Feeling of fear is instinctive and is an integral part of the human psyche. The fear that arose in response to danger, gave rise to flight and saved life. Sometimes it arises from nowhere, "sticks" to a person, grows over time like a snowball, completely subjugating itself. Fear of people is one of such fears, paralyzing the will.
What is the name of people's fear?
Fear has a scientific name - anthropophobia, formed from two ancient Greek words: ἄνθρωπος - man, φόβος - fear. Fear of people - a form of social phobia related to neuroses, in the International Directory of Classification of Diseases, is listed under the code F 40 - phobic anxiety disorders. American psychiatrist G. Sullivan believed that in order to understand the reason that caused the phobia, it is important to "untangle the tangle" of the relationship of a person suffering from fears with other people from his close environment.
The reasons why anthropophobia is formed:
- a timid mother, constantly in a state of stress and anxiety, imparts her imprint on the child's psyche "to be afraid is natural!";
- violence, bullying in childhood;
- social isolation in childhood;
- individual character traits (increased suspiciousness, vulnerability, anxiety);
- psychasthenic type of personality;
- ridicule in childhood and adolescence.
Fear of people - phobia
All phobias are characterized by a similar symptomatology, which arises in response to the occurrence in the space of the object of fear. In this regard, anthropophobia is delineated into several subspecies (on the whole, there are about 100 of them):
- ohlofobiya (demophobia) - fear of crowds of people or mass congestion of people in one place;
- Haptophobia - the touch of strangers causes horror;
- gomilofobiya - fear of talking to strangers;
- ommatophobia - fear of looking into the eyes;
There are also rare types of anthropophobia:
- fear of obese people;
- fear of red and freckled;
- fear of the elderly;
- fear of people of a certain nationality;
- fear of those who wear a beard and mustache or on the contrary are clean-shaven.
Common signs of social phobia and variations of anthropophobia:
- the self-containedness of man in himself;
- a solitary way of life;
- hostility to strangers;
- Dislike and discomfort when invading the anthropophobic space of other people.
Physiological symptoms in anthropophobia:
- tremor in the whole body;
- profuse sweating;
- nausea and vomiting;
- attacks of panic attack;
- obsessive thoughts.
Fear of a large crowd
Demophobia is a little studied neurotic disorder that characterizes the fear of a large number of people. The sources of this fear can be any childhood memory associated with unpleasant circumstances that occurred with a large crowd of people. Fear of congestion can also form in adulthood, when a terrorist act in a crowded place, which occurred in front of a person, a fight or even a murder, may act as a catalyst for obsessive fear.
Fear of touching strangers
The fears of people are so diverse that the mechanisms that trigger this or that fear are not always clear. A person can grow up in a happy, loving family, but this does not guarantee that he will be freed from obsessive fears. Haptophobia - a rare kind of anthropophobia, manifests itself as a fear of the touch of people close and alien. Other names for this fear:
The causes of haptophobia:
- autism spectrum disorders;
- progressive schizophrenia;
- hypertrophied aspiration of a person to protect his personal space;
- sexual abuse at any age;
- disgust as a trait of character;
- Misophobia (fear of contaminating the mouth with a touch).
Manifestations of Haptophobia:
- Avoid any bodily touch (handshakes, hugs, kisses);
- women and men who survive violence can avoid touching a person of the sex who has committed violent acts;
- experience a number of negative emotions when trying to touch them;
- according to the descriptions of haptophobes, touches cause in them really sensible signs of burning or cold.
Fear of communication with people
The fear of social interaction includes all social phobias. A sociophobic person is afraid of everything connected with other people. Fear of communicating with people is formed in childhood on the basis of unsuccessful interaction with peers, during public appearances, which ended in failure, all this leaves an imprint on the child's psyche making from it a possible future sociopath and neurotic.
Fear of looking people in the eyes
Fear of people and society can be expressed in such fear, as ommatophobia - fear of the eyes. This strange and poorly studied phobia appears in fear of looking at the interlocutor and when the interlocutor studies and carefully looks at the anthropophobe. The view of an outsider is perceived as aggression and intrusion into personal space, which causes panic and fear. A kind of fear of a "bad" eye is a kind of ommatophobia, a person is afraid that he will be jinxed or spoil.
Fear of talking to people
Homilophobia - the fear of people in an awkward, incidental situation due to an incorrect remark. Fear of talking to people can result from fear of being intrusive or attracting attention. A person prone to gomilophobia experiences severe anxiety and excitement, even when one has to ask a simple question, for example, to ask for directions - he thinks that he will be considered ridiculous and ridiculous. The mechanism of the origin of gomilophobia is not fully understood.
Fear of strangers
This phobia is inherent in the genetic level to all people on Earth. Xenophobia - in some it is expressed in a hypertrophied version: hatred of other ethnic groups, people of non-traditional orientation. In the usual manifestation, a person who is afraid of a society of strangers is apprehensive and afraid of all who are not his relatives. Often this is a huge problem for the person himself and leads to forced social isolation and loss for society.
How to get rid of social phobia?
Self-management of phobias is possible only if a person realizes that he has a problem. Among the sociophobes there are many who suddenly encounter the truth and understand that they have a phobic frustration, and realizing, there are questions: what to do and how to stop being afraid of people? If there is no opportunity to visit a specialist, at the initial stage you can follow the following recommendations how to stop being afraid of people and be shy:
- to find the cause - it will help to see the exaggeration of fear and one negative experience should not become a problem of all life;
- conscious work with negative thoughts - replacing them with positive ones;
- take control of the fear;
- to develop new behavior (to start small steps in the direction of fear, instead of the usual reaction of flight).
Anthropophobia - treatment
In severe cases, when obsessive thoughts triggering fear exhaust a person - how to overcome social phobia? Fear of people - refers to neurotic anxiety disorders, therefore it is treated like any neurosis . Medicamentous treatment consists in prescribing a patient a group of drugs:
- sedative (Validol, Novo-Passit);
- antidepressants (Giperecin, a drug based on St. John's wort);
- tranquilizers (Afobazol, Phenazepam).
Psychotherapy in the treatment of anthropophobia has worked well in the following areas:
- Paradoxical intention - the essence of the method consists in trying to desire what the person is afraid of, to bring fear to the point of absurdity.
- Group cognitive-behavioral therapy is a method of systematic sensitization, in which there is a gradual decrease in emotional susceptibility to objects that cause fear.