Anthropophobia is a variation of social neurosis, which is a panic disorder. It manifests itself as a desire to avoid society, fear of extraneous individuals and is considered a kind of social phobia. This deviation is accompanied by compulsions found in obsessive actions. Such motor operations take on a protective form for the individual. The patient in similar circumstances evaluates such actions as requiring reproduction, since he believes that they will prevent or eliminate the phobia. The difference between the deviation in question and sociophobia is the fear of any people with anthropophobia, and in the case of sociophobia, the fear of concentrating a huge crowd of people.
Causes of Anthropophobia
Panic fear or phobia is called irrational fear , exacerbated in certain circumstances. The origin of such fear does not lend itself to logical explanation. The subject of a phobia, as a rule, does not present a real danger, but for an individual he is transformed into a source of increased anxiety, due to which he seeks to minimize all contacts with him. The reasons for the emergence of obsessive fears often lurk in stressful situations or emotional shocks.
Anthropophobia is considered a form of obsessive fears. In order to understand what anthropophobia is, it is necessary to turn to the etymology of the analyzed term. The concept under consideration consists of two ancient Greek words “man” and “fear”. It means fear of people. Individuals tormented by anthropophobia feel very strong psychological discomfort when approaching someone or in violation of their personal space, so such people tend to be more alone. Anthropophobic during a communicative interaction with an extraneous individual feels a physical malaise.
The ailment under consideration is subject to both the sons of Adam and the daughter of Eve. More often it occurs in the puberty.
Anthropophobia people's fear is often observed along with scoptophobia (the fear of disgrace, disappointing people, scrutinizing by other individuals), sociophobia (fear of concentration of people) and low self-esteem .
Today, the authentic causes provoking the appearance of anthropophobia are unknown. Psychology claims that more often the origin of this problem comes in early childhood or adolescence. Abuse of punishment, intimidation, resentment against parents, emotional trauma, deceit, unfavorable social conditions and family conditions, constant ridicule of peers - all of the above leads to a child losing confidence in the environment. As a result, a small individual becomes closed as he grows, more and more often he spends his free time alone. Only in private with such a person do such 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 harm is himself. However, this understanding is the beginning of the disorder.
Often a patient at a certain moment of his own existence, begins to realize his exclusion from society. This often becomes the trigger for a suicide attempt.
Anthropophobia and self-isolation are often prone to anxious individuals; individuals who are inclined to excessive self-criticism and have low self-esteem, suffering from neurosis , arising from a persistent fear of finding themselves in ridiculous circumstances and disgracing themselves. Such subjects invariably complain of their own bankruptcy, inferiority, and uselessness to society, which as a result generates anthropophobia.
Frequent criticism of the immediate environment and rejection by significant individuals creates insecurity. A person constantly expects a blow, while in society, seeks out any signs of censure by the environment and, naturally, seeks them out. In addition, the phenomenon in question is often the result of fear of receiving a negative assessment of society and the consequence of perfectionism .
Woeful childhood experiences do not always cause neurosis-like conditions. Often, they arise in people who have never found themselves in difficult circumstances, but due to personality traits, obsessive fears like anthropophobia can develop. Thus, anthropophobia is a kind of hypertrophied protective behavioral response of the body to all kinds of negative stimuli, namely, aggressive behavior of adults surrounding children, suppressing the personality of the child, finding in certain situations, a frightening orientation (terrorist attack), violence.
Psychological science knows cases where anthropophobia is formed in individuals who have undergone a fundamental change in appearance. For example, a young lady who has enlarged her breasts sometimes begins to feel obsessive anxiety , being close to the “owners” of a small bust. And a person who has gotten rid of many extra pounds will experience a steady fear of the appearance of overweight people.
Symptoms of Anthropophobia
Markers of the presence of the considered phobia in an individual are:
- fear of the social environment, anthropophobes feel almost physical pain from touching other subjects, they are afraid to look into their eyes, shy away from any contact;
- unreasonable fear that appears at the sight of strangers;
- fear of a certain category of people, for example, fear of drunk people;
- 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 symptoms of a cognitive and vegetative nature. The manifestations of the cognitive sphere include irrational persistent horror even from the thought of the need to meet or talk with an outsider. Among the vegetative symptoms, hand tremors, palpitations, asthma attacks, facial flushing, numbness, vomiting, red spots on the chest and upper limbs, diarrhea can be distinguished. The described manifestations, in turn, provoke an increase in panic .
Often, a panic attack is accompanied by obsessive motor acts - compulsions that carry a protective, ritual character for an anthropophobe. Performing intrusive movements of the same type in certain circumstances, the patient believes that he is protecting himself.
Anthropophobia forces individuals to beware of all kinds of situations leading to any interaction with people. The considered variety of obsessive fear manifests itself in different ways. Some individuals fear exclusively young children, while others avoid interacting with older persons. Some cannot be near subjects wearing a beard, fat people or bald people. But most anthropophobes feel fear of any people. In other words, their fear is not due to gender, hair color, age category or any other characteristics. They are terrified of contacts with any personalities. Touching, loud speech, condemning or staring at a person- phobia , provoke a steady, panic fear .
In connection with the manifestations described above, many are interested in anthropophobia, how to fight. First of all, you need to understand that a psychiatrist must pass a “sentence” on the presence of a phobia. Since the considered symptoms are not an absolute sign of the presence of anthropophobia. Phobic disorder can easily mask other mental illnesses. An incorrect diagnosis will result in improper therapy, which can aggravate the symptoms.
It is believed that it is almost impossible to independently eliminate the phenomena of anthropophobia. To eliminate human fear, you need psychological support or the help of a psychiatrist. 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, including conversations with an anthropophobe, aimed at establishing interaction with individuals.
Treatment of anthropophobia in severe cases is carried out using hypnotherapy . For this purpose, they most often resort to the Erickson hypnosis technique, based on an indirect effect on the human subconscious and an individual approach. Thanks to this, rapid positive changes are noted.
Excellent results are shown by a rather common systemic form of psychotherapeutic influence - cognitive-behavioral, which includes two directions: correction of inconsistent, inappropriate, illogical thoughts and anthropophobic patterns, transformation of an individual’s behavioral response through interaction with human subjects, and the lack of reinforcement of objectionable reactions.
In addition, auto-training , as well as independent exercises to overcome an obsessive state , are considered an important component of the positive effect and the achievement of an early cure. The gradual steps that contribute to socialization will significantly improve and ease life. Saying "hello" to a neighbor, smiling at a passing man, taking a ride in public transport - all of these activities will quickly bring you closer to healing.
So, everyone who is interested in anthropophobia, what it is and how not to instill this phobia in its own child, is recommended not to put pressure on the crumbs, respect his opinion and personality, protect him from stressors and negative emotional upheavals, not abuse educational measures, love and care.