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my Nyctophobia is extremely bad. I need help.

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:47 AM   #1
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Location: lahaina, HI, USA
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my Nyctophobia is extremely bad. I need help.

I have been afraid of the dark for as long as i could even remember. Its so bad to the point where I can not sleep alone or be left in the dark by myself what so ever. The only time I can fall asleep alone is if I am completely worn out which is never. I constantly need someone sleeping literally right next to me to where if i stick my hand out, my hand will slap the persons face.

Over the years my nyctophobia(fear of darkness) has gotten worse. Literally, between a scale of 1-10 its way past ten beyond that. A recent incident happened about two weeks ago. My siblings who i share a room with slept over my Grandmas house and my parents refused to let me sleep over my boyfriends only because i live under their house their rules. When i got home i sat on my bed with the light on under my covers freaking out because i was scared that if the light was to turn off something would happen to me. I sat there for two hours compromising on what i was gonna do. I was determined to force myself to sleep alone in the dark by myself. Yeah, that never worked i turned the lights off and 3o seconds later i ended up crunched up on my little brothers bed in my parents room. They heard me and my mom laughed at me, but I acted as if i fell asleep already.

My boyfriend keeps telling me i need to overcome my nyctophobia, but its easier said then done. He constantly reminds me that in a few months I am going to college far from home. He always says what if my room mate decides not to come home one night or my roommate goes home. Thats my biggest fear. I don't want to be left alone in a dorm room by myself in a state far away from home. Normally when my anxiety attacks happen i can run to my parents of bring my little brother to sleep with me, but when i move i won't have anyone to stop the sweating,the constant shaking, and the fear. I am sick of being nyctophobic and want to overcome it already. i don't want to tell my roommates im afraid of the dark its embarrassing.

If there is anybody out there with advise on what i should do please help me and if there is anybody in the same situation has me please let me know i feel like im the only one in this whole.

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Old 07-15-2011, 05:34 AM   #2
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Re: my Nyctophobia is extremely bad. I need help.

I'm so sorry you are going through this difficult time. I know it can be embarrassing. I know what it's like to be afraid of the dark and afraid of being alone. You are not crazy or alone in this. Please don't let anyone mock you about it.

You need to have a heart to heart talk with your mom or school counselor or someone and tell them you need them to take you seriously because this fear is controlling your life and you can't stop having it. Fear can be overcome, but it is not easy and it takes deliberate hard work on our part to face this directly and probably you need help from a good therapist. You can tell your mom or whoever that you are very serious that you want to deal with your fear but that you can't overcome it by yourself. Ask her to take your fear seriously and to help you get help as soon as possible. not because of what others think about it, but because this is ruining your life and you want to be able to get control over it.

I personally believe there is a very real reason behind terror. I think something real happened that created a very real terror in you. Perhaps it was when you were very small and don't remember, or perhaps you simply cannot bring it to your conscious mind because it seems too terrible to face. The fear could be from a traumatic experience like someone going into your room and touching you or molesting you, making you feel helpless and afraid. It could also be from something innocent that spooked you. Like hearing the wind beating a branch on the window after being in the room where someone was watching a scary movie or after someone read you a scary story. The subconscious mind affects our perception of reality. I'm not trying to scare you or guess what is behind your fear. I'm just saying something is behind your fear and it needs to be discovered because evidently you have Post Traumatic Stress from whatever you experienced. We don't really get over PTS, but we can learn to sanely live with it.

I believe fear is based on something that originally really happened, that may be innocent or may have been from someone's bad intentions. Either way it can affect us the same way. I know I became terrorized of walking to the bathroom at night and of being alone in the house at night. I never had before, but suddenly I cried my eyes out if I was going to be alone at night or had to get up to walk to the bathroom (because when I walked back to my bed is when I saw the man looking in my bedroom window. It turned out to be a man that worked at a church across the street, and yes he was a pervert!).

I was an adult before I felt safe enough that I remembered seeing the man looking into my bedroom window. Before I remembered, my fear was confusing to me and to my mom. The moon must have been reflecting light onto his face that night making him look extra creepy, besides the fact that he had no business being at my window. Imagine how that affected the mind of a young girl of about 10 years old. To this day as an adult I make sure no one can peep through my windows at night, and that the house is locked up tight. I can sleep now, but I easily recall the creepy feeling that came over me when as a small girl I saw the man's face in the window. Sometimes I sleep in front of the TV with the sound on very low to muffle any other sounds. I like for my dog to sleep inside my room because I know she will bark like crazy if anything strange was going on, and she is relaxed and sleeping nearby all night.

Just like our sense of reality can be negatively affected, it also can be positively affected. I know by my own experience that to change thinking on a deep level is very possible, but it's hard work and usually we need help to do it. First I had to face that my thinking was skewed by the past, and then I got hypnotherapy and deep relaxation therapy at various times in my life to overcome my dreads. Dreads are a good description of the inner terror I had.

I can say that I can manage my fears now so they don't control me anymore. I can sleep alone and I can sleep in the dark. I can now do things like drink hot milk to make myself relax and I can let myself go to sleep. I no longer feel a need to check the locks more than one time, and I'm OK with it if my dog decides to sleep in a different room.

You can retrain your mind to focus on pleasant and soothing things, and to feel safe whether or not you ever discover what got the fear started, because you can ralize that regardless the past you are safe now. But you are definitely not alone. and you definitely aren't acting crazy.

Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. If I can help I'm here for you.

Last edited by YaYagirl; 07-15-2011 at 05:44 AM.

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