ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW AFRAID OF THE DARK?
This heightened sense of anxiety, known as nyctophobia, worsens when the lights go out during an electrical failure. Nighttime power outages may exacerbate the symptoms of nyctophobia!
A fear becomes a phobia when it’s excessive, irrational, or impacts your daily life. Nyctophobia, also known as achluphobia, is the primary phobia related to a fear of darkness.
In 2001, a Gallup poll found that five (5) percent of adults say they are afraid of the dark. That is more than 3.5 million people in the U. S. alone. An overwhelming fear of the dark may keep you on edge all night, especially if you know you may lose all access to light. Losing sleep due to fear of the dark can also cause an increase in future health risks.
Nyctophobia isn’t quite the same fear you had as a child, where the emphasis is generally on ghosts and ghouls in the night. It is an extreme fear of night or darkness that can cause both emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Physical symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Heart palpitations and chest pains
- Upset stomach and feeling sick
- Tight chest
- Shivering and trembling
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Inability to speak clearly
- Panic attacks
Emotional symptoms include:
- Overwhelming feelings of anxiety or panic
- Feeling like you need to escape
- Sense of detachment from self or feeling “unreal”
- Feeling “out of control” or “crazy”
- Feeling like you may die or lose consciousness
- Sense of powerless over your fear
Is this you or someone you know?
STEPS TO HELP OVERCOME THE FEAR OF DARKNESS
There are treatments for nyctophobia, but they require precious time. Here are a few traditional recommendations for curing nyctophobia:
- Speak to a professional about your fears. Untreated, the condition may lead to other problems including sleep disorders and night blindness. One-on-one talk therapy, family therapy, or group therapy may work for you.
- Use desensitization. This is a process where exposure to the dark in small, incremental, nonthreatening doses gradually decreases fear. Try facing the darkness with another person that brings feelings of safety, such as a parent or good friend.
- Learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and self talk. Yoga and muscle relaxation may also help. Decreasing anxiety while facing the fear can gradually overcome it.
- Extreme cases may necessitate discussing the possible use of anxiety alleviating antidepressants with a responsible professional.
- Hypnosis may also be used in extreme circumstances. Hypnosis can be very effective in treating phobias and may be considered if the fear causes severe anxiety or sleep deprivation.
MORE IMMEDIATE SELF-HELP SOLUTIONS
While seeking professional help for fear of darkness is advised in severe cases, avoiding unexpected darkness and learning self-help techniques may help mitigate the worst symptoms. Getting informed about nyctophobia and understanding that you are not alone is the first step in overcoming the fear. Then do what you can to alleviate the symptoms. By managing your own feelings of dread, you will not pass them onto your loved ones.
Everyone eventually falls victim to an unexpected power failure that leaves them in the dark. Thanks to the invention of the power outage light bulb, nyctophobics can now prepare for electrical failure. Safelumin power outage light bulbs automatically switch to battery when your power goes out. Since they operate like everyday LED light bulbs, they are easy to install in your lamps and fixtures. They even have a test button to assure you that the battery is charged and ready to go.
There is no need for nyctophobia symptoms to take hold or to worry about unavoidable power outages. The answer is your Safelumin lightbulb! Safelumin LED Safety Lights for power outages are available here. Your power will go out and your Safelumin power outage light bulb will kick right in.
You no longer need to fear losing all light during a power outage. We all deserve to feel safe.