Anthropophobia can be defined as the fear of people and society/ community, and is often confused with Social Aversion Disorder. It is a phobia that may be on the rise in times of Covid, since many people night be scared of coming in contact with other people for fear of catching the Coronavirus. Once the fear crosses a certain threshold, it can be called anthropophobia.


  • Anticipatory anxiety over a social event.
  • Panic attacks in social situations.
  • Some early signs are: Unwillingness to make eye contact, fear of being judged and paranoia over being watched.


Early detection of anthropophobia increases chances of the condition being helped through treatment.

  • Exposure therapy can be useful, in which a person is repeatedly exposed to a safe amount of their stressors, which are then increased little by little so that they are systematically desensitized.
  • Cognitive Behavourial Therapy can be employed, which aims at understanding the root of the problem and urges the patient to move towards a healthier mind-set. The patient talks with a therapist who analyses their thoughts and encourages a more realistic view.
  • Relaxation training, which includes breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, exercise and sometimes even hypnosis. It helps to control the physical and emotional reaction to phobias.
  • In severe enough cases, patients may be prescribed medication such as beta-blockers, or anti-anxiety medication.

When to see a therapist?

If the fear of people and feelings of anxiety have persisted for over six months, and are interfering with your daily schedule or even causing you intense stress, you should consult a therapist.

Furthermore, if panic attacks at the thought of meeting other people become more and more common, setting up an appointment with a professional is the best way to get over such an issue.

Another worrying sign is if paranoia sets in, and you start believing that those around you are malicious towards you.


“Anthropophobia and Social Aversion Disorder are the same”

This is not true. Anthropophobia can fall under the umbrella of Social Aversion Disorder, but the two are not the same condition. People with SAD fear the judgement and rejection of other people, and thus, actually socialising with them.

“Anthropophobia is natural”

A certain amount of suspicion with regard to other people is normal, but once it crosses a threshold into anthropophobia, it certainly becomes a serious problem for a person.