The phobia of the dark is known as nyctophobia. It can interfere with individuals getting a decent night’s sleep and disturb day-to-day functions if it persists into adulthood. 

Fear of the dark is a frequent phobia among children. The good news is that the majority of people eventually grow out of it. While the majority of people overcome their fears, others do not. 

We have provided all the information you need to know about nyctophobia, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

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Price Comparison for Nyctophobia Therapy

The majority of individuals with nyctophobia improve with treatment. A nyctophobia therapy session may cost between $100 and $200 in most locations in the United States. 

On the other hand, BetterHelp is known as the world’s largest online counseling network. It allows you to communicate with a variety of certified therapists via live chat, video and phone sessions, and online messaging weekly. 

BetterHelp counseling sessions range from $60 to $90 each for one live session of 30 to 45 minutes per week. On the other hand, the monthly costs are between $240 and $360 for four live sessions for 30 to 45 minutes per session. This cost also includes unlimited text message communication. 

In-Person Therapy BetterHelp

$100 and $200 per session

For 40 to 50 minutes

$60 to $90 weekly

One live session

$240 to $360 monthly

Four live sessions

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Nyctophobia treatment

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Understanding Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia is the fear of darkness or night. It is also known as achluophobia, lygophobia, and scotophobia.

To prevent acute anxiety, a person with nyctophobia might avoid settings where there will be darkness, such as a cinema.

The brain responds to darkness with a “startle reaction,” which raises anxiety. Nyctophobics may also have difficulty sleeping, which can cause weariness throughout the day and possibly make it difficult to hold a job.

Symptoms of Nyctophobia

Each phobia is defined by a specific fear. For example, children with Nyctophobia may want to attend camp or sleepovers at night. However, they are unable to do so due to their fears.

Nyctophobia has symptoms that are comparable to those of other particular mental problems. It is often associated with anxiety. Worries about what could happen might exacerbate an acute fear of the dark.

It may come as no surprise that many persons who suffer from nyctophobia also suffer from insomnia. Physical or emotional symptoms might appear as well. When you have nyctophobia, you may have symptoms when you are in the dark or anticipate being in the dark.

Symptoms might disrupt everyday activities and also cause health problems. Following are additional symptoms of nyctophobia:

  • Panic attacks that are overwhelming
  • Feelings of trembling, shaking, or tingling
  • Sweating
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Upset stomach
  • Breathing problems

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To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Causes

A lot of things can trigger a specific phobia. Although the specific cause of this fear is unknown, research has revealed that it is evolutionary. As a result, the true source of this phobia is not darkness but unknown factors that may exist in the dark.

Nyctophobia is a learned or deteriorating behavior for some people, while it has been present in others for as long as they can remember. 

Children are more likely than adults to be scared of the dark, although individuals of all ages might be terrified of it. Following are some of the causes of nyctophobia:

Direct Learned Experiences

A painful encounter with the feared item or scenario, such as being left alone in a perilous position in the dark.  

Children and adults who have experienced a traumatic or upsetting experience in the dark, especially if the incident occurred in the dark, are more prone to acquire this sort of phobia. 

When the lights go off or you think about being in the dark, memories of that terrifying event might surface. As a result, nyctophobia might manifest as a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Experiments in Observational Learning

Observing others encounter the dreaded item or circumstance, or living with a phobia, such as witnessing another person being injured in the dark or growing up in a home where an important adult had a fear of the dark. 

Nyctophobia might develop as a result of seeing a terrifying movie or hearing a disturbing narrative. You may find yourself replaying these terrifying pictures in your mind.

Treatment and Therapy

People suffering from nyctophobia might seek therapy. The objective is to decrease or eliminate symptoms. Talk therapy, relaxation methods, and exposure therapy are just a few of the treatments available. 

Medication

If your healthcare practitioner believes it is appropriate for you, anti-anxiety medication may be administered. Some phobias do not always require therapy, especially if you are afraid of something you do not see every day. 

Relaxation Treatment

Being acutely aware of your immediate environment. Deep breathing and movement are examples of relaxation treatments. It can aid in the management of stress and physical symptoms associated with phobias. Stress reduction strategies such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. 

Staying active, eating healthily, and practicing self-care are all examples of this. Regular exercise can help people become less sensitive to the physical symptoms of a panic attack, reducing dread. 

Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment

CBT stands for cognitive-behavioral treatment. A sort of talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thinking habits. CBT assists people in identifying their anxious sentiments and replacing them with more positive or realistic ones.

A person suffering from nyctophobia may be given information demonstrating that being in the dark does not always have harmful implications. This sort of therapy is rarely used by itself to address phobias.

Exposure to the dark in stages

In a safe atmosphere, exposing the patient to the source of their concern. This treatment involves repeatedly exposing people to their fears until they are no longer afraid of what they fear.

Visualizing the fear and experiencing the fear in real life are two methods for being exposed to fears. Many treatment programs combine the two methods. 

Fear of Dark

How Can Online Therapy Help?

It is critical not to miss your therapy appointments and dedicate yourself to your recovery. Traditional therapy makes it hard at times to visit the therapists. However, through virtual therapy, you can attend your therapy whenever and wherever you want. 

Online therapy platform like BetterHelp is a simple and effective way to manage your mental health. It allows you to reach out to mental health professionals at any time and from anywhere. 

BetterHelp is one of several online counseling systems that match you with an online therapist based on your needs and interests. Licensed clinicians, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, are available at BetterHelp. 

Treatment is Possible!

A particular phobia is characterized by an illogical and persistent fear of a certain object, person, or situation. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you believe you may suffer from nyctophobia. Know that you are not alone if you suffer from this phobia. 

You can get treatment from your doctor and a registered mental health practitioner. You can also avail treatment and therapy from online mental health platforms. 

BetterHelp is suitable for anyone looking for online therapy for mental health difficulties. It offers individuals mental health therapy from anywhere and at the schedule the individual decides. Counseling is available via online message, live chat, video, and phone sessions.

Josiane Camilleri

Josiane Camilleri

Professor

Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.

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