Why Are We Afraid of the Dark?

We’ve all had a hard time sleeping in the dark when we were little kids and ran away to our parents, and some of us continue to be afraid of the dark even as we grow up into adulthood. Well, have you ever wondered the reason behind the fear of the dark? Could it be something else, not the darkness itself, that we fear?

In our childhood, when we were able to act more fearlessly, not caring about anything, unlike adults, we all must have a problem. don’t be afraid of the dark We’ve gone through a period of sleep, leaving that hallway light on. After all, all monsters come out of their hiding places at nightfall, or at least in our child minds we believed so. This fear better remain only in childhood: darkness, even when we grow up to be adults; continues to bring wolves into us in a way that we cannot understand why.

So why? As with every fear, the fear of the dark has a psychological explanation. world famous metal band Iron Maiden“Sometimes you are afraid to even look in the corner of the room. You can feel that something is watching you all the time,” the legendary song said on it. Fear of the DarkLet’s take a look at the fear of the dark for which he wrote.

A journey from the color of death to the color of grace

A child afraid of the dark

When you see a person dressed in all-black, you might have a hard time figuring out whether he’s going to a funeral, a business meeting, a fashion show, or just a walk. After all, all of these events can be dressed in all black.

Pantone Color InstituteColorist and executive director of Leatrice EisemanAccording to , the color black has undergone a huge change in the last 50-100 years. “Today’s black; beyond funerals, grief, and weeping widows, color is a kind of ‘sense of power‘ has a weight that gives,’ says Eiseman. mourning and deathceases to be a color associated with nobility and sophistication It has evolved into the first color that comes to mind when it is mentioned. Now people prefer to wear black as a symbol of expensive clothes, to look slim, to radiate a sense of self-confidence.

But black color gloom and unknownHis association with the witch still persists in some cultures in the form of demonic depictions such as the clothes of a witch or the cloak of the Grim Reaper. In fact, this and similar fictional depictions are also part of the evolution of fear of the dark.

Fear of the dark is actually a legacy of our ancestors.

A woman afraid of the dark

Let’s say you’re home alone and watching a movie set on your couch in your beautifully lit living room. Dry tree branches, stirred by the wind blowing outside, rub against your glass. A classic Autumn evening; there is nothing to question your security, is there?

Until suddenly the lights go out and leave you alone in the dark. In such a situation, an irrational fear begins to take hold of most people.

Professor of psychology at Ryerson University of Toronto and The Anti-Anxiety Workbook the author of the book Martin Antony“Fear is like a feeling of pain. It exists only to protect us against a possible danger,” he says, and adds: “That ‘fear’ keeps us alert to dangers. “

prehistoric people

No electricity or even fire; In prehistoric times, about which we have so to speak ‘darkness’ and about which we have limited knowledge, humans were much more likely to be attacked by predators when it got dark. With the help of ever-evolving technology, humanity settled at the top of the food chain over time, and we began to create fictional monsters to fill the void left by these extinct predators. This is why good horror movies don’t show the monster directly: our imagination already creates the scariest monster for us. That is, we fear the “unknown” rather than the monstrous-looking monster.

a dark forest road

However, in this long evolutionary process, our need to protect ourselves, namely the ‘fear of the dark’, has run so deep that it has remained with us to this day. On this subject, Antony said, “We rely on our visual system to protect ourselves from danger. In the dark, this visual sense becomes ineffective and we are unable to identify what or who is around us,” he says. “Fear of the dark is a prepared fear.”

In Eiseman, people instinctively “because the color black makes certain shapes and potential threats invisible.”unknownThe color of night and darkness. The color that covers everything. identifies as “.

In the words of Eiseman, “The effect of how we see colors in nature on human psychology is very important. Also, we all know that black is the color of the night, and it is the color that can hide any malicious action that can be made under the cover of darkness.”, and this understanding begins to permeate us when we are still young children. Today, thanks to technology, we can turn on the light and continue having fun even in the darkest hour of the day; but some of us never get over this fear.

But what if this fear starts affecting our daily activities?

A man afraid of the dark

Antony said that fear is a natural and necessary life-saving response; however, he also underlines that it can be a cause for concern in cases where it is overdone. After all, too much of anything is bad, isn’t it?

Stating that the fear we feel when we are alone at night is natural in parts of the city, which we know are not very haunted, Anthoy says it is not normal for us to have the same feeling when we are alone in our own room at night.

An overwhelming sense of fear of the dark can come from a number of different reasons, from a negative experience such as being attacked in a dark place to something as simple as watching a horror movie.

a dark tunnel

If this fear does not go away on its own over time, it can badly affect our relationships, our work, and the things we would normally do easily. nyctophobes It can evolve into a phobia known as According to Antony, if the person has reached the point where he cannot leave his home at night, it is no longer an ordinary fear, but a phobia.

In such cases, the person who partially illuminates our vision, such as night lamps or leaving the door ajar enough for light to enter,security signal‘ can apply for so-called aid. A faint light or the presence of a friend makes us feel more secure and cling to reality.

According to Antony; state of fear gradually There are also treatments such as exposure. In these treatments, professionals ask their patients to list and number the situations they fear and then expose themselves to those situations until they no longer feel fear. “For example, if a patient can now sleep with just the presence of a nightlight, we might ask them to buy a new nightlight that is dimmer or adjustable,” explains Antony.

Black color can be a symbol of self-confidence for some.

a dark road

However, just as a coin has two different sides, so does the color black. two different faces where.

While the color black makes many people feel anxious and fearful and keep them awake at night, it makes others feel more confident and secure than usual – especially when it comes to fashion.

“I think a lot of people see black as a color that gives a certain degree of security, that they can wrap themselves up in and kind of get lost in the shadows,” says Eiseman. It is entirely up to the individual to fear or become one with what lurks in the dark.”

The mighty witches of American Horror Story Coven

Also, come to think of it, most powerful fictional characters are usually portrayed in black or at least darker tones. This is also true in reality: Picture very powerful business people. Aren’t we mostly used to seeing them all in dark suits? In this case, we think it would not be wrong to say that accepting and becoming one with the dark side can help us overcome this fear.

This was our article in which we examined the psychology behind the fear of the dark. If there are readers among you who suffer from the same phobia, remember that the fear of the dark is just a small gift left to us by our ancestors, who were always on the alert to protect themselves. Trying to accept it instead of fearing it will be healthier for anyone with this phobia. With the help of a small night light, of course.