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Imagining horrible/scary things at night... Anxiety/phobia?

(4 Posts)
Flingmoo Fri 31-Oct-14 11:03:26

Long post, sorry. Basically I never grew out of your usual childhood fear of spooky things at night. I know it's very common for adults to feel spooked in a dark house but for me it's preventing me from enjoying certain things in life.

I don't see anything scary but I imagine it. Sometimes the thoughts are very intrusive and unwelcome and I try to push it out of my mind, horror movie style scenes - for example (apologies if this is disturbing) walking into my bathroom and imaging that there a bloody scene with someone hanging over the bath. These fears are much worse in old houses. In my last flat which was an old converted terrace, I even had it in the daytime (only if I was home alone) which meant I had to get out of the house wherever possible to avoid the fear. I went to the GP and was put on a year-long waiting list for CBT, which I never recieved in the end as I eventually moved to a newer property, mainly due to the fear.

Now I live in a new build house, again I chose a new build specifically due to my problem, and now the issue hardly affects me anymore. However, I feel that it's starting to happen a little at night again, e.g. I'll imagine someone grabbing my foot as I step out of bed, it's a pain because I have to get up in the night to feed my baby! I also have he opportunity to go and stay with some relatives abroad in a couple of months time, while my DH is away on business, and I've realised I cant go because these relatives live in old houses and I won't be able to sleep at night on my own without DH. Even when he's with me in these places I have to get him to come to the toilet with me at night.

What is wrong with me... I still dont know, and I don't know if anyone else out there has this issue? It's sort of anxiety, but not social anxiety. Or is it a phobia? Of the dark? Being alone? Anybody got advice on how to deal with this sort of thing?

windchimes23 Fri 31-Oct-14 11:31:26

It definitely sounds like a phobia, a good CBT therapist would probably be able to help you with some coping strategies. You shouldn't have to suffer like this, it sounds as though it's severely interfering in your life.

I was extremely scared of flying, but have managed to conquer it. I would see this as the same type of anxiety/phobia type thing. You know it's actually ok but you just can't control the negative racing thoughts.

However I didn't have to fly on a daily basis, so it was not something that effected my every day life. This is effecting you every day so it is serious, could you go back to you GP and explain everything. It does sound as though you would benefit from some therapy for this. Could you afford to go private?

Hugs, it sounds distressing for you x

workingtitle Fri 31-Oct-14 11:38:30

Someone will come along with better advice soon... This was a crippling problem for me up until my mid 20s. It was part of an anxiety disorder, and only got better through therapy and in my case medication.

I would really encourage you to speak with your GP. A lot of counselling services are much more accessible now (e.g I can self refer with a two week waiting list) and they'll be able to work out, with you, what the best approach is.
But it is a problem and my guess is it won't to away on it's own. Well done for posting about it

workingtitle Fri 31-Oct-14 12:53:50

Sorry, ItIsntReallyReal - cross posted! There's your better advice, mamushka

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