Scotophobia, otherwise known as nyctophobia, or lygophobia is known as fear of darkness. Other names include Achluophobia and Myctophobia. Most people who suffer from it do not talk about it because of embarrassment or just the fact of talking about the dark upsets them.
For some, fearing darkness dictates how they live their lives. It can manifest itself in several different ways, by avoiding dark places, or leaving the lights on when unnecessary.
Some fear the dark because of what is unknown. They may fear that there are monsters lurking in the dark or ghosts that can attack them. Murderers are also said to take advantage of the dark. Others fear the dark because they cannot see, and they feel like they are being swallowed alive by the dark.
There are also physical symptoms of a scotophobia such as panic, shortness of breath, dizziness, tremors, sweating, increased heart rate and chest pain. Fear of the dark could be perpetuated by a tragic or intense life experience or a deeper underlying fear.
Treating of this phobia can be done by cognitive-behavioral therapy or exposure therapy. Combine this with medications, symptoms such as panic and migraines can help someone overcome scotophobia.
Self-help methods is another strategy, where in the individual needs to learn it to manage or deal with the worst symptoms. Relaxation techniques can also help deal with emotional and physical symptoms of severe phobia.