Understanding phobia fear of the dark: is there any treatment?

If you are having trouble with the phobia fear of the dark, perhaps you can find some help here. Check out this article to know more about this phobia.

Fear of darkness is common among children, which is even considered as a normal part of development. However, if nighttime fears continue into childhood, it is likely that you are suffering from the phobia fear of the dark.

That does not mean children are safe from this phobia. If your child cannot sleep or are overly anxious due to darkness, he/ she probably has a phobia.

What causes a nighttime phobia and is there any cure? Find the answers in the following part.

Symptoms Of Phobia Fear Of The Dark

Fear of the dark, also known as nyctophobia, have similar symptoms as in other phobias. Suffers may find themselves extremely scared or anxious when they are in the dark or just thinking about being in the dark.

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Some people are scared of the dark

Physical symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Trembling
  • Upset stomach
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Racing heart rate

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Serious anxiety
  • Panic attack
  • Feel like you might pass out or die
  • Detachment from reality
  • Want to escape the situation ASAP

Causes Of Nyctophobia

Severe fear of darkness can be attributed to some reasons as follow.

Trauma

Experts believe that any phobia might be associated with a trauma that a person experienced in the past. Nyctophobia is no exception.

Nyctophobia may stem from past traumatic experience

It is normal for a child to be afraid of the night. Perhaps, what they actually fear are the creatures lurking in the dark that they imagine. 

However, such a normal fear can turn into a phobia if the child experienced traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse or mistreatment. For example, some children are punished by being left alone in the dark.

Gene

You might be surprised to know that some people are genetically more prone to anxiety than others. Therefore, they are also more likely to have phobias.

Drugs/ Alcohol/ Stimulants

Drugs, alcohol, or stimulants can increase your anxiety levels. Perhaps you are not that scared of the dark, but if you drink too much caffeine, you might be more anxious than normal.

Other causes include exposure to materials containing horror, gore, or paranormal activity in childhood.

How To Deal With Nyctophobia

For Children

It might be more complicated to help your children overcome their fear of darkness as you cannot rationalize with them like adults.

My advice is to listen to their stories and find out the reasons, which may be related to films or so.

=> Explore more:

Source: https://phobia-fear-release.com/

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/apeirophobia-the-fear-of-eternity/498368/
https://www.zillow.com/blog/how-to-choose-exterior-paint-colors-for-your-house-80006/
https://www.infoescola.com/psicologia/acarofobia/
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/agoraphobia-and-the-telecommuter/379483/
www.news-medical.net/health/Button-Phobia.aspx
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308928186_A_strange_case_of_Agoraphobia_A_case_Study
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11623110
About Jan Heering 5 Articles
I am a Phobia Treatment Expert, Master Coach in Mental Health, trainer and author in Amsterdam, Netherlands and have researched and written extensively with the subject of phobia.

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