Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nyctophobia: The Fear of the Dark

Nyctophobia is the irrational and persistent fear of the dark.  This is one of the most common phobias and is more common in children than adults.  We can’t see in the dark and this is where this phobia begins.  Those who have this phobia are afraid of what might happen to them in the dark.  They believe that something will get them while they are in the dark.

Almost every child develops a degree of this phobia at some point during childhood.  The monsters under the bed and in the closet and all those things that go bump in the night.  I refused to sleep alone until I was 8 or 9 years old.  I was convinced that something was going to get me while I slept. It’s a horrible feeling when you’re that afraid of something.  When you add nightmares and night terrors this phobia becomes a huge problem.

So, do I still have this Nyctophobia?  I am happy to report that I am officially a big girl….for the most part.  When I’m home alone I still get a little freaked with those things that go bump in the night, but I’ve learned to fall asleep fast ; ).

A phobia is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities or persons.  The main symptom is an excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. Other phobia symptoms include shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and an overall feeling of dread.  Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorders.

Do you suffer from Nyctophobia?  Please share your story.  How was it triggered and how does it affect your life?


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