Psychology and Psychiatry


Anthropophobia - This is a variation of social neurosis, which is a panic disorder. It manifests itself by the desire to avoid society, the fear of outsiders and is considered a kind of social phobia. This deviation is accompanied by compulsions, which are found in obsessive actions. Such motor operations acquire a protective form for the individual. The patient in similar circumstances assesses such actions as requiring reproduction, because he believes that they will prevent or eliminate the phobia. The difference between the deviation in question and social phobia is in the fear of any people with anthropophobia, and in the case of social phobia in fear of concentrating a huge crowd of people.

Causes of anthropophobia

Panic fear or phobia is called irrational fear, aggravated in certain circumstances. The origin of this fear defies logical explanation. The subject of a phobia, as a rule, does not represent a real danger, however, for an individual, he is transformed into a source of heightened alarm, due to which he seeks to minimize any contact with him. The reasons for the birth of obsessive fears are often hidden in previously experienced stressful situations or emotional turmoil.

Anthropophobia is considered a form of obsessive fears. In order to understand what it is anthropophobia, one must refer to the etymology of the analyzed term. The concept under consideration consists of two ancient Greek words “person” and “fear”. It means fear of people. Individuals, tormented by anthropophobia, feel a very strong psychological discomfort when someone approaches or when their personal space is violated, therefore such people tend to be more alone. During the communicative interaction with an outsider, an anthropophobe feels physically unwell.

Both the sons of Adam and the daughter of Eve are subject to the disease in question. More often it occurs in the pubertal period.

Anthropophobia fear of people is often observed along with skoptofobiya (fear of disgrace, disappoint people, staring at other individuals), social phobia (fear of concentrating people) and low self-esteem.

Today, for certain reasons, provoking the emergence of anthropophobia, are unknown. Psychology claims that more often the birth of this problem comes to early childhood or adolescence. Abuse of punishment, intimidation, resentment at parents, emotional traumas, deceptions, unfavorable social conditions and family environment, constant ridicule of peers - all of the above leads to a child’s loss of trust in the environment. As a result, as a person grows, a small individual becomes withdrawn, and more and more often he spends his free time alone. Only in private with their own person do these children feel free and comfortable. A child, growing up in a dysfunctional family or in adverse conditions, at some point closes in his own "I", realizing that the only one who does not cause harm is himself. However, this understanding is the beginning of the disorder.

Often the patient at a certain point in his own existence, begins to realize his exclusion from society. It often becomes a trigger for a suicide attempt.

Anthropophobia and self-isolation are more often prone to disturbing individuals; individuals who suffer from excessive self-criticism and who have low self-esteem, who suffer from neurosis, who appear on the background of a steady fear of finding themselves in absurd circumstances and being dishonored. Such subjects invariably complain about their own inconsistency, inferiority, uselessness to society, which, as a result, generates anthropophobia.

Frequent criticism of the closest environment and rejection of significant individuals gives rise to uncertainty. A person is constantly awaiting a strike, being in a society, searches for any signs of censure by the environment and, naturally, searches for them. In addition, the phenomenon in question is often the fruit of the fear of receiving a negative assessment of society and the result of perfectionism.

The sad experiences of childhood do not always cause neurosis-like states. Often, they occur in individuals who have never been in difficult circumstances, but because of the personality characteristics, obsessive fears such as anthropophobia can develop. Thus, anthropophobia is a kind of hypertrophied protective behavioral response of the body to all sorts of negative incentives, namely the aggressive behavior of adults around children, the suppression of the child’s personality, being in certain situations, a frightening trend (terrorist attack), violence.

Psychological science knows cases when anthropophobia is formed in individuals who have undergone a dramatic change in appearance. For example, a young lady who enlarged her breasts sometimes begins to feel obsessive anxiety, being close to the “owner” of a small bust. And a person who gets rid of a lot of extra pounds will experience a steady fear of the appearance of overweight people.

The development of anthropophobia, in addition to all of the above, may be due to bipolar disorder. There are also cases of concealing autism behind the guise of anthropophobia and vice versa.

Symptoms of anthropophobia

Markers of the presence of the individual in question phobias are:

- fear of the social environment, anthropophobes feel from the touch of other subjects almost physical pain, they are afraid to look into their eyes, avoid any contact;

- unjustified fear, appearing at the sight of strangers;

- fear of a certain category of persons, for example, fear of drunk;

- fear of a large concentration of people, such individuals are often afraid to just walk the streets of their hometown.

Anthropophobia (fear of people) is characterized by the presence of specific cognitive and vegetative symptoms. The manifestations of the cognitive sphere are irrational sustained horror even at the thought of the need to meet or talk to an outsider. Among the autonomic symptoms can be distinguished hand shake, heart palpitations, attacks of suffocation, flushing of the face, numbness, vomiting, red spots on the chest and upper limbs, diarrhea. The described manifestations, in turn, provoke the growth of panic.

Often, panic attacks are accompanied by intrusive motor acts - compulsions that are protective, ritual in nature for an anthropophobe. Performing obsessive movements of the same type in certain circumstances, the patient believes that he protects himself.

Anthropophobia forces individuals to beware of all sorts of situations leading to any interaction with people. The considered type of obsessive fear manifests itself in different ways. Some individuals fear only small children, while others avoid interaction with older persons. Some cannot be near beard-bearing subjects, fat people, or bald ones. But most anthropophobes feel the fear of any people. In other words, their fear is not due to gender, hair color, age group or any other features. They are terrified of contact with any personalities. Touch, loud speech, judging or gaze turned to humanophobia, provoke a steady, panic fear.

In connection with the manifestations described above, many are interested, anthropophobia, how to fight. First of all, you need to understand that a psychiatrist must make a "sentence" about the presence of a phobia. Since the considered symptoms are not an absolute sign of the presence of anthropophobia. Other mental illnesses can easily mask a phobic disorder. A misdiagnosis will entail improper therapy, which can exacerbate the symptoms.

Anthropophobia treatment

It is believed that independently eliminating the phenomena of anthropophobia is almost impossible. Psychological support or the help of a psychiatrist are needed to eliminate human phobia. First of all, the doctor identifies a possible cause that gave rise to an irrational fear of human subjects. Then he prescribes a therapeutic course that includes conversations with an anthropophobe, aimed at establishing interaction with individuals.

Treatment of anthropophobia in severe cases takes place with the help of hypnotherapy. For this purpose, Erickson’s most frequently used hypnosis technique is based on an indirect effect on the human subconscious and an individual approach. Due to this, there are fast positive changes.

Excellent results are shown by a fairly common systemic form of psychotherapeutic influence — cognitive-behavioral, which includes two directions: correction of inconsistent, inappropriate, illogical reflections and anthropophobe patterns, transformation of an individual's behavioral response through interaction with human subjects, and the lack of reinforcement of undesirable reactions.

In addition, an important component of the positive effect and the achievement of a speedy cure is considered to be auto-training, as well as independent exercises to overcome the obsessive state. Gradual steps that promote socialization, significantly improve and facilitate life. Say "hello" to a neighbor, smile at a passing man, take a ride in public transport - all of these activities will quickly bring healing.

So, all those interested in anthropophobia, what it is and how not to inculcate this phobia to their own offspring are advised not to put pressure on the crumbs, respect their opinions and personality, protect them from stressors and negative emotional shocks, not abuse educational measures of influence, love and care.