View Full Version : Fear of the dark


Fuzzy12
10-16-15, 07:00 PM
Does anyone else get scared in the dark? It was embarrassing as a kid and it's stupid and embarrassing as an adult. At the same time I've not really learnt anything to convince me I shouldn't be scared of the dark.

It's worst when I'm alone and when I'm at home. I quite like the dark when there are others around and somehow being outside in the dark isn't as bad as being home alone...except for a few years when I went a bit crazy and it was really bad.

Anyway I'm better now and our current house is quit cosy and comfortable. Extremely unscary. But I still feel creepy. And I've just realised how much time I'm.losing because of this irrational nonsensical fear. I always look forward to having some me-time and j don't mind if hubby goes out but I end up wasting the evenjng because I can't so anything but watch TV. Well, I really hate watching TV. It's so boring but I need that noise in the background. Sometimes j try to do other things like read with the TV on or mostly I'm browsing addf but even with reading g it has to be really light and sunny and most of that stuff is boring as hell. The worst are the commercials on TV. I only watch channels that don't show ads or play movies. I absolutely hate it when they show horror movie ads of trailers. I wish they'd move the watershed to past midnight. I mean I'm sure that there lots of kids awake after 8pm...

Anyway, evenings along at home are mostly wasted.

It's not a huge deal and it's not always very bad unless I hear sudden creepy noises or I catch a stupid as on TV. But the fear always lurks somehwere around. i don't think this is normal. I also am not sure what do to about it. The fear doesn't respond to reason and finding distractions that j can focus on t and that aren't a waste of time is difficult.

Can anyone relate? (Please just say yes or I'll feel.like a complete idiot..:lol:)

midnightstar
10-16-15, 07:06 PM
I've always been scared of the dark and my Ebony's scared of the dark as well and she's a cat :grouphug:

Cats are not supposed to be scared of the dark because dawn and dusk is when they're at their most active :grouphug:

Fuzzy12
10-16-15, 07:10 PM
I've always been scared of the dark and my Ebony's scared of the dark as well and she's a cat :grouphug:

Cats are not supposed to be scared of the dark because dawn and dusk is when they're at their most active :grouphug:

Aww poor ebony. That sucks as a cat though I'd rather be active and on the prowl than lying in my bed in the dark and having nightmares or lying awake in fear of nightmares. Or maybe not. Maybe not if I was a cat and actually had very realistic fears.


My budgies don't like the dark either.

Fuzzy12
10-16-15, 07:32 PM
No idea when I picked the wink emoticon. This is not a winky post. :rolleyes:

BellaVita
10-16-15, 07:38 PM
I'm more afraid of the metaphorical darkness.

But, it's not so weird. I still sleep with a night light. (or a small light of some kind) I've always had them since I was little. (AND a sleeping mask because I also get irritated by light, I'm a walking contradiction :lol:)

Do you use a night light? Just a small one to plug in to the wall?

It can help.

Gilthranon
10-16-15, 08:19 PM
I am the Dark

TangledWebs
10-17-15, 01:05 AM
I'm only afraid of the dark after I watch a horror flick. You could have Nyctophobia. What if you tried exposure therapy?

phantasm
10-17-15, 01:33 AM
I have always been afraid of the dark. Every sound makes me wake up. Just wondering what it could be. And I always think the worst. I sleep with a sound machine AND a fan on.

I have the laziest dog known to man. She doesn't even wake up when she hears food clinking in her bowl. She's certainly not going to save me from the boogy man. Unless he trips over her sleeping body. :umm1:

I can't have any light shadows in my room. It needs to be pitch black.

I have night terrors very badly at times too. Nightime is just a hot mess for me.

Sometimes I will just get up in the middle of the night because I can't get back to sleep, but it's almost worse that I am awake when it's dark outside. The moment I see the sun coming up, I fall asleep like a baby.

Good times :doh:

phantasm
10-17-15, 01:36 AM
Oh, and I hate the horror movie commercials. Half the time these commercials come on during shows that are completely unrelated to a horror flick. I'm never expecting it, and they are more terrifying every year. Their needs to be a warning before those damnn commercials come on. :mad:

dvdnvwls
10-17-15, 01:52 AM
As a child I was very very afraid of the dark; I wouldn't go to the basement of our old house, and I wouldn't go outside at night. (lived on a farm very far from any city lights)

Now I enjoy the dark, but only when I feel that I know where I am and that I'm safe.

midnightstar
10-17-15, 12:05 PM
Oh, and I hate the horror movie commercials. Half the time these commercials come on during shows that are completely unrelated to a horror flick. I'm never expecting it, and they are more terrifying every year. Their needs to be a warning before those damnn commercials come on. :mad:

Urgh I really can't stand it when that happens phantastic :grouphug:

Me+horror of any kind (even books)= me not being able to sleep from fear of the Dark Monster :faint: (even Ebony knows there's a Dark Monster which is why she refuses to go outside once there's not much daylight left) :grouphug:

Unmanagable
10-17-15, 12:32 PM
I don't fear it, but can sometimes feel suffocated by it. Especially in the colder months.

Delphine
10-17-15, 06:35 PM
:) Yes, Fuzzy12, me too.... at bedtime. Since childhood. But it's not constant. Randomly I can quite enjoy the quiet of the dark.

Came back bigtime a few years ago when first living alone. Therapist taught me how to 'meet the feelings' instead of running from them. Scary to begin with....but works well a good bit of the time.

The rest of the time, I leave the light on in my adjoining dressing room and repeat a feelgood mantra until I fall asleep.

Scary ads for horror shows on tv get me too.

"Lurk" is a good, descriptive word. All the logic/reason/cognitive awareness in the world still leaves a lurking feeling of dread when the scaries kick in.

Sometimes I wonder if there had been a wise, patient, grounded, caring and attentive adult back in childhood who know how to help dissipate those fears of the dark back then, I might have moved past it. (Not to blame anyone else, just it would've been lovely.)

Sometimes in the dark of the night I try to be that 'adult' for myself :)

Oddly enough, I'm good at being there and soothing kids who are scared of the dark!! Both my own (back when) and other peoples'. Maybe that's an upside? Makes us more compassionate to the growing pains of the little ones?

(Or maybe, as some therapists say, you can't help anyone else with an issue you haven't gotten through yourself, and I just like to imagine I've helped those little angels? :) )

Anyway.... my hand is up.... mid-fifties and can still get scared of the dark! (If it's not "normal", well then I will just add it to the list.)

VeryTired
10-17-15, 07:28 PM
Fuzzy--

As fears go, this has got to be one of the most common!

I remember once reading a theory (a long time ago, I don't remember where) that fear of the dark is hard-wired into humans as an evolutionary thing, and that this actually explains why so many kids (and adults!) get cranky around dinner time. The idea was, it's actually unacknowledged fear of the coming darkness. I don't think I buy that last part exactly, but I think almost everyone has known the fear you're talking about to some degree. And it's true that humans are disadvantaged in the darkness and so vulnerable.

When I lived alone, I often slept with the lights on in the hall outside my bedroom and the radio on all night. I never really thought about why I was doing it, but looking back, it sure seems like a response to fear of darkness ...

demfabbones
10-26-15, 04:43 PM
I have learned that many adults, with or without anxiety, have fears or habits that they describe as "babyish." I think if more people were more open about these traits, maybe we'd realize these things don't automatically go away just because we're older, and we'd all be less embarassed!

Examples:

- My friend cannot handle spiders. Like, at all. He makes his wife deal with them.
- I won't ride a roller coaster to save my life. NOPE NOPE NOPE.
- My boyfriend sleeps with a teddy bear. (He'd kill me if he knew I told anyone that!)
- I sleep with a stuffed penguin he gave me!
- I have a friend who sucks her thumb at night.
- I have lots of friends (and myself) who hear an innocent noise and are instantly convinced an intruder is in the house, even when it's impossible. Some of us have gone to the lengths of going through the house, opening all closets, ready to spring with a kitchen butcher knife. It's ridiculous... like, what am I actually going to do if there's an intruder?! But clearly part of my brain knows it's silly, and the part is like, "Don't care, we still have to check all the closets."
- People who have to look under the bed before they get in, or people who JUMP out of bed so that a creature/monster can't "grab their feet" when they set foot on the floor.
- My dad is terrified of clowns.
- I have a friend who won't watch scary movies, and is so afraid of them she can't even watch spoof or silly movies like "Scary Movie"!
- My friend is terrified of swimming because he saw "Jaws" as a kid. Even though he realizes a shark wouldn't be in a pool, he still gets really freaked out.
- My friend is afraid of ALL dogs - not just big ones, but even tiny teacup versions!

This was a pretty entertaining list to make, actually. See...? We're all weird in our own little ways. Embrace your quirks. As long as a phobia doesn't affect your quality of life, it's nothing to worry about. Nothing wrong with you :)

Fuzzy12
10-27-15, 04:29 AM
Thanks bones. That's good to know. I do a lot of the other things on your list as well. :o I mean, is there anyone who doesn't find clowns terrifying??:eek::faint:

By the way I find your avatar really freaky. Don't change it or anything, I've learnt to not look too closely at it. ;)

I don't know. Maybe I just watched too many horror movies as a kid. I've still got a lot of those images swimming around somehwere jn the corners of my mind. Last night I dreamt of vampires again. Ugh..I keep dreaming of vampires. I think, a lot of it stems really just from a fear of dying and the uncertainty attached with that.

coffeesudoku
01-21-16, 12:29 AM
No, I think that it's okay that you're scared of the dark. There is always something that people are scared of, and this is just your thing that you're scared of. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Pixelatedmind
02-08-16, 11:58 AM
Does anyone else get scared in the dark? It was embarrassing as a kid and it's stupid and embarrassing as an adult. At the same time I've not really learnt anything to convince me I shouldn't be scared of the dark.

It's worst when I'm alone and when I'm at home. I quite like the dark when there are others around and somehow being outside in the dark isn't as bad as being home alone...except for a few years when I went a bit crazy and it was really bad.

Anyway I'm better now and our current house is quit cosy and comfortable. Extremely unscary. But I still feel creepy. And I've just realised how much time I'm.losing because of this irrational nonsensical fear. I always look forward to having some me-time and j don't mind if hubby goes out but I end up wasting the evenjng because I can't so anything but watch TV. Well, I really hate watching TV. It's so boring but I need that noise in the background. Sometimes j try to do other things like read with the TV on or mostly I'm browsing addf but even with reading g it has to be really light and sunny and most of that stuff is boring as hell. The worst are the commercials on TV. I only watch channels that don't show ads or play movies. I absolutely hate it when they show horror movie ads of trailers. I wish they'd move the watershed to past midnight. I mean I'm sure that there lots of kids awake after 8pm...

Anyway, evenings along at home are mostly wasted.

It's not a huge deal and it's not always very bad unless I hear sudden creepy noises or I catch a stupid as on TV. But the fear always lurks somehwere around. i don't think this is normal. I also am not sure what do to about it. The fear doesn't respond to reason and finding distractions that j can focus on t and that aren't a waste of time is difficult.

Can anyone relate? (Please just say yes or I'll feel.like a complete idiot..:lol:)

I've always been afraid of the dark, particularly when I'm alone, and it's embarrassing some times.

As a kid when I'm coming home at night I would call my mother to light up the front of the house because It would be very dark on the way in, and if there were a cat or any small animal that suddenly runs while I'm walking in I would freak out and freeze.

When I'm off school and alone at home, I used to sleep with a knife under my pillow.

It's a nightmare If power goes out when I'm alone at home.

Sometimes I'd freak out while washing my face in the bathroom imagining things running and jumping behind me and open my eyes with soap all over my face.

I would run away after turning off the light leaving a dark room, especially when I have to go to the bathroom at night.

Then sometimes I would leave the lights on to avoid this.

I used to get into dark rooms and stay there for a while trying to defeat my fear of the dark, I would succeed for a while but then when I'm leaving and giving my back to the room I'd freak out and rush my way out.

Few years ago when I was working at the office and I'm the last one left because I'm late on a deadline I'd leave late at night, I have to turn off all lights on my way out, that was a pretty scary task for me and I always left one light on.

I still freak out today when in dark places alone, especially if I hear noises it's so creepy.

I don't think I get myself in situations where I'm alone in a dark/creepy place anymore.

You are not alone :D

Fuzzy12
02-08-16, 12:17 PM
I've always been afraid of the dark, particularly when I'm alone, and it's embarrassing some times.

As a kid when I'm coming home at night I would call my mother to light up the front of the house because It would be very dark on the way in, and if there were a cat or any small animal that suddenly runs while I'm walking in I would freak out and freeze.

When I'm off school and alone at home, I used to sleep with a knife under my pillow.

It's a nightmare If power goes out when I'm alone at home.

Sometimes I'd freak out while washing my face in the bathroom imagining things running and jumping behind me and open my eyes with soap all over my face.

I would run away after turning off the light leaving a dark room, especially when I have to go to the bathroom at night.

Then sometimes I would leave the lights on to avoid this.

I used to get into dark rooms and stay there for a while trying to defeat my fear of the dark, I would succeed for a while but then when I'm leaving and giving my back to the room I'd freak out and rush my way out.

Few years ago when I was working at the office and I'm the last one left because I'm late on a deadline I'd leave late at night, I have to turn off all lights on my way out, that was a pretty scary task for me and I always left one light on.

I still freak out today when in dark places alone, especially if I hear noises it's so creepy.

I don't think I get myself in situations where I'm alone in a dark/creepy place anymore.

You are not alone :D

Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated!!!

Ugh...washing my face when I'm alone at home at night..that makes me imagine all kinds of things as well. When I was at my worst I couldn't shower when home alone after nightfall. Movies don't really help with that either. Bad things always happen when someone is in the shower..:rolleyes:

It's a bit better for me now though. I was alone last week and though I slept with the lights on in the passage at least I did sleep.:)

Jiberish
04-25-16, 07:43 AM
Struggled as a kid in the dark. Hated camping. To this day, i will wake up if the wind blows. I now where ear plugs and decide if a bear comes....well......we will deal with that later. I am a very avid hunter, which requires walking in the dark more than not in bear and lion infested areas. Obviously, thats not fun for someone not afraid of the dark.

Things that help me.

Head lamp (red) that animals cannot see.
Sig P320 .40 smith and wesson
Friends to hunt with

I walked into two bears this past fall. shortly after I managed to tag out a dear with my bow. Meat in the freezer......... It was a scary 2.5 hour hike in the dark to a pond, first bear was 20 min from the start, second was on the watering hole we jumped it off of....in the dark. None the less......I still do not like the dark, but to be a good hunter, I have to learn to deal with it.

Tetrahedra
06-10-16, 09:19 PM
I don't fear the dark, but I did as a kid. I think watching horror movies actually changed my fear so that I'm not longer afraid (what? doesn't that make sense?).

You could try yodeling or doing something ridiculous when you're in the dark. Sometimes making things lighthearted when you're frightened can be helpful.

C15H25N3O
06-30-16, 06:03 PM
The night makes blind men seeing.

I love the night.

I remember my sleeping disorder back to childhood. I have a better attention at night which I can use for learning and working using something like flow-state.

As creatures we are outfitted with senses most of us never learned to use. Modern living misuses our sensory using artificial lights, smells and sounds.
In daylight we better see, but sounds and smells are confusion. At night we better hear and smell, but vision is confusion.

I use to sleep outside mostly alone in a hammock in different situations. Switching off my headlamps I change my sensory experiencing also a short-time sensory overload.

Of course I get a lot of adrenaline if there is a sound that does not fit or i never heard before in the surrounding environment
a falling bough sounds different to a breaking bough and if there are many boughs breaking I can identify the creatures weight class by the noise of the breaking.

I listen to natures orchestra for some seconds or minutes to get used to the location. Being out in the dark teaches identifying sounds and that gives an acoustic imagination of the surrounding.

I enjoy not to be recognized by animals as a human due to the hammocks unusual banana shape. Sometimes I enjoy wild animals passing by at dawn.

We have no bears, werewolves, ghosts, zombies over here.

Fuzzy12
06-30-16, 06:13 PM
I don't fear the dark, but I did as a kid. I think watching horror movies actually changed my fear so that I'm not longer afraid (what? doesn't that make sense?).

You could try yodeling or doing something ridiculous when you're in the dark. Sometimes making things lighthearted when you're frightened can be helpful.

That's a good idea. I did something similar in one of our previous flats where the glass of one of yhe windows was scratched and I kept imagining it showed the outline of a scary woman glaring at me. (I was in a very very bad place back then.)

So I tried imagining that the scratches looked like something cute and cuddly like a fox and I started talking to the window and calling it foxu. Sounds crazy but it helped. Or maybe it sounds crazy that I needed to do that. Anyway I can imagine that doing something g ridiculous might help as well.

The night makes blind men seeing.

I love the night.

I remember my sleeping disorder back to childhood. I have a better attention at night which I can use for learning and working using something like flow-state.

As creatures we are outfitted with senses most of us never learned to use. Modern living misuses our sensory using artificial lights, smells and sounds.
In daylight we better see, but sounds and smells are confusion. At night we better hear and smell, but vision is confusion.

I use to sleep outside mostly alone in a hammock in different situations. Switching off my headlamps I change my sensory experiencing also a short-time sensory overload.

Of course I get a lot of adrenaline if there is a sound that does not fit or i never heard before in the surrounding environment
– a falling bough sounds different to a breaking bough and if there are many boughs breaking I can identify the creatures weight class by the noise of the breaking.

I listen to natures orchestra for some seconds or minutes to get used to the location. Being out in the dark teaches identifying sounds and that gives an acoustic imagination of the surrounding.

I enjoy not to be recognized by animals as a human due to the hammocks unusual banana shape. Sometimes I enjoy wild animals passing by at dawn.

We have no bears, werewolves, ghosts, zombies over here.


That sounds realky exciting. I think more than anything I'd miss plumbing and hot water though :o. I'm usually not scared outside. It's mostly inside. Though if I had to sleep alone out in the dark I'm not sure. I think I might find that a bit creepy as well.

Monteresting what you say about confusing the senses during the day and in the dark. When I'm alone at home and feeling scared I try to numb my thoughts and distract me from my fears by stimulating all senses ie I switch on all the lights, turn on the TV, binge eat and often read something as well.


I'm better though now again. A few hours in the dark are ok. The biggest problem I have is with sleeping alone.

Chicky75
06-30-16, 06:38 PM
I've always been afraid of the dark. It's amazing how many people's stories here I can relate to. A lot of times I still won't take a shower if I'm home alone at night. And in my current apartment, my bedroom is on the 2nd floor and the only bathroom is on the 1st, so going downstairs to use the bathroom when I'm alone at night or even if my roommate's are asleep can still be terrifying. When it's really bad, I'll literally be shaking by the time I get back upstairs. It's better in smaller apartments for me.

I think the closest I've ever gotten to having a panic attack is because of the dark. Usually it's when I'm just about to fall asleep, but then for some reason am absolutely convinced that there's someone in the room. I generally sleep on my stomach, so not only is it dark, but they'd be coming up behind me. My heart will start pounding so hard.

Fuzzy12
06-30-16, 07:41 PM
Thanks for sharing chicky. I love sleeping on my tummy but can only do it when I'm not alone. Also I need to be able to see both the door and the windows.

Soneone else being in the room (as in some one who isn't supposed to be there) is my biggest nightmare as well. I actually have night mares about that.

I also get sleep paralysis, where you are supposed to be awake but can't move or speak or open your eyes and it's absolutely terrifying because I start thinking what if some one was in my room now when I'm paralysed. For me it's usually also acclaimed with auditory hallucinations like voices on the ground floor or someone coming up the stairs.

C15H25N3O
06-30-16, 09:48 PM
Do you think fear at home in the dark is natural?
A home should be comfortable like being a unborn baby.
Legends, books, news and movies affect us emotional
and we associate these emotions to our environment.

Watching a zombie-movie and visiting a graveyard in
the dark just after the movie might be bad *** therapy. :giggle:

Why should I meet anyone on a graveyard in the dark?
The answer is in your fantasy and you know its source.

Fuzzy12
07-01-16, 03:15 AM
Do you think fear at home in the dark is natural?
A home should be comfortable like being a unborn baby.
Legends, books, news and movies affect us emotional
and we associate these emotions to our environment.

Watching a zombie-movie and visiting a graveyard in
the dark just after the movie might be bad *** therapy. :giggle:

Why should I meet anyone on a graveyard in the dark?
The answer is in your fantasy and you know its source.

I fully agree but the problem is that fear isn't always rational. I've tried arguing and reasoning with myself but my brain won't listen.

If my brain wants to believe that the shadow in the corner of my bedroom is a minion of Satan that is going to suck out my soul it will happily believe that even though I know that's not possible and even though I don't believe in Satan or even that I have a soul.... :lol:

C15H25N3O
07-02-16, 09:17 AM
I fully agree but the problem is that fear isn't always rational. I've tried arguing and reasoning with myself but my brain won't listen.

Indeed.
Irrational fear is combining perception with an overweight of memory from traumatic situations or due to much brain work.
Semirational fear is combining perception and memory should be neurotypical.
Rational fear is combining perception and experience.

Most of the fear we have happens as a surprise and depends on our experience how to handle the situations.
You could play with repetitive irrational fear like shadows on a wall replacing an object to reshape the shadow or give it some glowing eyes.
Arguing and reasoning fear i think is feeding ADHD.
Rational fear can be switched off by mental preparation.