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The Fear of Darkness

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Are you afraid of the dark?
Patricia M. Lassiter
PsY/211
October 07,2013
Mr. Marcus Gamble

Are you afraid of the dark?

Fear of the dark, or nyctophobia, is a serious affliction that can lead to loss of sleep, heightened anxiety and even physical illness if it is not treated. Although most people associate fear of the dark with childish fears, persistent nyctophobia is a serious condition that should be treated with the help of a professional. A few tips can help mitigate the symptoms and effects of a fear of darkness and help begin the road to recovery.

In many cases, a phobia of the dark that persists into adulthood is tied to a particularly traumatic childhood experience, psychotherapist Phillip Hodson told Frostrup. However, most are treatable with cognitive behavioral therapy, according to Time's Healthland. In some instances, though, the underlying fear of the dark can be mistaken for a number of other phobias, or even general anxiety. According to "Fear Of The Dark" (2012),  "People don’t necessarily know they have it. An individual may not be able to fall asleep once it's dark and their mind starts to wander. They think, ‘What if someone breaks into my house?’ Instead of realizing these associations may indicate a fear of the dark, they skip a step and assume they have a fear of burglars,” Carney told Healthland. ("Fear Of The Dark", 2012).

As I child I developed a fear of the dark. I have slept with night lights or the lights on for as long as I can remember. I have never felt safe at night or alone at night. Some times it is totally overwhelming. There will be days and nights when I will not sleep due to being alone. If someone is home it is not so bad. It got better when I was married. But after my divorce the fear came back full force. So now I am forty years old and still scared of the dark.

Some ways I have learned to cope with the fear are by Keep a source of light like a small flashlight on a key chain and... Show More

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