Androphobia: What is it? Androphobia is a persistent and abnormal fear of men.
Yes; a fear of men. And it is more common than you think it is. Androphobic people are mainly female and the fear usually develops at a young age if not after a significant trauma involving men. Androphobic people have a tendency to feel unsafe and extreme amounts of discomfort and anxiety around men. They also adopt the habit of avoiding men and hold no relationships or connections with many men if any men at all.
Some people reading these words will think this is the silliest phobia they have ever heard of- even sillier than Agyrophobia (fear of crossing the street). But I am terribly sorry to inform your ignorant self that this is a very real fear, that many women live with.
My Androphobia began to develop since before I could remember. I grew up around men who walked into my bedroom smelling of liquor cabinets and had a father with abusive tendencies… so it really wasn’t hard to adopt this phobia.
Unfortunately: I let it rule my life without even recognizing it. My phobia went undiagnosed until this year! This caused me to have great amounts of anxiety whenever I went out in public and I mistook this for social anxiety. So I never went to parties and I rarely had close guy friends… in fact it got so bad that my brain put up “fail safes” to keep me safe. My fear deepened so much that I became only interested in girls and found myself Genderfluid.
My brain adapted to protect me.
This year when I finally began to work though my childhood trauma’s and finally confronted my father after all these years- slowly these barriers left my mind.
I am definitely not saying that now I can go out to parties and not have an anxiety attack because there are men in the room- when the barriers left I started to acknowledge that I was allowing myself to have feelings for men and the “masculinity” that I had adapted myself to was slowly fading because I didn’t feel this urgency to protect myself anymore. Because the threat was less imminent.
So: What does it feel like?
Before I started working through my trauma and even now, I could not be in a public space with men. The thought that immediately went through my mind every time a man passed me was “Oh my gosh, I am going to get raped” or “I need to get out of here, I am going to get murdered”. Seems extreme, right? Well, that is how it feels. It feels like my heart and my head started to panic long before my eyes could even see a man. Anxiety attack after anxiety attack, I ran away from men. Any male friends that I had were either gay, bisexual or had known me my whole life. That was the only way I felt somewhat safe- because they either were definitely not interested or less interested than most, in raping me or they saw me like a sister- so I was safe.
I know there are probably some women and even men reading this and they know exactly how it feels: to try and hide the sweat droplets collecting on your brow as you exchange glances with a man.
You are not alone- and you can get through this.
How do I know this? I spent 18 years suffering and having one of the most extreme cases of Androphobia to now being in a committed relationship with a male and having gone from going out once a month in a public space now go into public places with men at least twice a week: I haven’t had an anxiety attack in three months.
From one Androphobe to another: You got this.