What is Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Mostly darkness and nights are connected with grim beliefs and thoughts. While some of the people cherish the night experience nowadays, numerous others fear the frightful night obscurity. This sort of fear of night/darkness is known as Nyctophobia. Nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness is also known as lygophobia, scotophobia or achluophobia. Its name is derived from the Greek word "Nuktos" which means night or darkness. The irrelevant and intense fear of darkness leads numerous individuals to dodge any night routine or dark places entirely. This can be an extreme intrusion in the daily life of a person. An individual having nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness is not terrified of finding any irregular or paranormal component in the obscurity, however is frightened of the darkness for no particular reason by any stretch of the imagination. The fear can be triggered just by an idea or reckoning of being in the darkness.

What is Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Is Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness a Common Disease?

Nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness is one of the most commonly occurring phobias in individuals, particularly in children. Several researches have shown that 90% of the children fear from night and darkness. In case the situation is serious and untreated, the fear can prolong out till adulthood.

What are the Causes of Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Some basic elements responsible for causing nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness in individuals, particularly kids are listed below:

  1. Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness Caused Due to Traumatic Experience

    Any sort of injury or distressing incident related with darkness can be a strong cause behind individuals, particularly kids to develop nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. For example, if a child has been routinely punished by locking in a dark room, then there are most extreme risks that he/she will develop nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Similarly, other traumatic events that happened amid night time, for example, violence, abuse, accidents, getting lost may likewise cause nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Such experience ingrains terrible memories and thoughts about how darkness and night are hazardous.

  2. Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness Caused Due to Any Previous Mental Health Weakness

    Any sort of previous mental health issue can likewise cause nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness in an individual. In the event that a person has been enduring distinctive sorts of depression earlier it can debilitate the vitality of his/her psyche. Indeed, even a little event, for example, sudden blackout or being alone in a dark room can make the individual nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Children may turn to thumb sucking, or bed wetting inferable from their fear of night or nyctophobia. He/she may become clingier and decline to sleep without a nightlight, or insist on sleeping with an adult.

Often the dozing and dietary patterns of youngsters and grown-ups alike may change attributable to this fear of darkness phobia. They may encounter physical symptoms of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness such as:

  • Aches and torments.
  • Rapid shallow relaxing.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Shivering and trembling.
  • Chest agonies or craving gagging.
  • Nausea and other gastrointestinal misery.
  • Crying, shouting.
  • Reduced longing or alternately gorging or voraciously consuming food.

Psychological signs and symptoms of the nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness include:

  • Thoughts of death, biting the dust regularly connected with Thanatophobia.
  • Fear of being assaulted by 'boogeymen', phantoms, and creatures; Checking and rechecking under the bed or in storage rooms.
  • Refusing to sleep alone or declining to venture out of the house after nightfall. Attempting to stay up throughout the night, awakening a few times.
  • Feeling fear, having a craving for fleeing at the considered confronting darkness.

The nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness can influence ones' sleep quality. This can prompt anxiety. Grown-ups may begin showing lack of productivity at work. Hence, depression and other mental and physical issue are normal in nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness people. All these can contrarily effect ones' personal satisfaction.

When to Consult a Doctor for Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness can take a severe form when prolonged for a long period of time. The individual can begin staying away from places which can be dark, or even stop night activities. On the off chance that the above indications have been steady for over six months, then going to a specialist is suggested.

What are the Risk Factors for Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness has likewise been connected with the advancement of humankind. In early periods, individuals used to go for hunting at evening time and face wild monsters. Darkness has been considered as residence of monsters, evil and paranormal creatures. This is the very reason of darkness the fundamental topic of horror movies and Halloween. Along these lines, nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness can likewise be resultant of a learnt behavior that has been given by the human advancement itself.

Complications Associated with Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness

In spite of the fact that phobias may appear to be senseless to others, they can wreck to the general population who make them cause, issues that influence numerous parts of life. Complications of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness include:

  • Social isolation may be a complication of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Evading spots and things you dread can bring about scholastic, professional and relationship issues. Youngsters with these scatters are at danger of scholastic issues and depression, and they may not grow great social abilities.
  • Another complication of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness is depression. Numerous individuals with fears have anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Substance misuse is a possible complication of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. The anxiety of living with a serious fear may prompt substance misuse.
  • A few people with particular fears might be at danger of suicide.

Are There Any Tests to Diagnose Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

There are no lab tests for diagnosing nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Rather, the diagnosis depends on an intensive clinical meeting and demonstrative rules. Your specialist will make inquiries about your signs and symptoms of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness and take a therapeutic, psychiatric and social history.

To be determined to have a fear, you should meet certain criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders distributed by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is utilized by psychological wellness suppliers to analyze conditions and by insurance agencies to repay for treatment.

What are the Treatments for Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Blend of various treatments and solutions can control nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness.

  1. Exposure Therapy is an Excellent Treatment for Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness

    Exposure therapy is an extremely successful treatment strategy for nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. The advisor makes the individual go up against darkness, and studies why and how the individual responds. The specialist would instruct diverse unwinding routes, for example, breathing control, mind perceptions and reflecting approaches to decrease the apprehension. Through general exposures, the individual develops toleration for the trepidation and misery.

  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a Possible Treatment Option for Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used in the treatment for nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. CBT is done for understanding the antagonistic thoughts and pictures existing in the individual's brain about nights and darkness. The specialist guides the individual and tries building positive considerations rather than the negative ones. The advisor likewise manages through suitable conduct schedules that can perform night assignments and endure dimness.

  3. Medicines Can also Help in Treating Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness

    Just in serious cases, medications are utilized, for example, anti anxiety and anti depressant medications to bring down the manifestations of nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Be that as it may, they ought to be taken just under consultation of a specialist.

How to Prevent Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

On the off chance that you have nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness, consider getting help to prevent nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness from getting worse, particularly in the event that you have youngsters. In spite of the fact that hereditary qualities likely assume a part in the advancement of fears, repeatedly seeing another person's phobic response can trigger a fear in youngsters. By managing your own feelings of dread, you will not pass them on to your kids.

How to Cope Up With Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

Grown-ups suffering from nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness frequently understand that their fear is silly. However they feel frail to defeat it and fear the arrival of night time all through the day.

Gratefully, there is trust, and numerous treatments which can defeat this nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. Proficient specialists can get to the base of one's apprehension of darkness and so can Hypnotherapy.

Aside from these, one can likewise view self help techniques for nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. These incorporate continuously presenting oneself to one's object of apprehension and recording irrational thoughts and transforming them to sound ones. Meditation and positive representation are other expert recommended self improvement strategies to beat Nyctophobia.

Neuro-lingustic programming (NLP) as well as behaviour and cognitive behaviour treatments are other viable systems utilized for defeating nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness. These help the individual deal with his uneasiness reaction when confronted with the jolt, for this situation darkness or night. Drugs and medications can likewise be taken to calm anxiety and diminish depression. But, these are not long haul answers for nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness and one must know about their conceivable symptoms.

How Long it Take to Recover from Nyctophobia or Fear of Night/Darkness?

The recovery period/healing time for nyctophobia or fear of night/darkness relies upon the method of treatment and your specialist ought to be the person who can give you the approximate recovery time. Counsel your specialist for the recuperation time and for further inquiries like recurrence, etc...

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 20, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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