Nyctophobia – Fear Of The Dark. It is very common for most people to be a little afraid of the dark. Nyctophobia (a.k.a. Lygophobia, Scotophobia) is more than just a simple and unexplained fear of the dark or of dark places though. It’s a deep seated, extreme fear that has a negative effect on the life of the sufferer.
It is commonly seen in children. Studies have indicated that the fear builds up starting when the child is about three years of age and most children are also known to get over the fear by the age of 10. If it continues into adulthood Nyctophobia can develop into the most crippling fear which interferes in a negative manner in everyday life.
It’s often associated with other specific fears too – a fear of ghosts, monsters, strange noises and sleeping alone to give but a few examples.
Anyone with a fear of the dark will always sleep with a light on. They will also go out of their way to avoid dark places. When you consider that it gets dark every day you can see how this starts to be a problem.
Like many other phobias, the cause of nyctophobia may be associated with real-life experiences. It may have been that a traumatic incident involving the dark, the behavious of peers or the influence of the media.
Nyctophobia – Fear of the Dark: Introduction
No one need fear the dark again, there are treatment programs that really can cure Nyctophobia and there’s one we particularly recommend:
When you think about it, nyctophobia is not a fear that’s related to the darkness itself. It’s more of the hidden preceived dangers that lie within it.
The fear usually first manifests itself in children but often continues and develops into adulthood. As to the actual cause – that varies. Some say that it’s an inbuilt fear in all of us – a kind of protection mechanism against all the unseen predatirs which hunt under the cover of darkness. However, it’s much more likely that it’s down to behaviours, situations or events in childhood.
It could be that someone close to us had a fear of the dark and we picked up on this fear and replicated it in ourselves. Alternatively, it could relate to a particular traumatic event that occured in darkness. Or, just as likely is that it was picked up after watching scary movies which always depict the scary event happenin in the dark!
If we’re honest, most of us get a little nervy in the dark but Nyctophobia is more than a few nerves! It’s full on extreme and irrational fear which leave the sufferer terrified of the dark. The result is often sleeping with the light on, being home before dark, making sure their always in a well lit environment and simply not going out at night.
Nyctophobia – Symptoms
Any individual who suffers from nyctophobia becomes nervous in a darkened environment. He/she is reluctant to venture out at night. They are afraid to turn off lights during night times and always leave lights on unnecessarily. They are in the habit of sleeping with the lights on through the night.
If forced to spend time in the dark, they may experience symptoms including the following:
- they have panic attacks,
- become nervous,
- experience dizziness,
- their mouth becomes dry,
- they feel ill,
- sweat profusely.
Individuals with nyctophobia become defensive and distressed if forced to spend time in the dark. They may also make a concerted attempt to run away from dark rooms and areas of the house.
Nyctophobia – Treatment Options
One of the most practical solutions to deal with nyctophobia is to install a night light. However, this works only indoors in one’s own home. It doesn’t cure the phobia either – merely finds a way round the problem
In extreme cases, however, the most fruitful solution is to seek help from a professional therapist who can work with the patient to reduce the fear and help him/her lead a better quality life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and systematic desensitization, where the therapist regularly exposes the patient to darkness and helps him/her gain more control of the fear is a popular method.
Hypnotherapy can be used to find the source of the fear. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is another method that involves reconstruction of the basic reality of the individual that feeds the fear. Breathing exercises for the purpose of relaxation, and talk therapy are other techniques that can help along the way. Talk therapy involves the therapist talking to the victim and digging his/her past experiences to find the root cause of the fear.
Medication can sometimes be prescribed to tame the physical anxiety symptoms that may occur. Again, this doesn’t cure the problem though.
Fear of the Dark – Self Help Treatment
Don’t let the fear of the dark take over your life anymore – take control again. Find out how easy it is to overcome and cure Nyctophobia, the fear of the dark and how you can quickly and permanently cure your fears and stop all associated symptoms such as panic attacks and Agoraphobia – these self help programs are totally GUARANTEED and completely RISK FREE.