Fear of men is an extreme, persistent fear of men. The presence or image of a man can stimulate this long-term emotional response in some people.Although fear of men is not the phobia of independence mentioned in this article Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5), which is a specific phobia that can affect people of all genders. Certain phobias have their own DSM-5 classifications.
Androphobia is the scientific name for fear of men. It comes from “andros,” the Greek word for human, and “phobia,” which means fear or fear.
Fear of men is a type of anxiety disorder. If left unchecked, it can trigger abnormal behaviors and bodily reactions. Professional intervention can help relieve these symptoms.
What are men’s fears?
Fear is a natural response when we perceive a risk to our safety. However, fear of men usually outweighs any possibility of threat or harm. Androphobia is caused by the brain’s inability to properly process fear.
If you struggle with fear of men, you may find yourself avoiding men all the time. You realize your fear is unfounded, but you can’t get rid of it. Androphobia can impair your ability to function at home, at work, or in social situations.
Fear of men and hatred of men
Fearing men is not the same as hating men. Prejudice or deep contempt for men is called misunderstanding. Its counterpart is misogyny, hatred of women.
People with androphobia do not hate men, but they experience severe anxiety and worry when thinking about or seeing men.
Fear of men can cause a person to feel excessively anxious about men, even when men are not a threat to safety. Violent reactions may include:
- panic attack
- palpitations or rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- strong urge to escape
- Difficulty focusing
- muscle tension
- sleep problems
Certain phobias, such as the fear of men, linger due to dysfunction of the neural pathways in the brain responsible for defensive behavior. A part of the brain called the amygdala becomes overstimulated and unable to reduce emotional responses to certain triggers.
Hyperstimulation comes from unexpected, harmful environments or learned behaviors.
Androphobia can arise from a variety of traumatic events at any stage of life. This unfortunate situation causes the brain to repeatedly overreact to things that remind people of the event.
Examples of inciting fear include:
- child abuse
- Violence such as robbery
- Sexual trauma, such as sexual harassment, assault, or rape
What is trauma?Type, stage and treatment
Sensitization is a learned fear response to an exaggerated emotional response to certain cues. Research shows that by associating things with negative events, people may become conditioned to fear something or someone.
For example, cues can be smells, images, or sounds. Although the cue may not be related to the adverse event, it triggers fearful thoughts.
In some cases, fear of men can be contagious. Observational conditioning occurs when a person sees other people exhibiting phobia symptoms. The first began to exhibit fearful behavior when prompted, even though they were never in danger.
Other mental health disorders
Fear of men may also develop or escalate with other mental illnesses. Mental illnesses often overlap and affect each other. Co-occurring conditions may include addiction, bipolar disorder, or other phobias.
Fear of men and other specific phobias drive people to use alcohol or drugs to escape. Additionally, substance use disorders can further disrupt brain function and make androphobia worse. Treatment needs to address any comorbidities to be effective.
If you suspect that you have androphobia, mention it to your healthcare provider. They may want to screen you for this or other psychiatric disorders.
Your healthcare provider may refer you to a licensed mental health professional for an official diagnosis. Clinicians will base their findings on comprehensive interviews with reference to standard diagnostic criteria.
Your mental health professional will look for:
- severe anxiety about a specific thing, in this case a male
- The object of fear (male) almost always causes immediate fear
- You avoid the object of your fear or find it hard to bear
Treatment may help reduce the severity of symptoms or even help you overcome your fear entirely; however, treatment options are limited.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure therapy has been shown to cure phobias in some people. CBT involves identifying unhealthy or harmful behaviors or thought patterns, examining them, and working to change them into healthy behaviors or thought patterns. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing someone to the source of the phobia and gradually increasing the sense of intimacy.
In general, no medication is usually prescribed for phobias. However, anti-anxiety medications can be prescribed if you and your healthcare provider think they are right for you.
Your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to face your fears and improve your quality of life.
Psychotherapy is talk therapy. The term refers to a variety of treatments designed to help you identify and resolve bad thoughts and emotions.
Psychotherapy is delivered by licensed mental health professionals in one-on-one or group settings. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are common forms of this intervention.
Your healthcare provider or therapist may suggest self-sedation techniques, such as:
- breathing exercises
- affirmatively speaking to itself
- muscle relaxation training
Currently, there are no data to confirm the effectiveness of using drugs to treat androphobia. Some medications may work by reducing associated anxiety or depression symptoms. However, you should only take them under the supervision of your healthcare provider.
There are a number of ways you can help build inner strength and reduce fear-related stress. Try one or more of the following ideas with your healthcare provider’s approval:
- Keep a daily journal to track your emotions and behavior
- practice gratitude
- Have a safety net of trusted family members or friends to help you through an emotional crisis
- Get enough sleep every night
Mental Health Hotline
If you or a loved one is struggling with androphobia, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for support and treatment facilities in your area Information.
For more mental health resources, see our national helpline database.
Androphobia is an abnormal, uncontrollable fear of men. It causes profound distress when seeing or thinking of men. It develops from trauma, environmental influences, or co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as addiction. Treatments vary, but usually include therapy with a mental health professional and relaxation exercises. Medication use is rare unless there is underlying anxiety and/or depression requiring treatment.
Feeling “nervous” or panicking whenever you see a guy is your body’s way of dealing with unresolved conflict. If your fear of men doesn’t go away or escalate, your relationships, school or work performance, and overall health can all suffer.
It is impractical to completely avoid the presence or sight of a man. Discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider or mental health professional right away. Rest assured, phobias are common, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed.
Talking about your androphobia can release stress and allow you to manage irrational fears. Hope you can let go of your doubts and create positive connections and connections with men.
If you start to have chest pain, have trouble breathing, or think about self-harm when you think about men, call 9-1-1 for immediate help.
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