Anuptaphobia (Fear of Staying Single)
Anuptaphobia is the irrational fear of staying single or of not being in a romantic relationship with anyone. People who suffer from this condition may experience very intense anxiety as a result of their fear of being alone. Their anuptaphobia may be so severe that they may almost never be single.
They may go from one relationship to the next with little to no time being single. This may make it very difficult to form healthy bonds with other people and also makes it difficult to truly get to know the other person.
Someone with anuptaphobia may irrationally fear that they may end up being single for the rest of their lives or that they will die old and alone. Such fears are very much out of touch with reality as no one can predict the future.
At any rate, just as someone with anuptaphobia may go through painstaking efforts to continuously be in a relationship with someone (regardless of the quality of the relationship), the opposite situation (of them being single) may be used as a way for them to justify their own self-fulfilling prophecy.
Depending on several factors such as their genetic makeup, they may also suffer from a very low self-esteem and may experience bouts of sadness or depression as well. In such a situation, it is not implausible to conceive that they may actually develop full blown major depressive disorder as a result of their anuptaphobia. However, this will likely vary from person to person.
Symptoms of Anuptaphobia
Someone suffering from anuptaphobia will likely experience high amounts of dread and worry as they will be over concerned about trying to be in a relationship with someone. They may resort to desperate measures and develop romantic relationships with people who they truly do not want to be with simply to fill the void they have within themselves of not wanting to be single. This occurrence can bring forth a plethora of additional problems to what they can already expect to experience with anuptaphobia by itself.
Their very low self-esteem and confidence issues may make them very desperate to be in a relationship with virtually anyone who is willing to consent, even if they are extremely unhappy during the relationship. Someone with anuptaphobia may believe that dealing with intense quarrels and even being harmed by their significant other (psychologically or physically) is much better than being single.
Such irrationality may be a large cause as to why they endure the amount of mental anguish they do. This, along with their ineptness with coping with intense emotions such as fear, shame, and sadness, may only deepen their anuptaphobia. However, as is the case with virtually every mental illness, there is a spectrum of severity where everyone will reside at differently.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of anuptaphobia:
Intense anxiety when not in a romantic relationship
Anxiety when thinking of being single
May quickly jump into relationships
Inability to cope with strong emotions
Low self-esteem and very self-critical
Causes of Anuptaphobia
There is no known cause of anuptaphobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may play very crucial roles in the development of this mental disorder. Someone who has a family history of mental illness, especially of anxiety disorders and phobias may have an increased chance of developing anuptaphobia. This may be strongly due to them having an increased chance of being genetically predisposed to develop mental illness.
If this were to be the case, it may then only take that they ensure some sort of traumatic experience for them to develop full blown anuptaphobia. Such a traumatic experience may be that they got their heart broken by someone they loved dearly or some other analogous situation.
Some other environmental factors that can possibly cause someone to develop anuptaphobia are that perhaps they were teased frequently as a child or made into an outcast by their peers growing up. Such feelings of inadequacy may grow into full blown mental illness if such emotions are intense enough, as well as if they have the proper genetics to do so.
Anuptaphobia may also be rooted in deep insecurities such as maintaining a poor self-image, as well as frequent self-loathing. Such convictions about oneself may be a very strong driving force for their intense desire to not be single. They may believe that being in a relationship will “fix” all of these problems and will fill the huge void within them.
Though there are many conclusions that we can make when looking at the main potential causes of anuptaphobia, there is no definitive cause as to why this disorder develops.
Anuptaphobia Treatments (abridged)
There is no treatment that is specifically designed for anuptaphobia. However, talk therapy, exposure therapy, and/or anti-anxiety medication may be able to significantly help reduce the symptoms associated with this condition.
Talk therapy may be a very effective approach for treating anuptaphobia as the therapist can help the patient to become much more aware of the faults in their thinking patterns. This, in addition to learning new and effective coping skills for when their symptoms exacerbate may be very advantageous for someone with an intense fear of being single.
Exposure therapy is another very common and effective form of therapy for people suffering from phobias, and this may also be the case for those dealing with anuptaphobia too. Just as the name implies, the therapist will help to expose the patient to their fear by slowly exposing them to that fear over time.
Theoretically, the more the patient will be exposed to their fear, the less their fear will bother them. Due to the intense amount of anxiety involved with this form of therapy, it is imperative that it be implemented by an experienced professional therapist.
If you think you may have anuptaphobia or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms outlined in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can get properly diagnosed and treated. Upon seeing her, she may refer you to see a specialist such as a psychiatrist or a therapist.
Exercise for Anuptaphobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including anuptaphobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of anuptaphobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of anuptaphobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with anuptaphobia over time.
Practicing Yoga for Anuptaphobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from anuptaphobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with anuptaphobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with anuptaphobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with anuptaphobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of anuptaphobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Reducing Caffeine for Anuptaphobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with anuptaphobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with anuptaphobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Anuptaphobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like anuptaphobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with anuptaphobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with anuptaphobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with anuptaphobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your anuptaphobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Psychiatric Medications for Anuptaphobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe anuptaphobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their anuptaphobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as anuptaphobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of anuptaphobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of anuptaphobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anuptaphobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with anuptaphobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with anuptaphobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with anuptaphobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with anuptaphobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Anuptaphobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from anuptaphobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with anuptaphobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of anuptaphobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Practicing Meditation for Anuptaphobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from anuptaphobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from anuptaphobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with anuptaphobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of anuptaphobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with anuptaphobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Exposure Therapy for Anuptaphobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as anuptaphobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with anuptaphobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with anuptaphobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their anuptaphobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with anuptaphobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.