When you were young, having a fear of darkness is familiar to most kids. However, some people do not outgrow this fear. There are different possible reasons behind this problem. There are some other names for this condition. Examples of these are nyctophobia and scotophobia. Being afraid in the dark is not a bad thing. However, it may become irrational, and it starts to affect your quality of life. Also, it is not the type of condition that you can hear day today. The following are some of the facts that you have to know about the fear of darkness.
1. A type of Anxiety
Achluophobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It will keep on bothering you, and it can get overwhelming. You have to fear the darkness even if there is no reason to be afraid of it. Even if you have this kind of fear. You are still aware that what you are feeling is out of the normal. But the thing is, you cannot control it. It causes you to panic, even the thought of having exposure in the dark. Hence, it is a common type of fear in children.
The symptoms of this condition depend on how serious it is. Like any other phobia of darkness, you can feel mental and physical reactions. The most common physical reaction is the “fight-or-flight” response.
Here are the physical and mental symptoms that you need to look out for.
- Fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Avoid dark places or areas
- You hate thinking about darkness or being in the dark.
- Feeling guilt and shame from being afraid of the dark.
- You panic even by thinking about darkness
- Feeling the need to get out of the dark
These symptoms might help you to know the difference between normal and excessive. Therefore, once you notice these common signals, ask for a proper diagnosis from your doctor. Therefore, you can get the proper treatment right away.
There are still no concrete causes of this condition. But researchers believe that genetics, family, and experiences play an important role. Having bad experiences with darkness can be one of the leading causes. Aside from that, it is also possible for you to get it through learned behavior. Genes are not the only way to pass it down to younger generations.
4. Associated with a Sleep Disorder
Sleeping disorder is the condition where you have a hard time sleeping. Also, achluophobia can be a result when you are afraid of the dark. You might have trouble sleeping because you can hear light noises right away. Being with other people who love to sleep with the lights off will be very hard for you, especially when you are staying at a dormitory. Having trouble sleeping can cause anxiety and insomnia, which will only make your condition worse.
5. Also Happens in Adults
Usually, you will outgrow this type of fear when you reach a certain age. But if you are now already an adult and you still have this fear. Then, you are one of the few adults who never got to outgrow the fear. Many adult struggles to live without light is very challenging. You cannot sleep with your lights off. Also, even going to the bathroom in the middle of the night scares you.
Walking around your neighborhood or in the streets at night is not an option for you. You always make sure that you are not alone every time you go out at night. But you know that is not always possible. It is hard to find someone to go with you every single night. Your fear steals your freedom to enjoy the night.
6. Dark Means Danger
Most kids may have a phobia of darkness because the darkness is always associated with danger. In horror movies, if the characters turn their lights off, you know something bad will happen. So, your brain might think that being in the dark is dangerous. This thought can scare you and most kids. Your parents or friends could have told scary stories that can happen at night. If you have kids, you must not tell them these things. It will not be good for them.
You have to overcome your fear. So that your quality of life can be back to normal again and do not let your fear imprison you. Above all, life is too short to let this fear overtake your life.