Fear of the Dark
and other Phobias

Fear of the dark and many other phobias are a large cause of anxiety both in children and in adults. Overcoming anxiety when face to face with your phobia may be possible through visualization techniques and additional treatments.

There are literally hundreds of phobias that individuals suffer from and many of these causes of anxiety are managed using the same or similar treatments. While overcoming anxiety for fear of the dark may not be a hundred percent effective in all patients it certainly lessons the impact of this disabling panic.

Fear of the Dark and Other Phobias causes of terror The cause of anxiety for a given phobia can usually be traced back to a traumatic event that caused a severe reaction of terror. This event, given a set of circumstances that relate to the fear can trigger the imagination to relive the trauma or withdraw from the stimulus that causes the memory to reoccur. Individuals can develop severe fears over practically anything. This can be a disabling fear that forces a person into seclusion such as Anthropophobia which is a fear of people.

Fear of the Dark and Other Phobias cracked girl

This can also be associated with post traumatic stress disorder.

There are three types of fear of the dark each pertaining to different circumstances, that have been named as a phobia.

  • Darkness- Achluophobia
  • Being in a Dark place - Lygophobia
  • Dark of night- Nyctophobia
  • Depending on the cause of anxiety and the intensity the therapist will chose the best treatment or combination of treatments from the following practices:

    Visualization is one way of attempting to overcome anxiety related to an intense fear. This is similar to guided imagery meditation. In this treatment the patient will enter a state of relaxation and then be asked to visualize a triggering event under supervised observation. The patient, using the therapist as a crutch of safety through many sessions, continue to face their phobia in a controlled environment and will, through stages, be desensitized to the stimulus that is the cause of anxiety.

    Fear of the Dark and Other Phobias When someone is in fear of the dark they may be asked to relax and once they have entered this state be asked to visualize a specific event they have acknowledged that makes them uncomfortable. Once they start to overcome anxiety on this level the lights in the room may be shut off as the patient now opens their eyes to the darkness and the therapist with the sound of their voice and words of relaxation and trust gain control over the fear of the dark in this setting. These sessions would advance until the patient feels strong enough to deal with the cause of anxiety independent of the therapist.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a combined treatment with another. This is an attempt to alter the perception of a given phobia by changing the thoughts that trigger the fear.

    Neuro-liguistic programming preformed by a hypnotherapist is another possibility whereas the patient can be desensitized by being taught to replace a negative feeling and reaction with a positive so that the associations that trigger an attack can be removed.

    Self-hypnotism is available for certain types of fears which allow the individual to interact with a CD and follow the directions that lead to replacing these triggers with a different thought process to derail the fearful reactions. I would not suggest this if your fear is intense or disabling since it is beneficial to be in an observed and controlled environment. To continue long term treatment after the initial supervised therapy this is certainly an option to look into.


    Other Related Links

  • Positive Thinking to help Alter Perceptions
  • The power of the mind
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