By Marli Naidoo
Nyctophobia is an extreme fear of the dark that can cause intense symptoms of anxiety and depression. Fear becomes a phobia when it is excessive or irrational, or when it affects your everyday life.
This fear usually starts while you are still a child and is regarded as normal. It comes from uncertainty about what the dark holds that the child cannot see. This fear of the dark is usually only temporary and should disappear with time. There are, however, people who still have to put up with it as adults. In some cases this fear later becomes a phobia. The mere thought of being alone in the dark can fill these people with a paralysing fear.
Physical symptoms of nyctophobia include chest pain, hot or cold flushes, cold sweat, trembling, dizziness and stomach cramps. You may also have problems breathing, or could get palpitations. This could result in your not getting enough sleep.
Emotional symptoms include an overwhelming feeling of fear or panic and an intense need to get out of the situation. You may feel that you have lost control or are going mad or are losing control of yourself. You may also feel powerless about your fears, or feel that you are going to faint.
However, it is not necessary to wrestle alone with this fear or phobia. If you have trouble sleeping because of your fear, feel extremely stressed and anxious in the dark, have been struggling with this for longer than six months and are avoiding certain situations because of your fear, it would be a good thing to go and see your doctor. He will question you in detail about your fears and psychological history.
Several types of treatment are available. Exposure therapy exposes the patient to his fear until he no longer exposes it by visualising the fear. This is a very successful type of treatment.
Cognitive therapy helps people to identify their feelings of fear and replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts.
Relaxation treatment includes deep breathing and breathing exercises. This is successful in the management of stress and physical symptoms.
Therefore, help and therapy are available to set you free from your fear.
Very well mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/fear-of-dark-2671872