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Topic: Autophobia, fear of being alone.

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. gaz88
    gaz88 avatar
    5 posts
    24 April 2020
    First of all, hello everybody.
    Around 8 years ago I stayed up at the weekend a little more than I should of using a stimulant. Young and dumb maybe. I had, what I learner later, a psychosis. Which for the rest of the night and some of the day had be intensely afraid of intruders through auditory hallucinations and my imagination amplifying it to be as bad as possible. I am embarrassed to admit this but it is necessary to explain the trigger to what I am suffering now.

    When I work away usually or in highrise apartment I don't seem to have any issues.

    It's when I stay in a house alone especially although even in bed sometimes when others are home I still get the hyper arousal at sounds outside and imagine them to be something or someone very dangerous.

    I am certain that this one event many years ago has programmed part of my brain to be irrationally afraid at night that something terrible might happen causing me not to sleep until very late sometimes.

    I know this as before the event I never really worried at all or cared to check if doors locked etc. Literally started after that and I guess I've subconsciously worked my life around it however it can be very prohibitive and I don't want to have this feeling anymore.

    I've been embarrassed to admit this due to what caused it and also being a man, it's not the sort of thing you like to admit.

    I have really just gotten to the point that I would like to do something about it even though it seems in my mind nothing will work.

    I have tried hypnosis once shortly after the event and several self hypnosis audio tracks but I think something else may be required.

    Has anybody else had this? Been treated or in treatment?

    I would like to hear from you.

    Thanks for reading.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Just Sara
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    Just Sara avatar
    3399 posts
    24 April 2020 in reply to gaz88

    Hey Gazza and welcome to the forum;

    I admire your bravery for reaching out as you have; it takes guts to disclose very personal information to strangers and ask for help. So well done!

    Traumatic experiences do affect the brain, so you've hit on something there. I'd call what you experienced - 'a trauma response'. Please don't feel bad as every person responds to situations individually.

    When in danger, the primal brain is programmed to go into fight/flight/freeze mode but when we don't have closure at the time, it stays with us inside causing flashbacks, triggers and symptoms like anxiety and panic; PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    I understand this concept as I've gone through it many times. Having a psychologist to speak with is highly recommended as is keeping a daily journal to track your behaviour to identify common times and situations for self assessment.

    CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is most commonly used for trauma. It's also called talking therapy because that's basically what you do with your therapist. Face to face can be difficult for the first time, but please don't let this deter you from seeking therapeutic support.

    Finding help as soon as possible is advised as the symptoms and behaviour you mention can turn into addictive patterns causing more problems than it's worth.

    Learn to be mindful; in the moment focusing on your physical environment, not in your head. When you do this the brain registers there's no threat and decreases hormone activity like rises in adrenaline and cortisol. Taking long deep breaths while doing so will tell your brain you're safe as when we're scared our breathing accelerates. In essence, you trick the brain through conscious actions.

    After you've calmed, write in your journal about the experience for future comparisons, event counts or to identify triggers as part of your self assessment routine. Take your journal with you to see your psych too. If you forget times/dates etc, it's handy for instant recall.

    I hope this helps. If you have questions I'm here most days.

    Kind thoughts;

    Sez

    PS...everything will work itself out ok. :)

  3. gaz88
    gaz88 avatar
    5 posts
    24 April 2020 in reply to Just Sara

    Thanks very much for your reply. I agree with everything you've added. The brain can be very powerful. I do have general anxiety sometimes and this maybe contributed. Help from a psychologist is something I am looking for. Just trying to see suitable one's near me, preferably a bulk billed one. I know that it's not a quick fix for deep engrained behaviours but I am determined to beat it.

    Thank you

    1 person found this helpful

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