When they cannot see what is around them. Some people have an extreme fear of the dark and it is so bad the darkness is a phobia. This is known as nyctophobia or simply the fear of the dark.
If a person has the fear of the dark, they may not want to leave their home in the evening hours, and they may not want to be in a room when the lights are turned out.
Causes of Nyctophobia
People with this condition may not necessarily have fear of the dark but rather the fear of the unknown. If there is anything dangerous is a dark area a person will not be able to see that danger until it is too late.
Darkness has been used for many years in horror movies to scare its audience. Darkness provides a lack of security and most people do have a fear of the dark especially if they are alone in the darkness.
If a person had a negative experience in their past in the dark, they may develop a fear of it. For example, if a person was robbed at night, they may develop a fear of the dark since they cannot see danger coming upon them.
According to psychologists, they think that a fear of the dark relates to early childhood. A young child may have been separated from the caregiver and this led to the development of separation anxiety. This had led to a fear of the unknown and a fear of the dark.
Symptoms of Nyctophobia
There are some symptoms of nyctophobia that a person should be aware of. While the symptoms will vary from person to person there are some general symptoms that people with this phobia will display. When an environment gets dark a person will get nervous.
For example, a person can be at the movies and as soon as the lights get low, they become very nervous. They may need to sleep with the lights on and may need more than just a nightlight.
People with this dear will not want to go out at night. They have experienced some physical symptoms in the dark including an increase in their heart rate, the body may begin to shake, they may sweat, and they can even fell ill when being in the dark.
If a person has severe care of nyctophobia they may experience additional symptoms. If a person is placed in a dark room, they will do their best to escape. They may never leave the safety of indoors at night.
They may also become angry if they are even asked to go outside and it is dark out. They may also become angry if someone shuts the lights off in the room that they were in.
Ways to Treat Nyctophobia
While a person may still feel uneasy in the darkness they can go to therapy for help. The therapy can help reduce the fear that the dark is evil and that something bad is going to happen.
The therapy can help a person by allowing them to use positive messages in their heads when faced with the dark. If a person seeks treatment the success rate is around 90 percent for this phobia. A person will use both cognitive and behavioral therapies for help.
There are several methods for treating this fear. This is known as desensitization and will help a person get used to being in the dark. A person will be able to talk about their fears and reach the deeper meaning of their fear of the dark.
A person will be taught relaxation techniques. They will learn how deep breathing and other methods to help relax when faced with the fear of the dark. If a person is really terrified of the dark, they can get anti-anxiety or medication to help with antidepressant and reduce the fear and anxiety of the dark.
The fear of the dark is not all that uncommon but there are some things that can be done to help a person get over this fear. There are different therapy methods to show a person that just because a place may be a little dark, there is no danger in that room.