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There are several methods of treating the symptoms of autophobia. Some of the most common include medication, different kinds of therapy, and relaxation techniques. Many doctors will combine methods in order to cover all areas the phobia affects. The primary goals of treatment are to ease anxiety and train the mind to discard negative feelings associated with being alone.
Anti-anxiety medication is frequently prescribed for patients with autophobia. While these drugs are not expected to cure the condition, they do often enable the patient to manage fear while undergoing treatments that address the root of the problem. Medication may also lessen the intensity of physical attacks, which can sometimes be so intense that they lead to a heart attack or death.
Relaxation techniques may also be used to lessen the anxiety associated with autophobia. These techniques typically center on the practice of deep, focused breathing. Patients may also be led through visualization exercises. In addition to treating symptoms, these exercises can be used by the patient as a coping mechanism in the midst of attack.
Some of the most thorough methods used to treat autophobia can be found in different kinds of therapy. Behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and exposure therapy can all be used to address the problem. Therapists may also recommend self-hypnosis to break the pattern of negative thought. Often, autophobia is caused by a past trauma. The overall goal of therapy is to fix the root of the problem by helping the patient to overcome that incident.
Behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies help to guide the patient away from actions that worsen the symptoms of autophobia. Exposure therapy is a method of easing the patient into spending time alone and not having to rely on having a trusted individual nearby. These techniques are typically introduced gradually in order to reduce the chances of a patient having a violent physical reaction.
The most common form of autophobia is an overwhelming and constant fear of being alone or lonely. Symptoms can happen while sufferers are alone or because they feel alone in the company of others. People with this condition may be concerned about intruders, being ignored, or having no one to love them. Often the individual will know these fears are irrational, but will still feel anxiety. There is also a rare form of autophobia where the sufferer experiences intense fear or hatred of self.
Anxiety attacks do not lead to heart attacks or death.
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