Nyctophobia – Scared of the Dark


Irrational fear of the dark is termed as nyctophobia. The mere thought of being alone in the dark can send shivers down the victim’s spine. More than often, a nyctophobic individual showcases a host of symptoms in addition to stress and anxiety. Usually, the victim will be seen sweating and trembling when left alone in the dark. Besides this, the sufferer might complain about nausea and vomiting because of the intense fear. The fact that one can’t see anything in the dark compels one’s mind to think about the worst case scenarios. One ends up creating wild and scary images in their mind, thereby worsening the condition.

Recent studies have uncovered the fact that more than 90% children live with some kind of fear. The fear of darkness is the most common fear amongst children of all age groups. It tends to build up when a person is around 3 years old and manifests into a phobia, if a person is unable to get over it in his/her early days of life. Needless to say, the ailment has the ability to disrupt one’s quality of sleep, thereby causing great stress and poor productivity at various tasks. There have been reports in the past wherein nyctophobic victims have fallen prey to depression due to this annoying condition. It has been observed that nyctophobic victims spend most part of their day anticipating the night.

Majority of us are aware of the fact that most of the phobias that affect human beings are deep rooted with your real life experiences. A traumatic incident is usually associated with a particular phobia affecting one’s life. The same logic applies when we talk about nyctophobia. Chances are that the victim might have been abused in the dark during his/her childhood days. There is also a possibility that a person might be experiencing scary nightmares during bedtime, or perhaps the nyctophobic individual might have heard many terrifying stories in his/her childhood. The childhood fear might have graduated into a phobia with passing years.

One of the easiest means to deal with the situation is to get rid of the darkness by installing a night light in your room. However, this measure can be helpful only in dealing with the indoor darkness. One will have to resort to other measures to deal with the darkness outside the four walls of their house. Some of the measures that work well against this phobia include hypnosis, breathing exercises and talk therapy. Talk therapy is the cheapest and simplest measure to eradicate the fear of darkness. Over here, one is advised to talk or sing in the dark so that one forgets about the fear. As long as one doesn’t realize fear, one won’t experience fear. Remember, silence increases our fear, which is why talking and singing helps a great deal over here. That being said, individuals with a long history of nyctophobia are advised to undergo MRI and other tests to cope up with the condition effectively.

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Mark Thomas


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  • This was very helpful and now I know why I can't sleep well anymore, the house maids in our house use to tell me all those really scary stories and it affected me a lot I think they did it so I could get this phobia later on in life.

  • The article itself was very informational and well organized, but would have been better had it provided some resources- books, links, etc.- to assist in knowledge and options. I'm glad I understand what's going on, but for what exactly to do next and for how exactly I ended up this way, I'm going to have to go back to Google.

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Mark Thomas