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Afraid Of The Dark?

are AFRAID THE DARK? OF When a normal fear becomes in- tense, persistent and irrational, it develops into a phobia. Achluo- phobia and nyctophobia are two terms used to describe a phobia of the darkness or the night. ORIGINS Some experts believe that fear of darkness is genetically- coded in humans: our ancestors were simply afraid of being eaten by nocturnal predators. While the senses of other nocturnal creatures evolved over time to compensate for lack of light, humans remained comparatively helpless in the dark. IN A STUDY OF LION ATTACKS ON 474 HUMANS IN TANZANIA FROM 1988 TO 2009 TTT 60% were attacked between 6pm and 9:45pm attacked at 40% any other time 2-4 times higher 1 Hourly attack rates were 2-4 times higher in the first 10 days after the full moon than during the 10 days before it. Most of the attacks occurred during the span of darkness between sunset & moonrise, a period of time that lengthens following the full moon. CHILDREN'S FEAR OF DARKNESS Fear of darkness is one of the most common fears among children. + FEAR It's most prevalent in children between 4 9 years old FEAR and 6 years old. It begins to decrease in the majority of children after age nine. SIGMUND FREUD believed that our fear of darkness is linked to separation anxiety and the absence of our mothers. He wrote, "The yearning felt in darkness is converted to fear of darkness." 102 CHILDREN "THE DARK" BETWEEN 8 AND 12 were asked to list WAS THE THIRD MOST LISTED, 17 CHILDREŃ WHAT THEY FEAR THE CHILDREN MENTIONED A TOTAL OF 49DIFFERENT SITUATIONS OR STIMULI (16,7%) CITING IT AS SOMETHING THEY FEARED IT'S NOT ONLY KIDS WHO ARE AFRAID For some, fear of darkness persists into adulthood. In 2001, a Gallup poll found: 8% 5% 2% FEMALE of adults say MALE they are afraid of the dark A recent pilot study of 93 undergraduate students hints that the percentage may be even higher. Many adults experiencing insomnia may be afraid of the dark. POOR SLEEPERS GOOD SLEEPERS 46% VS 26% REPORTED BEING AFRAID OF THE DARK The researchers created an objective test to verify the responses. Participants listened to bursts of noise through headphones while in a bedroom with the lights on and then with the lights off. Poor sleepers were more startled by noises and these reactions were heightened when the lights were off. THE DARK CONSEQUENCES Studies have shown that darkness is good for us and not embracing it might actually be harmful. Prolonged exposure to light before one goes to sleep suppresses the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and may increase risk of mood disorders, sleep disorders, and obesity. IS THE FEAR JUSTIFIED BY CRIME STATISTICS? It's natural to feel vulnerable in the dark, but should we be any more worried about being a victim of a violent crime after the sun sets? The U.S. De- partment of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey keeps data on vio- lent crime (rape, sexual assault, simple and aggravated assault, robbery) and the time of occurrence as reported by victims. COMPLETED VIOLENCE ATTEMPTED VIOLENCE CRIMES OF VIOLENCE (attempted & completed combined) (negative effects on victims) (attempted but not completed) 6 p.m 43,9% 53,6% 39,4% 6 a.m 6 a.m Though many people are afraid of the dark, crime statistics do not clearly show that this fear is justified. TREATMENT One effective form of treatment for phobias is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. A trained therapist helps one confront the feared object or situation-in this case, darkness-in a gradual and methodical way until the fear is reduced or conquered. If you suffer from a Fear of Darkness, please ask your physician for help! SOURCES Craig Packer, Alexandra Swanson, Dennis Ikanda, Hadas Kushner, "Fear of Darkness, the Full Moon, and the Nocturnal Ecology of African Lions -Mireia Orgilés, José P. Espada, Xavier Méndez, "Assessment Instruments of Darkness Phobia in Children and Adolescents: A Descriptive Review" -P. Muris et al, "What is the Revised Fear Survey Schedule for Children Measuring?" -Gallup News Service, "American Fears" -Moss TG, Alwood ME, Crowe BM, Carney CE. SleepVolume 35, 2012, Abstract Supplement, "Are People with Insomnia Afraid of the Dark, A Pilot Study" -TA Bedrosian, Z M Weil, R J Nelson, "Chronic dim light at night provokes reversible depressionlike phenolype: possible role for TNF" -U.S. Department of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey 2008, table 59 ONLINE CLOCK.MET The world's original Online Alarm Clock 57,4% 43,5% 54%

Afraid Of The Dark?

shared by Online Clock on Mar 13
Ever slept with the light on? You'd be surprised at the number of people who do. This is because there's just something inherent in human beings that tends to make many of us fear darkness. OnlineCloc...


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