|Classification and external resources|
Anthropophobia or Anthrophobia (literally "fear of people", from Greek: άνθρωπος, ánthropos, "man" and φόβος, phóbos, "fear"), also called interpersonal relation phobia or social phobia, is pathological fear of people or human company.
Anthropophobia is an extreme, pathological form of shyness and timidity. Being a form of social phobia, it may manifest as fears of blushing or meeting others' gaze, awkwardness and uneasiness when appearing in society, etc. A specific Japanese cultural form is known as taijin kyofusho.
Anthropophobia can be best defined as the fear of people in crowded situations, but can also go beyond and leave the person uncomfortable when being around just one person. Conditions vary depending on the person. Some cases are mild and can be handled while more serious cases can lead to complete social withdrawal and the exclusive use of written and electronic communication.
Like most phobias, anthropophobia can be traced back to traumatic experiences. Since social phobias are more complex than a fear of spiders or other organisms, it is believed that this specific phobia of people may be due to genetics and heredity.
In 2009, a study investigated the impact of anthropophobia in specific cultures. 50 patients diagnosed with anthropophobia, 50 patients diagnosed with neurasthenia, and 50 control subjects were recruited from hospitals in Beijing, China. Measures of anthropophobic and anxiety symptoms were administered to the subjects.[clarification needed] The patients with anthropophobia could not even make eye contact with others and were afraid of being watched. The conclusion drawn was that anthropophobics, like neurasthenics, experience anxiety and depression, but "more cognitively and less somatically".
- Wen-Shing Tseng, Handbook of Cultural Psychiatry, San Diego: Academic Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-12-701632-0, p. 238-239
- Isaac Meyer Marks, Fears, Phobias and Rituals: Panic, Anxiety, and Their Disorders, New York: Oxford University, 1987, ISBN 978-0-19-503927-6, p. 367
- Mario Maj et al., Personality Disorders, WPA series, evidence and experience in psychiatry 8, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2005, ISBN 978-0-470-09036-7, p.282
- Malcolm Tatum. "What is Anthropophobia?". Conjecture Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Anthropophobia – Fear of individuals or society". Phobia Source. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Amy Y. Zhang (2001). "Anthropophobia: its meaning and concomitant experiences". The International journal of social psychiatry. ISSN 0020-7640.
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