each patient can be triggered by a whole complex of prerequisites. In some cases, it is generally difficult to establish the exact cause of the disease.
Symptoms of Autophobia
The course of this disease can be either explicit or hidden, without pronounced symptoms. Also often the symptoms of autophobia are attributed by a person to bad luck, incorrect education, to his personal shortcomings. Sometimes they are typical for people who do not suffer from phobias, but simply for self-doubt, forever busy with the work of residents of megacities, people in their teens.
So, consider the most common symptoms.
- Low self-esteem.
Self-doubt, self-criticism, doubts about the correctness of their actions and decisions. The eternal search for approval from the outside.
- An urgent need for communication.
A person begins to excessively strive for communication, awaits understanding and constant interest in his person from others, becomes obsessive. This significantly repels the interlocutor, aggravates the fear of loneliness.
- The desire to retain a partner in any way.
Autophobes are hard at letting go of unproductive, destructive relationships for them. Completely erasing personal boundaries, making any concessions, sacrificing everything, an autophobe tries to keep a person by his side only in order not to be left alone. If the attempts failed, he can resort to blackmail, threaten suicide.
- Panic attacks.
Panic attacks are a typical companion to any phobic disorder. If they occur only during the period when a person is left alone with himself, we can talk about the presence of autophobia. The most simple incident can provoke an attack: a loved one does not answer calls or SMS for a long time, does not go online, disappears for a while.
- A person needs constant confirmation of his significance.
Autophobe lacks the simple presence of loved ones nearby. He needs constant evidence that he is needed, loved, in demand. He is waiting for kind words, confessions, gifts, heroic and beautiful deeds for his sake. And if this does not happen, he gets angry and feels unnecessary.
- Illegibility in partners.
A typical autophobe does everything possible to avoid being alone. He does not wait for his man, does not choose from possible options, but clutches at the first comer. He compromises with himself: “Let my partner not be the one I would like to see next to me. But now I’m not facing loneliness. ” But the problem is that such a compromise is obviously a failure. Sooner or later, the partner’s shortcomings, his inadequacy to the requirements of the autophobe outweigh the fear of loneliness. And the autophobe himself breaks off relations with him, easily switching to a new person. At the same time, he repeats the mistake and not due attention to the objective assessment of his new partner. Sometimes an autophobe even marries (marries) an unsuitable partner only out of fear of being left alone, not having their own children. He does not think that such a marriage is initially doomed to divorce.
Autophobia is treatable. With the proper approach, you can completely get rid of it, start a happy and full life without phobias. How to get rid of autophobia? Self-medication in this case is highly recommended. The only thing that can be done from measures not related to medical intervention is to enlist the support of family and friends. The main treatment for autophobia should be carried out by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Also, the following few recommendations will help get rid of autophobia in its initial stages, partially relieve anxiety.
- Loneliness is the norm. If you are afraid to be alone, you must switch to this setting. It is physically impossible to be near someone 24 hours a day. It is important to be independent.
- Distract yourself from hard thoughts with your favorite activity, self-realization. Find a hobby to your liking, do important things that you put off for later.
- Visit your therapist regularly. Consultations with a specialist will stop the development of the disorder and help to effectively remove it.
- Do not let the daily routine completely swallow you, leave time for yourself. From time to time, arrange shopping, hiking with friends in restaurants, cinemas. Meet a person whom you have not seen for a long time, go to nature, sign up for fintes or needlework courses. In a word, in your life there must remain a place for bright and interesting events.
How to deal with autophobia using psychological work? The work of a psychologist, first of all, is based on the identification and elimination of the causes of phobia. You can get rid of autophobia with the help of hypnosis: effective hypnotics can introduce positive attitudes into the subconscious. The patient ceases to perceive loneliness as a terrible, tragic phenomenon, begins to relate to him calmly.
Group work on a phobia is also quite effective. Autophobes, led by a psychotherapist, collectively work on their fears, model stressful situations in a group and learn to deal with them. Such activities allow patients to feel full and independent from other personalities.
In severe, advanced cases, medications are used to treat autophobia. They are necessary to relieve acute somatic symptoms and to maintain a stable emotional background in the patient. So, patients suffering from anxiety disorders are prescribed antidepressants of the SSRI group, sedatives, psychostimulants, antipsychotics.
The main thing is to seek help in time, not to let everything go by its own accord. Having undergone a comprehensive treatment, you can completely get rid of autophobia, establish physical health, and stabilize your mental state. The quality of life as a whole will improve, especially in the professional and personal spheres.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the fear of loneliness. In it, we tried to give a brief but succinct description of the disease itself, its symptoms, and also shared useful practical recommendations with readers. Everyone can easily follow them, and regular adherence to these tips will significantly reduce anxiety. We help many people fight their fears and daily stresses. We will be glad if you join us by sharing this post on social networks. You can also leave your opinions and reviews in the comments below.
Houzz users from all over the world share their recipes and tricks on how to deal with real threats and imaginary fears.
If you stay home alone and someone knocks on the door after dark, do you open? Do you go down to check the noise you hear? Perhaps you leave the lights on all night? Or do not sleep and just lie - afraid of yourself in the dark, looking forward to the morning?
If you are one of those people who are afraid to stay home alone at night, then what tricks do you resort to in order to feel safe? Someone admits putting scissors under the pillow. Someone turns on the music to fill the silence. Find out what Houzz users from 10 countries are doing to feel comfortable staying alone, especially at night.
Afraid of staying home alone?
In a recent survey, we asked users if they were afraid to stay home alone. The results showed that more than half of the respondents (about 4,500 people) like to spend time at home alone and are not at all afraid of this.
Swedish Houzz users turned out to be absolutely fearless: only 10% of respondents expressed concern about the loneliness of the house. In the USA, Australia, Japan, Spain and Italy, the figures are different - about 30% admitted that they are afraid to stay home alone.
However, 40% of users surveyed from France are horrified at just one thought of it. In the discussion that followed the survey, users from 10 countries shared their views on how to stay calm in this situation: you can read about their tricks in this article.
Trust animal instincts
Many users believe that pets, such as cats and dogs, can give a signal of danger in advance thanks to a very sensitive hearing and sense of smell. In the company of a pet is not so scary and lonely!
Our user from France lucie42 writes that she feels safe thanks to her cat: “I never stay alone. My cat, who hears any noise, is a real guardian angel. ”
Another user, kezanova, believes that her dog is a reliable guard. When she is left alone at home, she feels happy and protected with her pet. “When my husband is away, at night I feel uncomfortable. I usually sleep very sensitively on such nights. On the other hand, I can eat and watch whatever I want and cuddle with my dog! ”She says.
Yasuhiro, our Japanese user, shares this opinion, saying that a shaggy friend best helps her cope with anxiety: "When you have a pet, you don’t feel lonely."
Take refuge in a city or village
According to corinnak62, a user from Germany, it doesn’t matter where you live: “I lived in a village with a population of 100 people, and now I live in a multi-million city. “I always liked being at home alone and nothing has changed since moving to the city.”
However, some simply do not like to live side by side with neighbors in densely populated cities, which is why they move closer to nature. Perhaps this is why French users prefer to live outside the city. “I live in a protected natural area and nothing scares me. Nothing bothers me here, even during a storm or a blizzard. I don’t feel confident in the city, ”says one of the Frenchmen who moved to nature.
A US user coopershouse agrees with this statement, adding that the most enjoyable part of life outside the city is the sense of security: “I live in a house that surrounds 15 acres of land and I think that living in the countryside is the safest place. "I specifically quit my job and built a small one-story house, so there are no dark corners where someone or something could hide."
Take action right away
Some users have written about measures that need to be taken immediately if you feel uncomfortable.
The telperien user hides things in strange places to protect herself from ghosts. “When we lived in Sydney and my husband worked at night, I couldn’t fall asleep for a long time and put scissors under the pillow,” she writes. This custom is also accepted in the UK, where it is believed that the scissors stored under the pillow can save you from nightmares. But most users just check if the locks are closed. A lettica user writes: “Since I have an alarm and sensory lighting, I feel safe.”
Another idea is to allow thoughts to go to a “safe” place. A dawnvickerstaff user writes: “Once upon a time, my grandmother taught me to think about the places I would like to visit. Mentally I spend a lot of time there, but this is the only method that helps me when I am alone. I like to communicate with people, but I like to be alone. ”
A user from Germany says that her decision to change something is connected with moving out of town. “Having moved to a house on the outskirts of the city with a garden, I was in a state of horror. Two weeks later, I persuaded my husband to set an alarm, ”she says.
Stay on the same floor
Many Spanish users have written that they enjoy staying home alone. Nevertheless, janina_valls writes that she feels safe only when she is in a certain part of the house. “I can't stay on the lower floors. I'm afraid. “I need everything to be open, so I try to live on the top floors of buildings.”
Apparently, the high floor is a way to deal with fear for many. “I'm afraid to be alone on the ground floor,” writes olgane. - That is why our kitchen and living room are on the second floor. I don’t like it when I need to go up or down. ”
User mmers from America advises to avoid dark stairs and not rely on dogs and their instincts! She has something to tell about: “We had a bungalow with a basement. One night, when the husband was not at home, the dog began to bark several times. I was not expecting anyone, so reluctantly headed upstairs. The dog was hiding behind me. There was no one upstairs, only having understood this, the dog moved away from me. Of course she would bark, but she’s not so brave. ”
The Swedish users participating in the survey were very optimistic and this was reflected in their comments. However, they shared the idea of how to deal with the disturbing noise and relax, if you are alone at home - to include energetic music. Another solution was proposed by the British user laird_carol, who likes to fight fear with the help of a good book, as well as the user Akari Fukuda from Japan, who prefers to watch movies in such situations.
For other users, the time when they are alone at home allows them to do their own thing. Italian user linahouzz2014 was relieved to notice: “Finally! Calm home. "I like to stay home alone, but I never feel alone: I have so many thoughts, projects and fantasies."
The Spaniards, when they are left at home alone, are engaged in creativity. Elia Cm, a Spanish user, writes that she enjoys peace and quiet: “No, I'm not afraid to be alone. On the contrary, I love it. I do what I like: with my projects and creative endeavors. When I immerse myself in some activity, I don’t want to be distracted. ”
Better to warn than cure
Some users shared tips on what to do. Пользователь MHLIVING.RU из России пишет: «Не бойтесь и, важнее всего, не смотрите фильмы ужасов перед сном!»
Еще один полезный совет: если вы слышите какой-то странный звук, не давайте воображению разыграться. Пользовательница из Германии hannebasboll пишет, что однажды проснулась от странного звука, раздававшегося рядом с окном спальни: «Я не могла понять, в чем дело. Через какое-то время мое любопытство победило и я пошла посмотреть. It turned out that the wind merely tore off the packet, which made these sounds. ”
If no remedies help, then check what happens again and again. Our American user jeunejolie, who grew up in a very superstitious family, believes that warning is the best method: “Besides all superstitions, it scares me that robbers can break into a house. I always check if the doors and windows are closed before I go to bed. They are always closed when I'm at home. Not really fun. ”
What measures do you take to feel at home calmly? Share your ideas and, if possible, photos in the comments.
What other phobias are most common:
Sociophobia is a fear of society and social actions.
Ergophobia - fear of professional activity, work.
Gerontophobia - hostility to older people, to the elderly.
Misophobia - fear of dirt, non-sterility.
Erythrophobia - fear of blushing with shame, at an awkward moment in front of another person.