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I'm getting scared of the dark

(10 Posts)
ditzychick34 Mon 02-Jan-17 16:25:54

Hi, I have become scared of going out in the dark. I was ok in a city over Christmas but back home in the middle of nowhere, where night is pitch black, I'm terrified of going outside. I imagine monsters and beasts coming at me the minute I open the door. I have an 11mo DD and this started about 3 months ago, please can someone tell me what's wrong with me. I'm struggling to sleep imagining things getting in the house to hurt my baby and I. Please help

KondosSecretJunkRoom Mon 02-Jan-17 16:54:53

I get this sometimes.

My own view is that it makes good evolutionary sense for humans to be scared of the dark. And I think that we bury those instincts through a myriad of rationalisations and coping strategies which are quickly eroded through exhaustion. All it takes is a quiet moment and an active imagination for this to be a really unsettling.

If you are like me and this is happening because you are shattered you need to fix that, easier said than done with a baby, I know. Other than that, endless company and distraction helps as does keeping the lights and telly on helps. Don't drink. Be kind to yourself.

And if that doesn't help it might be worth speaking to your doctor. flowers

Patriciathestripper1 Mon 02-Jan-17 17:03:18

Please don't be afraid. Try this : wait until it's dark, take an adult with you and go out and sit/stand with your back against a tree or wall. Do nothing and just listen.
It will be so quiet that you will be able to hear things fields away! Nothing, and I mean Nothing will be able to sneak up on you without you hearing it from miles away.
Do this a few times and you will soon find darkness is your freind not your enamy.
Nothing can get to you in the dark cause you would hear it coming.

ditzychick34 Mon 02-Jan-17 22:05:16

Thanks Patricia but I really can't face going outside, its really noisy with wind and animals where I am, its only bloody badgers but in my head its not, and I back onto a wooded hill which terrifies me.
kondos my DD is a decent sleeper, and my wine consumption is low as I still BF. I start to panic and my heart races even looking at the doors or uncurtained windows

cleowasmycat Mon 02-Jan-17 22:26:07

I had this. Being a mum is full of hormones and worries and occasionally we end up on 'high alert' and can't reason with it.
I found a course of CBT helped to stop the automatic thoughts.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Mon 02-Jan-17 22:29:57

You live in the middle of nowhere?
Can you see stars at night? They are beautiful.

But hidden behind light pollution anywhere near London..

Flingmoo Mon 02-Jan-17 22:32:53

I had to have CBT for this although I've had it my whole life so the fear never fully goes away for me. For me it's mainly fear of supernatural stuff at night rather than fear of burglars/intruders etc.

The main thing I took from the CBT is to try and resist habits and behaviours which reinforce the fear. For me this means running up the stairs at night looking back constantly. The more you do things like this the more you're creating a link in your brain between the situation (walking up the stairs at night) and "danger". Whereas if I try and take a deep breath and walk calmly up the stairs, yes it's not very enjoyable and I still feel a bit afraid, but I'm stopping the fear from getting worse and worse over time.

If you notice yourself picking up new habits like checking windows, avoiding certain rooms, keeping lots of lights on etc it's a good idea to try and stop these behaviours if you can, before it makes the fear even worse...

Secretlythesame Mon 02-Jan-17 22:33:52

I have this too (and a ten month old). His room is dark with blackout curtains and I find myself afraid when I go in during the night to settle him to sleep. Sometimes I turn on the nursery light which isn't great for a baby in the middle of the night... I just thought it was part of being a newish mum. All of my fears and worries seem more pronounced than they used to be.

Flingmoo Mon 02-Jan-17 22:33:57

Oh and be really careful with caffeine. My anxiety/phobia definitely got worse when I increased my coffee consumption, it took me months to make the connection!

Flingmoo Mon 02-Jan-17 22:34:47

Secretlythesame Same here - incidentally I also started drinking more coffee around that time to combat the tiredness that comes with being a new mum!

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