How to Overcome the Fear of Being Alone

Some people fear being alone because they feel that their isolation will breed loneliness. This is a normal anxiety, especially among teenagers and young people who have not developed a strong sense of personal identity yet, and who thus must rely on others to motivate them and boost their self-esteem. However, with some people the terror of being left by oneself extends far beyond those normal apprehensions. Some people experience deep dread and panic if they are by themselves for even a moment, especially in an unfamiliar place. Rather than fearing loneliness, these people seem to have an irrational terror of unknown forces, a terror that overtakes them the moment companions leave their sight. This is a kind of social phobia. Help is out there, fortunately.

Those Who Fear Being Alone Miss Out On Life

People who suffer from a profound phobia of being by themselves are often forced to lead severely restricted lives. Those who simply fear loneliness, and do not want to spend Saturday night at home, can easily take the subway or bus by themselves, to attend a party. Not so for victims of that social phobia that forbids them from being unaccompanied at any one time.

People with this kind of phobia need to always have others around them. That means their lives are often circumscribed by the schedules of other people. Often, they can not go to work, as it would require them to commute independently; thus, often these people do not have jobs. If you simply can not stand to be unaccompanied for even one minute, it's easy to become a burden on everyone around you. If one member of a married couple is always scared to be alone, his or her partner is forced to spend much of his or her time helping the phobic individual accomplish basic tasks of living.

NLP Can Help

Fortunately, this type of severe social anxiety responds very well to treatment that uses the techniques of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy. The reason that NLP can help is that the kind of deep, instinctive panic described in the previous paragraph is what is known as a "conditioned response" from your unconscious mind.

What is a conditioned response?

A conditioned response is like a set of simple computer program instructions from your unconscious mind. Usually, if your thoughts were to be expressed as a computer program, they'd look like a complex, interconnected web of different "if-then" functions and subroutines. In your ordinary, conscious thoughts, one stimulus can lead to many possible responses. For example, if you saw a hot dog, consciously, you'd have the option of thinking many different things. You could think about how you were hungry, or how the hot dog looks phallic, or how it reminds you of pop art; you could even think of something seemingly unrelated, such as your upcoming trip to Spain.

Unconscious conditioned responses do not work that way. Conditioned responses are like what happened to Pavlov's dogs: the great Russian researcher got the poor hounds to the point where they would salivate whenever they heard a bell ring, automatically. The dogs could not help it. They could only have one reaction in response to the stimulus of the bell.

Phobia Of Isolation

Those who experience a deep, lasting panic when they find themselves unaccompanied are experiencing a simple conditioned response. Their unconscious has somehow been programmed by events in their past to send them into state of panic when others are not around. People who fear being alone can easily be helped with hypnotherapy and NLP.