Nyctophobia, (also known as Achluophobia, Lygophobia and Scotophobia) is a fear of darkness that can sometimes persist into adulthood and disrupt one’s life. It is a very real and at times frightening phobia with very real phobia-symptoms. The good news however, is that there are some effective treatment options for adults who wish to seek treatment and overcome their fear of the dark.
Anyone seeking to manage their fear is headed on the right direction, as chronic fear of the dark can cause insomnia, panic-attacks and other adverse physical health effects which can seep into and affect one’s emotional stability and psychological well-being.
Healing often comes in the form of psychotherapy, and often probes into emotional stress or childhood trauma and one’s associations with the dark. Through and after treatment, adults can often expect to experience a better quality of life, with enhanced self-esteem and without feeling the constant terror of nightfall. Treatment is often a gradual process, and doesn’t happen overnight; however, adults who seek to overcome their phobia will often experience success in doing so.
Here are some of the therapy options available for adults who wish to be rid of their Nyctophobia.
• Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
This is also called exposure therapy, and is quite popular and often a successful desensitization-method carried out by a counselor or psychiatrist. It typically consists of a number of exercises that aim to challenge feelings and consequential behavior about the dark, and works at replacing them with better and more positive associations. Treatment can range from short to long-term, and such depends upon the severity of the phobia and how much progress is being made. It’s sometimes, depending upon the case, accompanied with anti-anxiety medications, although not always, and one can choose what they prefer.
Hypnosis is another approved means of treatment, and can prove to be an effective option. It works by reprogramming the person’s subconscious and as a result change behavior. This is said to reduce anxiety and not have any negative side effects as with some medication for instance.
• Energy Psychology (energy medicine)
This is an emerging and effective therapy option which can be explained as a type of needle-less but emotional acupuncture. It guides people how to make changes in their lives through stimulation of various energy points on the skin and psychological techniques to change the brain’s electrochemistry.
Adults have a number of professional treatment options to finally overcome being scared in the dark. The best port of call when seeking a cure would be to visit one’s local mental health practitioner or general doctor who may then transfer the person to a suitable specialist. There are a number of options available, and one can discuss options they don’t wish to use and the patient is in control. Many have successfully treated their fear of the dark, and it is something that can very much be done.