Medical Definition of Autophobia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 10/30/2018

Autophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of loneliness, of being alone. A fear of solitude. Sufferers from autophobia may experience anxiety even though they realize that being alone does not threaten their well-being. They may worry about being ignored and unloved, or they may worry about intruders, strange noises or the possibility of developing a medical problem.

Autophobia also has another sense, that of an irrational fear of oneself, intense self-fear that is groundless.

The word "autophobia" is derived from two Greek words: "autos" (self) and "phobos" (fear) = literally, self-fear, fear of oneself. "Autos" has given us many English words such as "automatic" and "automotive" (self-moving) and "autonomy" (self-governing). And "phobos" has bequeathed us a vast number of phobias such as "claustrophobia" (fear of closed places) and "acrophobia" (fear of heights).

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018