Many people have nyctophobia. What is........NYCTOPHOBIA?

  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 7 years ago

    Many people have nyctophobia.  What is........NYCTOPHOBIA?

  2. Natalie Frank profile image91
    Natalie Frankposted 7 years ago

    Nyctophobia (scotophobia, lygophobia or achluophobia), is an intense fear of the dark & night time. This extreme fear of the dark causes many to avoid night time activities or dark locations completely. Nyctophobia can cause a severe interruption in the individual’s everyday life. The fear experienced in Nyctophobia is not related to being frightened of finding something paranormal in the dark or anything else unusual or dangerous. It is a fear of the dark specifically & not anything associated with it and the person can't give a reason they are afraid. Like other phobias the panic response can be caused by the anticipation of a upcoming situation or even just thinking about being in the dark. Nyctophobia has the classic symptoms of other phobias whereby the person avoids what they fear. This may include leaving a light on wherever they are even when sleeping & refusing to go outside at night even if bright lights are on. Some go as far as to have a backup generator just in case they lose electricity. The fear of having to confront their phobia creates intense anxiety that seems intolerable. When they avoid what they fear, in this case being in the dark, the anxiety lessens & is eliminated. This decrease in anxiety reinforces the avoidance behavior through the significant relief experienced by the person which maintains the fear. This occurs because the individual fails to come into contact with their feared situation long enough to break the link between the feared stimulus, darkness and nighttime, & the anxiety. The individual knows their fear is irrational & yet despite this knowledge the phobia and avoidance response persists regardless. Nyctophobia is the most commonly occurring phobia in people, especially children. Research suggest around 90% of children have a fear of the dark. Studies have estimated actual Nyctophobia to be present in about 30% of children though it is uncommon for it to persist into adulthood. However, if the condition is severe & left untreated, depending on the causal factors, the phobia can continue into adulthood. For example, It is common for children who develop a fear of the dark due to trauma to continue to experience it in adulthood. Nyctophobia has been estimated to occur in about 5% of adults but this is believed to be a significant underestimate. The failure to report the phobia may result from embarrassment, believing it to be insomnia or misdiagnosis.


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