Scopophobia And Its Signs, Treatment, And Side Effects

Scopophobia And Its Signs, Treatment, And Side Effects

People with scopophobia become anxious when they are stared at. Most people feel uncomfortable when someone is staring at them, which is a normal reaction. But a person who has scopophobia feels extremely anxious when someone is staring at him. The symptoms are so severe that they hinder him from functioning properly. Here is everything you need to know about scopophobia.

Symptoms Of Scopophobia

The symptoms of scopophobia are mentioned below.

  • A person having scopophobia cannot concentrate on things if he is being stared at.
  • When someone stares at him, then he starts to blush.
  • The heartbeat of the person increases when he is in a public place.
  • The person starts to sweat and shake even sometimes his mouth becomes dry.
  • In severe cases, the person starts to get panic attacks when someone is looking at him.

Causes Of Scopophobia

Following are the common causes that can develop scopophobia in people.

  • A study shows that people who have other disorders like social anxiety disorder also develop scopophobia.
  • People who have disorders that draw attention also develop scopophobia. Like people with epilepsy or Tourette’s syndrome commonly develop scopophobia.
  • Often bully in teenagers can also be the cause of developing scopophobia.
  • People who are involved in an accident that affects their appearance also develop scopophobia.

How Scopophobia Affects A Person?

Scopophobia stops a person from socializing. In severe cases, a person tries to avoid any face-to-face interaction. Here is how scopophobia can affect the life of the person.

  1. Those who have scopophobia think that a person is looking at them even when no one is not looking at them. Most of the time, the person with scopophobia thinks that someone is looking at him when the other person is looking in his general direction. They assume that the other person is judging them, which increases the anxiety. A study showed that people with social anxiety disorder commonly think that someone near them is looking at them.
  2. People who have scopophobia misinterpret the facial expression of the person looking at them then think that they are in danger. But the problem is they do not look in the person’s eyes and notice the expression or features of the person, which misleads them.
  3. People with scopophobia avoid looking in the eyes of the person. This is the main reason they cannot understand the true intentions of the person. They always feel a threat from the person who is looking at them. On the other hand, the other person also thinks scopophobia person is not concentrating on communication.
  4. People who have scopophobia are good at understanding anger expressions. But the drawback is that they are not good at understanding other expressions or cannot understand other expressions.

What Can Trigger Scopophobia

Following are the situations that can trigger scopophobia.

  • Suppose someone has an initial level of scopophobia. In that case, he will only be triggered under severe conditions, like when he is asked to address a crowd where everyone is looking at him.
  • Those who have severe scopophobia feel anxious, even going out or too small gatherings.
  • Suppose someone is looking at a person who has scopophobia. In that case, it can trigger the person even sometimes lead to a panic attack.

The triggering factors of every person differ depending upon the cause that developed this phobia in them. However, all the mentioned above situations are common triggering factors for all people who have scopophobia.


The good news is that any phobia can be treated if a person wants to. There are two approaches used to treat scopophobia.

Cognitive Therapy

In this type of therapy, you will have regular sessions with a therapist. He will help you get rid of negative thoughts that occur in your mind every time someone looks at you. Those who have an initial level of scopophobia most of the time get better after this therapy. Their way of thinking and behavior starts to change gradually.

Exposure Therapy

In this technique, the person is asked to face the situations in which he feels anxious. The therapist helps the person by making him feel comfortable in these situations. He also helps the person by changing his view and thoughts about the triggering situation. This therapy is very helpful as it enables the person to socialize.


The most common symptom of scopophobia is anxiety. However, if a person experiences severe anxiety, then some medicine can also help. This medication helps in reducing anxiety attacks in triggering situations.

Some Tips

What you will do if you experience any symptoms of scopophobia. Suppose you feel anxiety or any other symptom of scopophobia. In that case, you can use these quick strategies to alleviate the symptoms.

  1. Close your eyes for few seconds to help yourself in calming down. It will also help you to avoid any stimulation.
  2. Now take a deep breath in and then exhale slowly. It will also help you to relax your whole body.
  3. If you are at someplace where you can walk, then taking few steps can also help you.
  4. Take a small break and go to a place where you feel relaxed. It will help you to regain your proper senses.
  5. If you are attending any therapy sessions, then try to remember what your therapist asked you to think in such situations.
  6. If you think that there is a person you can trust at that place, then try to talk to them.

All these strategies will help you to get quick relief from any anxiety attack.

Who Should Get The Treatment?

Treatment is necessary for those who have a severe level of scopophobia. So these people do not have any social contact, which makes their condition worse. They even get anxious when communicating with their doctor or therapist.

But the treatment is important for those too who have an initial level of scopophobia. These mild symptoms lead to severe attacks.

In A Nutshell

Scopophobia can affect the life of a person badly. Dealing with scopophobia can be difficult, but it is effective if you get the proper treatment.



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