Understanding the Fear of People (Anthropophobia)

Last Update on April 24, 2023 : Published on December 18, 2022

Have you stopped attending parties? Or do you feel uncomfortable around people even when they come to visit your house? If yes, there is a high chance you might have developed a fear of people, anthropophobia.

Anthropophobia runs in the line of social anxiety and social phobia but all three conditions are different. Social anxiety is when you feel anxious and uncomfortable in social situations. Social phobia includes a lot of different types of phobias. Social phobias are the fear of specific social situations like public speaking, meeting new people, etc.

Anthropophobia is a type of social phobia in which an individual is afraid of people in general. Such people do not wish to be around people at all because they have an intense fear of most people.

Let’s understand anthropophobia a little better…

What is Anthropophobia?

Anthropophobia can be defined as the fear of people however it is usually misunderstood as some other similar disorder. As we discussed earlier, it has a solid resemblance to social phobia but there is a lot of difference.

Anthropophobia, when very severe, can give rise to an intense phobic reaction even when they are accompanied by just one person. Such people often resort to using mail or telephones to communicate with other people. They completely isolate themselves because of the intense and irrational fear they have of other human beings.

Anthropophobia is a strong fear that one might have of people, any person big or small. They get so anxious and fearful around people that they choose to escape from any place regardless of the situation they might have been in.

The people we generally consider safe and harmless like our relatives, family, and friends are all treated as if they were strangers and could harm one anytime. It’s extremely painful to live with a phobia like anthropophobia.

The Symptoms of Anthropophobia

Anthropophobia is not a common phobia but many people do experience some degree of anthropophobia. It’s important to know the symptoms of anthropophobia because if the fear of people goes untreated, it can have some severe negative consequences.

Anthropophobia can have a varied set of symptoms inclusive of physical symptoms and symptoms similar to other anxiety disorders. Let’s have a look at them;

  • Excessive fear and worry
  • Negative self-talk
  • Cautious, avoidant behavior
  • Altered view of their appearance
  • Exaggerated fear about having a bad body odor
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble looking people in the eye
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty talking to people
  • Trouble looking people in the eye
  • Muscle tension
  • Fear of being judged or watched
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling unworthy or inadequate
  • Worrying about offending other people

What Causes Anthropophobia?

Like many other phobias, there is no exact cause of anthropophobia or the fear of people. However, experts claim that your life experiences can play an important role in making someone develop conditions like anthropophobia.

Being afraid of people can also come from having experienced trauma in the past. A traumatic event involving a large number of people, like a stampede. Anthropophobia is a type of specific phobia therefore the causing factors are also very specific. There are a few other commonly assumed causes of most types of phobias and can cause anthropophobia as well.

Genetics can be responsible for one developing a fear of people. If you have someone in your family who has been diagnosed with some kind of phobia or anxiety disorder have a higher chance of developing phobias. Other than genetics, cultural background and chemical imbalance in the brain can also cause anthropophobia.

How is Anthropophobia Diagnosed?

There are no specific diagnostic criteria for diagnosing the fear of people, however, a healthcare professional might be able to identify this specific phobia via verbal evaluation. They may ask you about the situations that cause feelings of fear and anxiety, how your fear interferes with your day-to-day routine, how long have you had the symptoms of the condition and similar questions. 

More often than not, the fear of people can be diagnosed as a social anxiety disorder. You may also experience anthropophobia with other personality disorders such as; 

  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Delusional disorder
  • Paranoid personality disorder, and
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How is Anthropophobia Treated?

Anthropophobia might be a rare condition but fortunately, it has a few treatment options available. After being diagnosed with anthropophobia, the first thing you should do is sit with your therapist and understand the severity of your condition.

After your therapist studies your condition and understands your irrational fear and how severe it is, they will put you up for a treatment option or a combination of treatments. Let’s have a look at all the treatment options for anthropophobia;

  • Psycho-education
  • Exposure therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medication to control severe symptoms
  • Relaxation techniques 
  • Meditation and mindfulness

Treatment for anthropophobia can range from simple talk therapy sessions to medications. A professional may begin by understanding the effects of the fear on your physical and mental health, then move with an appropriate treatment option. 

You can also reach out and connect with support groups for specific phobias, practice stress management exercises, and other relaxation techniques to ease your symptoms. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How Can I Overcome Anthropophobia Symptoms?

A: You can use relaxation techniques to overcome your anthropophobia symptoms. These techniques can help you reduce anxiety, calm your nerves, and promote relaxation. You can try aerobic exercises when you feel anxious, meditate, or use guided imagery to control stress response and practice breathing exercises to calm your mind and body.

Q: How Can I Reduce The Risk of Anthropophobia?

A: There are no certain ways to prevent the risk of fear of people (anthropophobia). However, if you continue to struggle with anxious thoughts and actions, you may use these ways to reduce the severity of your anxiety. You can;

  • Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and increase the intake of water
  • Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet 
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Get enough sleep (at least 7–8 hours every night) 
  • Talk to your doctor/support group/loved one when your anxiety increases

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about anthropophobia and its signs, causes, and treatment helpful, interesting and informative. Do share this blog with your friends and family because you never know who might be struggling with the fear of people or anthropophobia.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


  1. Kaitlyn Smith
    Kaitlyn Smith

    this helped me a lot, thank you.

    1. CS Team
      CS Team

      Hey Kaitlyn, We are Grateful, We were able to help you. Keep reading Calmsage and share with people you care about.

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