Do You Panic When You're Alone? You Might Have Autophobia

Animated girl resting head on knee

The house is silent. Too silent. The humming fridge, the creaking floors…every faint whisper spells imminent disaster. If this scary scenario sounds eerily familiar, you may be suffering from autophobia. Simply put, autophobia is the fear of being alone. While some sufferers experience slight discomfort, others endure full-fledged panic attacks every time they are left on their own. Below, I’ve listed 7 tell-tale signs that you may be autophobic. 

1. Every strange noise = a bloodthirsty intruder. 

When surrounded by people, the familiar creaks and groans of your home are no prob! However, the moment they leave, you’re struck with a pang of anxiety. What if someone is breaking in? Are these my final moments? It’s nearly impossible to halt the flood of terrifying thoughts, as every “innocent” sound transforms into destruction. 

2. Tracking your fam/roommates hoping that they come home ASAP. 

The “Find My Friends'' app is your bff, as you anxiously await the return of your family members or roommates. You religiously reload their location, hoping to be relieved of your isolated misery in the near future. 

3. 911 on speed dial. 

An ominous sense of doom pervades your mind, and you’re 99.9% sure a burglar is hiding somewhere in your house. With 911 on speed dial (and a kitchen knife by your side), you are hopelessly trapped in “fight or flight" mode. 

4. Uncontrollable racing thoughts.  

It feels like lightning striking your brain. The fear, the anxiety, the stress: It all contributes to the unruly cascade of racing thoughts: What if I choke and die all alone? What if the house burns down? What if someone breaks in? 

5. Is this a medical emergency or a panic attack?

As your anxiety accelerates, numerous physical symptoms may arise that mimic medical emergencies. From sweating to chest pain and nausea, these stress-induced maladies may convince you that you’re about to die alone. 

6. Checking and rechecking ALL the locks. 

Forget to lock the front door? That’s basically an invitation for disaster! So you check…and recheck…and check again…until you are 108% sure that nobody can freely saunter into your home. 

7. Texting every contact to find a friend to accompany you. 

At this point, you’d be thrilled if your 6th grade bully was available. You can’t stand the thought of being alone for more than 5 minutes, and desperately desire someone…ANYONE…to be by your side. 

Though you may be physically isolated on occasion, remember that you are never truly alone. There are so many people who suffer in silence with this phobia! If you believe autophobia is impacting your quality of life, please reach out to a mental health professional to start your healing journey. You don’t have to live a life of fear! 

Written by: Brianna Rauchman

Instagram: @briannarauchman


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