I've got a friend who thinks she might have Achluophobia (fear of the dark). She absolutely refruses to open her eyes in the dark, and she often stays up really late at night. On top of that, she won't go into ANY room without turning on a light.
I hope she doesn't, but if not a phobia, than what is it? I really want to help her, because I know how bad phobias can be. What should I do?
Posts: 17 | From: Ohio, United States | Registered: May 2005
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The classification between bad fears and phobias can be a bit tricky. Phobias, in general, are severe, anxiety and panic causing fears of a certain condition/object/etc. But something like a fear of the dark may stem more from a fear of the unkown, a fear of not being able to see what's around you, worry of possible danger because of such, etc.
Even not being a phobia, whether it is or isn't, this fear and anxiety she has related to the dark are worrisome. It is affecting her meantal AND physical health if she isn't sleeping well because of this as well as the anxiety she's expereincing in general.
Anxiety/fear IS a real mental disorder, and as such, it may be helpful for her to seek out a counselor who can help her overcome this anxiety so she can feel more comfortable in the dark and be able to actually start sleeping more normal hours.
All you can do as her friend is offer her these ideas, there's nothing more you can do than that as well as just being there for her as a friend. You can't force her into counseling, certainly, but you could definitely try to present possible ideas for help to her.
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