Fear in the dark (scotophobia) is a phenomenon generally associated with children, but when this fear is not overcome, the problem can continue until young ages, reaching adulthood.

In adults, fear in the dark turns into a phobia , that is, an irrational fear caused by traumatic memories or childhood terrors that have not been overcome. In Bekia we tell you much more about this phenomenon given in adulthood.

Fear of the unknown is the main problem

In children, fear in the dark arises as a consequence of the great imagination that all of them possess. They tend to imagine scenes like monsters in closets, behind the door or under the bed. On the other hand, in adults this fear arises because there are people who have insecurities and fears only when they are in the dark , those insecurities not presenting themselves throughout the day with the sunlight.

Some people who lose their partner after such a long time, due to the death of a loved one or due to a divorce, have a hard time sleeping alone for fear of loneliness . But this fear is due to lack of habit to sleep with another person and not do it alone.

It is also common for you to suffer from a fear of the dark if you have suffered an attack and sleep alone in your room. Your imagination can be the most dangerous weapon at the moment and play tricks on you, and it is what is fueling that phobia of staying in the dark.

Also, darkness is something that prevents you from controlling what you have around you. The fear of the dark is often associated with the idea of ​​not being able to handle certain aspects of your life . This characteristic can appear in adults who suffer from anxiety or depression , being therefore more vulnerable than they would be if their life were as they expect. These people feel threatened at night in the dark and may present tremors, nervousness, sweating, etc.

Strategies to overcome fear in the dark

To overcome fear in the dark, you must face your fears as most adults do. Remember that everything is in your mind, you must control your thoughts so that they do not feed that fear that prevents you from being left alone when you are at night in the dark.

If you are afraid of sleeping completely in the dark, try to have the blind raised halfway so that the street light enters your room . You can also choose to have a small lamp or light in your room on until you fall asleep. In this way, you can overcome your problem little by little and more easily.

You can also start reducing the light little by little until you get so sleepy that your body has no choice but to stay asleep at night. In this way, it will be easier to get used to the dark and you will do it at your own pace, while trying to get used to the idea that your room is getting darker and darker.

This is a good method, since you are the person who controls how dark the place you sleep should be . Little by little you will not need to dim the light and you can easily turn it off without feeling uncomfortable and scared.

In this way, you will learn to feel more and more relaxed in dark environments and you will be able to change your concept of darkness , because each time you dim the light more it will mean that you will be less afraid of being in the dark. Thus, the darkness will cease to be an area where it harbors negativity to become a relaxation area where you can relax and unwind after a hard day .

We do not recommend that you take medication to treat your fear of the dark.

Before taking anything to get a good night’s sleep in the dark, you should try remedies and follow some tips that will help you overcome the problem without having to resort to taking certain drugs. Remember that each and every one of them contains side effects that can be harmful to health.

However, we do recommend that you go to a psychologist if the problem persists . This specialized person will help you make that irrational fear disappear when you are in the dark, although you must bear in mind that everything involves a process and the problem will not disappear overnight. You should follow the instructions of the specialist and not ignore the advice that can be provided. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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