Fear of the Dark

HELP WITH FEAR OF THE DARK WITH HYPNOTHERAPY IN CENTRAL LONDON, READING AND DIDCOT

mail@excelhypnotherapy.com  or call  07807 540142

Do you have a fear of the dark? Do you sleep with the light on? Does the thought of the dark induce a fearful state? Is it time you released your fear of the dark?

If any or all of the above are currently true, then rest assure that they can be helped. As with any phobia, there will be a root cause to this and this is where the hypnotherapy would be best directed towards – and then after typically people of all ages from the very young and up to grown-ups will be able to sleep soundly with the lights off.

Symptoms of the fear of darkness include:

  • Thoughts of death or dying (often associated with Thanatophobia)
  • Fear of being attacked by ‘boogeymen’, ghosts, and monsters;
  • Checking and rechecking under the bed, in cupboards and around the room
  • Refusing to sleep alone or refusing to step out of the house after sunset.
  • Trying to stay up all night and/or waking up several times.
  • Feeling dread – feeling like running away at the thought of facing darkness.
  • Aches and pains
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shivering and trembling
  • Chest pains or feeling like choking
  • Nausea and other gastrointestinal distress
  • Crying, screaming
  • Reduced appetite or conversely overeating or binge eating

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The fear of the dark is a common fear or phobia among children and, to a varying degree, of adults. Fear of the dark is usually not fear of darkness itself, but fear of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness.

Some degree of fear of the dark is natural, especially as a phase of child development. Most observers report that fear of the dark rarely appears before the age of 2 years.

Causes of fear of darkness phobia

The fear of the dark or Nyctophobia generally originates from a traumatic experience in the past. Such as, as a child, someone might have been left in the dark as a punishment. Siblings and friends might also be responsible for instilling the fear of darkness if they teased the person about what ‘might’ happen to them in the dark.

In Adults and Children

Stories, cartoons, films, TV shows and literature depicting horror, blood, gore, ghosts and other paranormal activities that normally take place in absence of daylight are also often responsible for creating a deeply rooted fear of darkness in a child’s mind – sometimes leading into adulthood.

In certain individuals other remembered situations can be the cause such as domestic violence, sexual abuse in childhood (at night by a parent or caregiver), car accidents and other devastating or traumatic events can also leave a child confused, scared and anxious. Teenagers and young children are known to react very differently to such events. One of the responses to such incidents could be a persisting fear of night or darkness, when the events might have occurred.

Most childhood fears go away as one grows up and matures. However, in some cases, the Achluophobia can persist well into adulthood. Such people tend to keep recalling these past events which they associate with the dark – similar to PTSD.

Children might resort to thumb sucking, or bed wetting owing to their fear of night or darkness phobia. They might become clingy and refuse to sleep without a nightlight, or insist upon sleeping with an adult/companion, often going to sleep in their parents room. 

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Sleeping, Anxiety and the Daytime

The fear of darkness phobia can affect one’s sleep quality. This can lead to stress. Adults, teenagers and children might start showing lack of productivity at work or at school, college or university.

And other issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and other mental and physical disorders are common in Nyctophobic individuals. All these can negatively impact one’s quality of life.