Fear of the dark also known as Nyctophobia
is common among young children who often fear that something
catastrophic may happen to them in the night. In the darkness, we
can’t see very well, and for a young child, particularly one with a
healthy imagination, this can be very frightening. A pervading sense can
build that something sinister is just out of sight and arm’s reach
waiting for its moment to strike.
As a young child, I used to suffer from
this phobia, as a result of which my mother used to leave the landing
light on for me to provide a calming relief from the darkness. My
parents also used to ask me questions to make me elaborate on my fears.
By doing this, they showed concern and sympathy, while at the same time
making it very clear that they were not afraid. In this way, parents can
be of great use to their children.
The fear lessened as I grew older, then
went away altogether. Most children as they grow up and the world around
them becomes more logical and less fantastic, come to realise that they
are quite safe in the darkness and their fears were irrational.
Some adults can suffer from this fear –
particularly those who suffer from nightmares or have traumatic
memories. Although gradual exposure to darkness can be helpful to
nyctophobics, the management of nightmares and bad memories is liable to
require specialist help.
Fear of death or Thantophobia is quite a
natural phenomenon. None of us know what will happen to us after we die.
But to be morbidly afraid of death is unhealthy and detrimental to our
If one fears death excessively, it can
prevent them from being able to enjoy life. Often associated with
hypochondria, morbid death fear can cause unnecessary worry and anxiety
and can prevent the sufferer from being able to live life to the full.
To a point the fear of death diminishes
when we see it in its natural context – a dying person surrounded by
loving friends and family. However most of our images of death in the
modern world have been distorted by our culture’s preoccupation with
unnatural violent death: daily news stories of shootings, abductions and
suicide bombings. Brutally violent movies and computer games. Also scare
mongering news stories regarding types of food once perceived to be
healthy, but now putting you at death’s door.
All this negative focus leads to
unhealthy consequences. An exaggerated fear of dying and phobias of
growing old leads to a reluctance to make a will or make any plans for
those we love whom we know will outlive us and a general ignorance of
normal end of life options.
Steve Hill talks about fear of death and
darkness phobia. Learn how to live without fear or anxiety. Read more
informative fear, anxiety and phobia articles and information at: fears
phobias information, phobias
cure. Steve also has a website at: stuttering