Synopsis: Being afraid of the dark is called Nyctophobia a phobia characterized by an acute fear of the darkness or a dark environment.
Although rational fear of the dark is good for us, producing caution and alertness for the natural dangers of darkness, Nyctophobia is triggered by the mind's disfigured perception of what would or could happen when in a dark environment.
The fear of darkness (nyctophobia) is a psychologically-impacted feeling of being disposed from comfort to a fear-evoking state. The fear of darkness or night has several non-clinical terminologies - lygophobia, scotophobia and achluophobia.
If you have a phobia of the dark, you are likely to become nervous in any darkened environment. You may sleep with a night-light. You might be reluctant to go out at night. You will likely experience an increased heart rate, sweat, shake and even feel ill when forced to spend time in the dark. Nyctophobia is often accompanied by breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, shaking and sense of detachment from reality. Often times this fear is carried into late childhood and adulthood.
Nyctophobia is a phobia generally related to children but, according to J. Adrian Williams' article titled, Indirect Hypnotic Therapy of Nyctophobia: A Case Report, many clinics with pediatric patients have a great chance of having adults who have nyctophobia. The same article states that "the phobia has been known to be extremely disruptive to adult patients and... incapacitating"
Most people retain a bit of a fear of the dark throughout life. This fear may be evolutionary in nature, as many predators hunt at night. Consequently, darkness is a frequently used element in horror movies and Halloween events.
Fear Of The Dark Treatment:
Treatment with anxiety medication is often recommended for cases where frequent panic attacks and lose of sleep occur. Facing the "monster in the closet" is the best home therapy for children and adults. Someone who has a history of nyctophobia may also want to mention it before undergoing MRIs and other medical tests which involve being in dark environments.
Energy Psychology is emerging as an excellent therapy for fears and phobias because in studies it is shown to be rapid, safe, effective and long-lasting. It is based on a theory and practice that has been around for a couple of thousand years. It has the same foundation or roots as acupuncture, except in this case there are no needles used. You could call it emotional acupuncture - without the needles. Recent scientific studies have shown it to be very effective. (www.phobia-fear-release.com/nyctophobia.html)