Scopophobia – The fear of being stared at


It makes me anxious when people look at me or if I’m the centre of attention when in a room. This is perhaps one reason why i want to work in front of an audience. To confront the situation.


Generally, phobias have been around for centuries. The concept of social phobias have been referred to as far back as 400 B.C. One of the first references to social phobias, such as Scopophobia, lies in a statement Hippocrates made about the overly shy individual. Hippocrates explained that a shy person, “loves darkness as light” and “thinks every man observes him.”

The actual term “Social Phobia” was first coined by French psychiatrist Pierre Janet in 1903. He used this term to describe his patients who exhibited a fear of being observed as they were participating in daily activities such as talking, playing the piano, or writing.

In the 1906 psychiatric journal The Alienist and Neurologist, Scopophobia was described:[8]

Then, there is a fear of being seen and a shamefacedness, which one sees in asylums. […] We called it scopophobia — a morbid dread of being seen. In minor degree, it is morbid shamefacedness, and the patient covers the face with his or her hands. In greater degree, the patient will shun the visitor and escape from his or her sight where this is possible. Scopophobia is more often manifest among women than among men.


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