Monophobia: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

It is an exaggerated or irrational fear of being alone.

These patients may fear being away from a particular place or person that makes them feel safe. An underlying anxiety disorder is generally involved.

It can be difficult to beat. Monophobia or fear of being alone is also known as isolaphobia or autophobia.

People who suffer from monophobia or fear of being alone can feel very insecure and depressed when left alone. Therefore, they can struggle with routine activities such as sleeping, going to the bathroom alone, eating, among others.

Also, they may develop a feeling of hatred towards their friends and family for leaving them alone.


Monophobia can have its origin in a traumatic childhood event, being alone in a dangerous situation, is difficult to overcome, remains in the memory and causes monophobia.

There are people who express great fear of events that could represent risks, they let themselves be carried away and create traumas due to a possible event that may never happen.

Risk factors for monophobia

The following are some risk factors that can make an individual more prone to monophobia or fear of being alone:

  • Age can be a risk factor for monophobia or fear of being alone.
  • Children are at higher risk compared to adults.
  • The phobia in any of the close relatives can easily morph into different types of phobia, including monophobia.
  • Temperament can lead to monophobia. An individual who is more sensitive and lacks the proper temperament to face difficult situations is at higher risk of developing monophobia.
  • A traumatic event in the past is also a risk factor. The phobia can also be the result of a traumatic event such as being attacked by an animal or being trapped in the elevator.


Monophobia or fear of being alone like any other phobia has some typical emotional and physical symptoms.

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for monophobia include:

  • Irrational fear of being alone.
  • Anxiety attacks and panic attacks.
  • Shortness of breath, dry mouth
  • Feeling dizzy or not being able to stand up.
  • Unusual increase in the frequency of the heartbeat or palpitations.
  • Gastrointestinal upset or nausea.
  • Tingling or numbness and shaking.
  • Extreme sweating
  • Chest pain and feeling sick.
  • Fear of not being able to control oneself, falling or fainting.
  • Create an unreal environment far from reality.
  • Developing an irrational fear of dying.

People who suffer from monophobia or fear of being alone can easily develop other types of phobia, such as agoraphobia fear of public places or tatophobia fear of death.

Complications of monophobia

Monophobia or fear of being alone can be difficult for an individual and can have a huge impact on lifestyle.

It can lead to some serious problems in the life of an individual. The depression and anxiety are a possible complication in most people suffering from Monophobia.

Substance abuse is a possible complication. The phobia leads to depression and anxiety that can easily make you prone to substance abuse.

Some people may find it almost impossible to cope with the fear that may increase their risk of suicide.


Monophobia cannot be determined by any type of laboratory test.

Normally, the specialist doctor conducts interviews to know the patient’s symptoms and compare with the diagnostic guidelines that exist in the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders where the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association are established for each phobia.

Treatment for monophobia

In most cases, people struggling with monophobia tend to help themselves by developing coping strategies.

The psychiatrist or psychologist can also help a person cope with the situation through various therapies including cognitive behavior therapy, talk therapy, hypnotherapy, and medications as a last resort.

Cognitive behavior therapy is the most effective treatment option, curing 3 out of 4 patients with monophobia.

Hypnotherapy is another effective therapy against monophobia or the fear of being alone. Medications for monophobia or fear of being alone help the patient cope with anxiety.

A person suffering from monophobia or fear of being alone can always recover from their fear with proper treatment by experts.

Recovery time depends on the level of anxiety. If the anxiety level is low or moderate, a person can be treated by adopting a well-designed recovery program.

In case of high levels of anxiety, therapies may not be enough and medication will be needed to overcome the fears.

There are several types of medications including antidepressant medications, anti-anxiety medications, and beta blockers recommended by doctors for people with monophobia.

When using medication, beware of withdrawal symptoms that may arise after stopping medication. Therefore, it is important to gradually proceed to withdraw medication doses.

In terms of natural treatment options for monophobia, breathing and relaxation techniques work best in treating monophobia symptoms.

Other natural treatment methods include muscle relaxation, mental imagery, calming personal dialogue, meditation, and more.

There are some therapies, such as gradual exposure and desensitization, that involve gradually exposing an individual to the fear of being alone through the use of visualizations and images. This prepares a person to face their fears when exposed in real life.

Anxiety can be treated by letting an individual face their fears and not run away from them.

The time period cannot be defined and may depend on the individual’s ability to initiate treatment and come out of fear.


In case of symptoms of monophobia, it is important to consult a psychologist as soon as possible, especially if you have children. Therefore, it becomes even more important to get treatment for the phobia and prevent it from being passed on to children.

It is very important to seek support from therapists, family, and friends to help you face your fears rather than avoid them.

You should seek help to properly face monophobia, there are several support groups with other people who go through the same fears. It is common for children to have some fear, such as fear of monsters, the dark, etc. But most of them can overcome their fears as they grow older.

However, if a child has difficulty overcoming monophobia or fear of being alone, it is necessary to see a doctor.

Parents need to help their children face their fears at an early age, to prevent them from suffering from phobia.