Scopophobia or scoptophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by a morbid fear of being seen or stared at by others. Scopophobia can also be associated with a pathological fear of drawing attention to oneself.
Scopophobia is unique among phobias in that the fear of being looked at is considered both social and specific phobia because it is a specific occurrence which takes place in a social setting. Scopophobia generally arises from a traumatic event in the victim’s life it is likely that the person was subjected to public ridicule as a child. It is also possible that the person suffering from scopopobia is often subject to public staring, possibly due to a deformity or physical ailment.
Individuals with scopophobia generally exhibit symptoms in social situations when attention is brought upon them.
Many symptoms of Scopophobia include: an irrational feeling of panic, feeling of terror, feeling of dread, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, dry mouth, trembling, anxiety, and extreme avoidance measures taken.
One treatment option for those suffering with Scopophobia is to be stared at for a prolonged period of time and then describe their feelings. With the hope that the individual will either be desenstized to being stared at or discover the root of their Scopophobia. Exposure therapy is another treatment that is commonly prescribed. There are five steps to exposure therapy: evaluation, feedback, developing a fear hierarchy, exposure, building.