Fear Of Death And Darkness Phobia
by Steve Hill
Fear of the dark also known as Nyctophobia is
common among young children who often fear that something
catastrophic may happen to them in the night. In the darkness,
we can’t see very well, and for a young child, particularly
one with a healthy imagination, this can be very frightening.
A pervading sense can build that something sinister is just
out of sight and arm’s reach waiting for its moment to
As a young child, I used to suffer from this
phobia, as a result of which my mother used to leave the
landing light on for me to provide a calming relief from the
darkness. My parents also used to ask me questions to make me
elaborate on my fears. By doing this, they showed concern and
sympathy, while at the same time making it very clear that
they were not afraid. In this way, parents can be of great use
to their children.
The fear lessened as I grew older, then went
away altogether. Most children as they grow up and the world
around them becomes more logical and less fantastic, come to
realise that they are quite safe in the darkness and their
fears were irrational.
Some adults can suffer from this fear –
particularly those who suffer from nightmares or have
traumatic memories. Although gradual exposure to darkness can
be helpful to nyctophobics, the management of nightmares and
bad memories is liable to require specialist help.
Fear of death or Thantophobia is quite a
natural phenomenon. None of us know what will happen to us
after we die. But to be morbidly afraid of death is unhealthy
and detrimental to our lives.
If one fears death excessively, it can prevent
them from being able to enjoy life. Often associated with
hypochondria, morbid death fear can cause unnecessary worry
and anxiety and can prevent the sufferer from being able to
live life to the full.
To a point the fear of death diminishes when
we see it in its natural context – a dying person surrounded
by loving friends and family. However most of our images of
death in the modern world have been distorted by our
culture’s preoccupation with unnatural violent death: daily
news stories of shootings, abductions and suicide bombings.
Brutally violent movies and computer games. Also scare
mongering news stories regarding types of food once perceived
to be healthy, but now putting you at death’s door.
All this negative focus leads to unhealthy
consequences. An exaggerated fear of dying and phobias of
growing old leads to a reluctance to make a will or make any
plans for those we love whom we know will outlive us and a
general ignorance of normal end of life options.
About The Author
Steve Hill talks about fear
of death and darkness phobia: http://blog.phobias-help.com/
Steve also has a website at: http://www.stammering-stuttering.co.uk/