Understanding Scopophobia: What You Need to Know


Scopophobia, also known as social anxiety or the fear of being watched or seen, is a type of anxiety disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It can manifest in a variety of ways, from being uncomfortable in large groups to experiencing fear of performing or speaking in public.

If you suffer from scopophobia, it’s important to understand the disorder and seek professional help to overcome it. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at scopophobia, its symptoms, causes and treatment options.

Symptoms of Scopophobia

Symptoms of scopophobia can vary depending on the individual. Some common signs that you may be suffering from scopophobia include:

  • Intense fear of social situations
  • Avoiding eye contact with others
  • Feeling self-conscious or embarrassed in social situations
  • Sweating excessively
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea or other digestive issues
  • Chest pain or discomfort

Causes of Scopophobia

Scopophobia can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, childhood experiences, and other environmental factors. Some common causes of scopophobia include:

  • Family history of anxiety or depression
  • Childhood trauma or abuse
  • Being raised in an environment where criticism or shame was common
  • Having a shy or introverted personality
  • Experiencing negative social experiences, such as being bullied or publicly embarrassed

Treatment Options for Scopophobia

There are a variety of treatment options available for scopophobia. Here are some of the most common approaches:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talk therapy that teaches patients how to identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive, realistic ones. For people with scopophobia, CBT can help them identify the root of their fear and develop skills to cope with social situations.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the patient to social situations that cause anxiety in a controlled environment. Over time, patients can learn to cope with the anxiety and become more comfortable in social situations.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of scopophobia. Anti-anxiety medications and beta blockers are often used to help reduce physical symptoms such as sweating and trembling.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to therapy and medication, making a few lifestyle changes can also help reduce symptoms of scopophobia. These could include:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation
  • Engaging in regular exercise to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs, which can exacerbate symptoms


If you suffer from scopophobia, it’s important to seek professional help. With the right treatment, you can learn to cope with social situations and overcome your fear of being watched or seen. Remember that you are not alone, and that many people suffer from anxiety disorders similar to scopophobia. With the right support and treatment, you can overcome your fear and live a happier, healthier life.


What is scopophobia?

Scopophobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by intense and irrational fear of being watched or stared at by others. It can lead to social isolation and affect a person’s ability to function in daily life.

What are the symptoms of scopophobia?

Symptoms of scopophobia can vary from person to person but may include flushing, sweating, heart palpitations, trembling, and panic attacks when faced with the prospect of being watched or stared at. In some cases, individuals with scopophobia may avoid eye contact and social situations altogether.

What are the treatment options for scopophobia?

Treatment options for scopophobia may include cognitive-behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, and medication. Cognitive-behavioural therapy aims to change negative thought patterns, while exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to situations that trigger anxiety. Medications may be prescribed by a doctor to help manage symptoms. It’s important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of scopophobia.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
2. Gutiérrez-García, A. G., del Río-Casanova, L., Rodríguez-Violante, M., & Calderón-Fajardo, H. (2014). Scopophobia in social anxiety disorder: A case report. Revista de Neurología, 58(4), 165–167. https://doi.org/10.33588/rn.5804.2013214
3. Lebowitz, M. S., & Gorelik, H. (2020). Understanding and treating social anxiety disorder: A comprehensive guide for clinicians. Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119619621