All About Nyctophobia, the Fear of the Dark, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling

Nyctophobia banner - raven silhoetted again night moon

What is Nyctophobia?

Nyctophobia is the Fear of the Dark and, like all other fears and phobias, can cause significant anxiety and stress if you suffer from it.

It is almost certainly a ‘carry-over’ from younger childhood fear of being in the dark.

There may be a number of reasons why you developed Nyctophobia, for example:

  • You have been afraid of the dark since childhood which persists to this day.
  • You might have picked-up the fear of the Dark from a parent who suffered from it.

Although phobias are often described as ‘disorders’, there is no valid scientific evidence that Nyctophobia is the result of any kind of biological fault or chemical imbalance as proposed in the biomedical models of mental illness.

On the contrary, Nyctophobia is much more likely to be the result of your own, subjective evaluation (what you think your experiences mean) of what happened to you and is therefore better described as a psychosocial symptom.

Common symptoms of Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia Symptoms & Behaviours

All phobias, including Nyctophobia, create feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are always perceived as a threat.

Consequently, the symptoms of Nyctophobia are both specific and generic and may include:

  • Sleeping with the light on.
  • An elevated heart rate.
  • A sense of dread about what might happen.
  • Worrying that you might pass out.
  • Feeling dizzy or disoriented.
  • Having heart palpitations.
  • Having a dry or sticky mouth.
  • Hot sweats.
  • Feeling Stressed.
  • Difficulty breathing easily.
  • Feelings of panic.

Moreover, you may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of Nyctophobia.

Furthermore, you should also be aware that many of these somatic symptoms (symptoms felt in the body) listed above WILL subside over time and rarely last for more than 20 to 30 minutes.

Scientist examining the causes of Nyctophobia Banner

What Causes Nyctophobia?

it is likely that your Nyctophobia is the result of either traumatic experiences or adverse situations that you experienced at some point in your life.

As such, it is almost certainly a hang-up from your childhood days when you were afraid to go to sleep with the light turned out.

What’s more, because the Fear of the Dark has never been linked to any biological factors, the most likely explanation for your Nyctophobia is the way that you understood and made sense of your earlier experiences.

Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?

It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.

Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.

Nyctophobia sufferer in therapy session

Counselling and Therapy for Nyctophobia

We can offer you a number of different types of therapy and counselling for your Nyctophobia the Fear of the Dark.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had your phobia.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your phobia is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for Nyctophobia on the following links:

Although all forms of psychotherapy use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

Free Initial Consultations for Nyctophobia Banner

Arrange a FREE initial consultation

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from Nyctophobia then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any therapy or counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet our therapists and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome Nyctophobia but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your fear of the dark using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for nyctophobia problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.