Nyctophobia Symptoms and Treatment. Complete Guide(Updated May 2021)

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Roughly 40% of Americans claim that they would be afraid to walk within 1 mile of their homes at night (Berke, 1994). Study shows that people generally have great difficulty in the night

Specific phobias are the third most common of all mental disorders; 10 to 12% of individuals will experience at least one phobia throughout their lives (Adler & Cook-Nobles, 2011).

Nyctophobia is the extreme fear of the dark where people get anxious in the dark rooms. Their heart rate is elevated, breathing rate is elevated, shaking hands and you may experience any one of them.

Nyctophobia symptoms and It’s Definition 

Nyctophobia or Lygophobia is the intense and extreme fear of the dark. It is a phobia that is prevalent in children which gets anxious or you know uneasy at the points of where the lights get switched off and they’re getting ready for bed. 

Fear is a quick response to a threat.  Coelho & Purkis Explained in 2009. Fear is a basic emotion above all emotions that can be experienced in all stages of life. The fears like fear of dark, fear of thunder, fear of lighting are such fear which has a prevalence in the childhood more than adulthood, while adult face Mysophobia, Fear of Vomiting, Phobia of animals, Phobia of Snake

Many studies have found that people are afraid of the dark. Darkness facilitates a startle response in the brain that increases anxiety but the nyctophobic people feel extreme difficulty in breathing, their heart rate increases and feel palpitations as well. 

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Roughly between 11 and 12% of men and women will endure some kind of phobic symptoms at some time in their lives (Seim & Spates, 2010). About 8 to 10% of young people suffer from symptoms that obstruct their daily lives and school performance (Flatt & King, 2010). Some of the most common symptoms of nyctophobia are: 

  • Increased heart rate 
  • Increased Breathing rate 
  • Shaking Hands 
  • Dry Mouth 
  • Nightmare 
  • Difficulty in sleep 
  • Wild dreams 
  • Anxiety 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Indigestion 
  • Sensation in the body 
  • Checking under the beds and cupboards

3 Main Causes of Nyctophobia 

  1. Learned Behaviour: Nyctophobia can cause by the learned behaviour of the parents or sibling who had severe symptoms of darkness phobia or any other specific phobias. They just learned the fear symptoms.
  2. Trauma: Traumatic experience is the second most common reason for nyctophobia. Trauma is s painful event due to which the subject is not able to overcome it and feel anxious throughout his life. 
  3. Other Specific Phobias: An individual may feel dark phobia symptoms in presence of Fear of rain, fear of lightning, fear of closed spaces, and fear of sleeping with a partner etc. very individualistic environments (Meltzer et al., 2008)
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Nyctophobia treatment

The first step should be to do is to refer to a psychologist. The psychologist provides help to get rid of fear and phobias. 

We have seen that nyctophobia is a learned behaviour in childhood. The study also shows that adults have shown lesser symptoms than a child. Although it is an irrational fear still nyctophobia is not able to sleep for millions. 

Nyctophobia is a specific phobia and easily treatable with psychotherapies. Some of the treatment options are given below: 

  1. Exposure Therapy: Adam cox announces The study he can cure any phobia within one counselling session. We have heard success stories of people overcoming fear of the dark. 

Exposure therapy involves counselling sessions with the exposure stimuli which aversive fear and excessive anxiety. Firstly, the psychologist will suggest you watch horror stories, then expose you to listen to darkroom stories and they help you to not feel anxiety in the darkroom and dark places. 

  1. Self Help Techniques: Self- Help techniques like Yoga, Mindfulness, Relaxation breathing are a great way to reduce stress and anxiety level in an individual. Although you can try spirituality and mindfulness as well. 
  2. Cognitive Behavior Therapy: CBT do wonders for the fear of darkness. CBT involves the number of technology which makes the person in helping getting rid of stimulus by changing their thoughts for them.  

 Interesting facts about Nyctophobia

  1. Nyctophobia is a phobia of darkness
  2. It is a specific phobia 
  3. Nyctophobia have synonyms as lygophobia or achluophobia
  4. 40% of Americans claim that they would be afraid to walk within 1 mile of their homes at night 
  5. Children from the Middle East and West Indies show a much higher rate of fear of the dark than most White American children (Meltzer et al., 2008)
  6. 10 to 12% of individuals will experience at least one phobia throughout their lives
  7. 54% of all people’s in a study rated the dark within their top five fears
  8. Women are more likely than men to see themselves as having a higher probability of being victimized
  9. Women reported feeling less comfortable than men with all of the nighttime photos except the gazebo
  10. It is connected with some sleep disorder 
  11. Nyctophobic refuse to sleep alone in dark rooms
  12. Nyctophobic usually lit small lamps in dark rooms. 
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Fear of Darkness Connection With Sleep Disorder 

Nyctophobia may be associates with some sleep disorders. Research shows that people with insomnia showed severe symptoms to fear of darkness than other peoples. It is more prevalent in the childhood age. 

How To Diagnose Nyctophobia or Fear of Night? 

Nyctophobia is covered in the DSM-V which covers major clinical disorders but still;l you need to contact your psychologist for help: 

  1. Persistent anxiety in the dark
  2. Trouble sleeping in the dark places
  3. The firm belief that you are having nyctophobia
  4. Anxious all the time from darkness

FAQS

Nyctophobia Meaning in Hindi? 

निक्टोफोबिया या लाइगोफोबिया अंधेरे का तीव्र और अत्यधिक भय है।  निक्टोफोबिया एक सामान्य बचपन का डर है जो किशोरावस्था तक बढ़ता है। रात में अकेले सोने या अंधेरे का डर आमतौर पर 3 से 6 साल (36 से 72 महीने) की उम्र के बीच विकसित होता है। इस उम्र में कुछ सामान्य भय हैं:

  • दानव
  • भूत
  • अजीब ध्वनियाँ

What is the Definition of Nyctophobia? 

Nyctophobia is an extreme fear of night or darkness that can cause intense symptoms of anxiety and depression. A fear becomes a phobia when it’s excessive, irrational, or impacts your day-to-day life. Being afraid of the dark often starts in childhood and is viewed as a normal part of the development

How to Pronounce nyctophobia? 

You can learn to pronounce nyctophobia 

What are the physical symptoms of Nyctophobia?

Here are the 4 Physical Symptoms of darkness phobia 

  • Increased heart rate 
  • Shaking hands 
  • Palpitation 
  • Upset Stomach 

What are the psychological symptoms of Fear of Darkness? 

Psychological symptoms:

  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of dying
  • Feeling out of touch with reality or detached from your body
  • Fear of fainting 

Nyctophobia signs and symptoms

Nyctophobia is an extreme fear of night or darkness that can cause intense symptoms of anxiety and depression. A fear becomes a phobia when it’s excessive, irrational, or impacts your day-to-day life. Being afraid of the dark often starts in childhood and is viewed as a normal part of development. 

Nyctophobia Definition and Examples

Extreme or irrational fear of the night or darkness. For many children, sleeping with a nightlight helps until they outgrow the fear. When the fear makes it impossible to sleep, causes severe anxiety, or continues into adulthood, it may be considered nyctophobia.

How to overcome a fear of dark 

 Fear of darkness can be overcome by 5 strategies: 

  1. Modelling 
  2. Virtual Reality 
  3. CBT 
  4. Anti-Depressants
  5. Exposure Therapy 

Nyctophobia Symptoms in adults and chidrens 

Symptoms in Adults: 

  1. Heavy heart 
  2. Upset stomach 
  3. Insomnia 
  4. Ghost Dreams 

Symptoms in Children

  1. Unable to sleep 
  2. Not able to sleep alone 
  3. Hopelessness 

I am fearful of darkness while sleeping. What Should I Do? 

Fear of darkness is a normal response to the external stimuli which is darkness.  You can check yourself is Achluophobia or Lygnophobia. If it is a phobia do visit a counsellor for a counselling session. 

What is Achluophobia? 

Achluophobia is also a fear of darkness and it creates an irrational and intense feeling of anxiety in being in a dark environment. People with achluophobia can not sit and sleep in dark places. 

Can a 13 year old Child have Nyctophobia?

 It is a phobia that is prevalent in children which gets anxious or you know uneasy at the points where the lights get switched off and they’re getting ready for bed. 

Darkness phobia is more common in the 13 years old child. 

How common is Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia is a specific phobia and 10-12% of the total population has been affected with any specific phobias. Nyctophobia is one of the most popular specific phobia among all phobias. 

Referenc https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.psichi.org/resource/resmgr/journal_2015/Summer15JNLevos.pdf

https://www.healthline.com/health/hemophobia#symptoms

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