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Thread: Monophobia

  1. #1

    Monophobia

    So, my wife is suffering from monophobia (the fear of being alone) and I want to help her overcome this irrational and debilitating fear.
    I am facing a challenge here:
    - although she has acknowledged/admitted to me that she's suffering from this condition, she does not want to talk about it and is trying to "deal with it" on her own.
    - she/we are not looking for prescription medications as a quick fix.
    - she is embarrassed by the phobia and has hidden it from almost everyone
    - she does not like the idea of visiting a therapist.

    So, my question is... Is there a program or routine that I (we) can begin on our own before resorting to professional psychologists and/or medication?
    I guess I'm looking for an "immersion therapy" routine where we would begin with 5 minutes alone each day and eventually graduate to hour(s) and half day(s) until the fear has been faced and controlled.

    Thanks,
    Mr. A

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2006
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    Scotland
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    Re: Monophobia

    Hiya Mr.Anonymous

    Firstly a huge welcome to phobics you will find loads of support both here on the forum and in the chat room

    I myself suffer both monophobia and agoraphobia so can relate entirely to what your wife is going through and to how restricting this is for you as her husband

    For me the monophobia is one of the scariest petrifying part of my many fears the panic when left just for five mins sends me into such unbearable panics i become hysterical, the therapist we saw said the only way for me to try and overcome this was for my hubby to just go about his normal daily activities eg shopping, walking the dog etc easy for him to say but again the shopping has to be done the dog has to be walked so im left without an option of being alone as due to the my agoraphobia i also cannot go out with him

    I am sorry i cannot advise you on a "immersion therapy" routine other than some tips i found do help me a little which are every time hubby goes out he has mobile phone with him so i can always reach him , that and i either get him to go out early in mornings so i can try and sleep to overcome the immense fear of being alone , i know this is not always a possibility but another thing i do and i know in ways is not helping me but i call a neighbour and will ask if she would please stay with me a while

    Please tell your wife there is nothing to be embarrassed about , maybe something triggered this i know mines was brought on by a lot of things in my life re handicapped son that stopped breathing many times a day but i coped back then after years of this then the death of my father and four close friends in a very short space of six months seemed to heighten my mono and agro , sorry im rattling on here about myself my apologies just wanted you to know i feel your pain both of you

    Meds i have tried many and yet to find anything that helped me but everyone is differant for some medication can indeed be a lifesaver and make them overcome there fears
    Sorry for going on here just wanted you to know your not alone and please send my love to your wife , i wish you both all the best for the future in getting over this horrendous phobia

    love dino
    xxxxxx

  3. #3

    Re: Monophobia

    thanks dino,

    the phone is a given/constant for us.
    she does challenge herself sometimes... she'll drive a short way by herself and if needed, call me.
    I try to encourage her to do more of it.

    I have a lot of anger/frustration/fear over her condition... it controls us/our children/our lives and there is (seemingly) nothing I can do to combat it with/for her.
    I do not really understand where the line(s) between support and enabling are... I don't want to push her to do anything she can't, but I don't want to sit back and ignore it all and pretend that there's nothing wrong; sometimes I feel that ignoring it is her way of coping... out of sight, out of mind, just not talked about... until she gets herself into a situation where she may have to be alone and a panic attack ensues... then she's apologetic and wants to be proactive in fighting this.

    I am the man who got everything he ever wanted.
    I have a wonderful, intelligent, beautiful wife.
    We have two healthy, beautiful children.
    We both have educations and good careers.
    But monophobia is threatening us and I want to fight it for my family's sake.
    I have read that this can be a hereditary condition, one that is more common in women and emerges in the late 20's/early 30's.
    I want to know/understand this condition; I want to be informed and prepared to not only help my wife over it, but be ready if (godforbid) this one day affects my daughter.

  4. #4

    Re: Monophobia

    Hello Mr.Anonymous welcome to the site,

    I'm ex monophobic here and male too it happens to anyone, When i had my monophobia i really didn't want to talk about it with my partner i will tell you how monophobia can affect a person me a male would lock myself in the bathroom and curl up on the floor while my partner had to go out, I also suffer from agoraphobia I'm Dino's twin but less nutty (known dino for years so have a joke lol)

    So, my question is... Is there a program or routine that I (we) can begin on our own before resorting to professional psychologists and/or medication?
    I guess I'm looking for an "immersion therapy" routine where we would begin with 5 minutes alone each day and eventually graduate to hour(s) and half day(s) until the fear has been faced and controlled.
    This is the way i did it well myself and my partner that was about six years ago i can now be left on my own for weeks or even months well more as I'm over the monophobia unable to remember how long it took though but we think about 6 to 8 months, We took things slowly and i would recommend you download the relaxation CD off this forum it's free and it helped me it may help your partner too, If you need more info please let us know.

    Best wishes Paul.

    ps: She should pop into chat or we can talk on the voice server as it's all free and there is no shame in having a phobia.

  5. #5

    Re: Monophobia

    thanks jk, ex monophobic... those are the most wonderful words I've ever read. I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that you've overcome the phobia.

    Mrs. A has had this for about 7 years. It started shortly after we were married.
    For the first year or two she (we) thought it was just a driving issue, but she eventually figured out that it was fear of being alone. She didn't tell me right away though, she was OK with me just thinking it was a driving issue.
    The worst of it was 2 years ago when she wasn't able to go to work for a couple of weeks. There was an incident at work that triggered the phobia and subsequent panic attack. She couldn't go to work and she couldn't say home alone either... we were both missing work and it was a real conundrum. That was when she finally explained everything to me. That was the first time I fully understood all that was going on with her.
    She had kept it to herself for years; she was trying to fight it by herself, ashamed and confused by what was going on.
    Now, she has reached the point where she hasn't had a panic attack in about a year, but she is always afraid that she'll have one ("we have nothing to fear but fear itself")
    She's back at work. She considers anyone that she knows to be a "safe person"... as long as she's with someone she knows, she's OK and that includes co-workers.

    Where We are At Now:
    - her mother has (or had) a similar condition and has been able to overcome it (for the most part).
    - Mrs. A wants to gradually challenge herself. Tomorrow she is planning on driving herself to work (with me following behind) and then driving home alone (approx. 5 mile drive).
    - She does not want to implement a set routine (i.e week one, I leave for 10 minutes a day, week 2 15 minutes, etc). She is concerned that thinking all day about the upcoming challenge would ruin her for the day and send her into a panic by the time the challenge arrived.

    I'll keep posting here with updated, etc. It's therapeutic for me. To respect her wishes, I don't discuss her condition with anyone. My family does not know. My friends do not know. I live with this in secret just like she does. I don't know why it took me so long to find this place.

  6. #6

    Re: Monophobia

    I watched a portion of HBO's documentary titled "Panic" last night.
    There are a lot of successful, wealthy, and famous people who suffer from panic disorder and this documentary is worth watching.
    I know that there is a lot of guilt, depression, and feelings of inadequacy that accompany victims of panic disorder... it is great to see that anyone, even the famous/wealthy/healthy/beautiful people of the world can be overcome by panic disorder.... there is no shame in it.

    What I've come to realize is that it is the FEAR OF A PANIC attack that fuels Mrs. Anonymous' monophobia... if she did not have panic attacks, she would not be afraid to be alone, she would not be afraid to drive alone, etc, etc, etc.
    She is not really afraid of being alone... she is afraid of being alone and having a panic attack.
    She is not really afraid of driving (alone)... she is afraid of driving (alone) and having a panic attack.
    Fear of Fear (or fear of panic) is what dominates her feelings and behaviors and there are certain places/situations that she really dreads having a panic attack in and those places/situations will therefore magnify the fear.

    We just returned from a nice family vaction.
    Mrs. Anonymous was driving to and from work before the vacation but it will probably now take a bit of effort for her to get back into the routine.

    The more I learn about all of this, the more disappointed I am in myself for those earlier times when I did not understand her condition and I would become angry and frustrated over it all.
    I hope to maintain enough strength and wisdom to not only be completely understanding of how crippling the panic disorder is but also to encourage her to test it, challenge it, and beat it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    USA ,,,
    Posts
    2,250

    Re: Monophobia


    Mr. Anonymous...
    Nice to meet you . I have to say your wife is very fortunate to have someone who really understands what she is suffering .. You are among the few spouses I think who really can be of the true support she needs because of this learning .. therefore being able to understand..


    Good job ..
    Florence

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  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    2
    Hello Mr Anoymous,

    You posted this 3 years ago. I would be very interested to know how your wife is doing? I am new to this forum and I am ready to fix this issue! I have always been ready but now I am committed no matter how scared I am.

    It began in my late teens. I was a heavy binge drinker at that time. One day, out of the blue, my body began to tremor all over while I was at work. I went straight to my manager. She was asking me, Have you ever had seizures? I said no. I don't know what is going on. She called 911 and they told me I was having a panic attack. I was like, Okay? I wasn't panicking about anything but if you say so.
    I just thought my body was malnutritioned because I drank the night before. I quickly discovered. That was not the case. I was having panic attacks all the time. I seen a doctor and he put me on a anti-depressant

    From then on. The fear set in. I was always afraid of being alone only in a area where I can not reach help by someone I know I can trust. This has dictated my entire adult life as I am now 37. Here are some examples"

    WHERE WE PURCHASED OUR FIRST HOME. It had to be close to my home town and in a sub-division with other neighbors in a close proximity with a fire department or police station close by but what I truly wanted was a large piece of land with no neighbors where we could have the freedom to ride 4 wheeler's and have fires and shoot guns. LOL

    HOW WE VACATION. I always have to have another family go with us because if I don't my husbands time on vacation is baby sitting me and not enjoying himself. For an example. He is a "in the closet smoker|" he is not aloud to leave my site to even smoke a cigarette if we are not in my home town. If I have to go to the bathroom in a restaurant, mall or theme park he literally has to wait for me right outside of the door or I will not go. But what I truly want, I would love to have the freedom to experience things on my own in unfamiliar places.

    MISSING IMPORTANT EVENTS. My daughter was suppose to be the flower girl in a wedding. I was not able to drive to the church because it wasn't in my "Safe Zone". I have a dear friend that had a terrible tragedy happen in her life and her son died. She needed me to come to the hospital and be with her and I could not drive myself there because of this stupid phobia!

    This has got to stop! and the worst thing is. I am seeing huge signs in my daughter. She is only 10. I never acted like this when I was 10 but she definitely does some things that the average child would not do.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 

 

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