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Maddox's avatar

Is it okay to be 18 and afraid of the dark?

Asked by Maddox (22points) January 26th, 2011

I am 18 years old and have this almost irrational fear of the dark. I know that there is nothing there but I always feel as if there is something that is going to get me. I can watch horror movies and scary movies (it is my favorite movie genre) without any trouble and I never feel as if things from the movies are in my room so I don’t think it has to do with that. My dad doesn’t think it is anything, that it is something in my head but I’m also wondering if it is nyctophobia (irrational fear of the dark). Sometimes at night, I have to run to get into my bed because I’m afraid something will grab me from under my bed and sometimes I have to pull my blanket over my head and I’m scared that if I take it off, there will be someone looking at me. My question is: is it okay for someone my age to be afraid of the dark? Also my 20 year old friend has the exact same problem and she wants answers as well.

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21 Answers

ucme's avatar

Of course it’s okay. There are no restrictions with fear, age or otherwise. The cloak of darkness can be pretty intimidating for some folk. Oh &........Boo! :¬)

bunnygrl's avatar

GA @ucme, well said. It all goes back to our most primitive survival instincts I think honey, in the dark we can’t see predators, have no warning of dangers around us. Of course we don’t have predators in nature anymore (other than the sickos who turn up on the news but we’ll ignore the twisted human element) but thats all it is. We know there isn’t anything there but logic doesn’t play a part in fear. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with you, and for the record I’m scared of the dark too and I’m nearly 47, so there :-)
hugs honey, and hugs for your friend too <hugs> xx

marinelife's avatar

To decide whether it is OK, the question you need to answer is: Is Your Fear of the Dark Disrupting Your Life?

That is to say, do you have trouble being alone at night?

Do you have to do special workaround routines because of your fear of the dark?

If so, you probably want to get treatment for the phobia.

Vunessuh's avatar

I’m almost 23 and I can’t stand the dark. I never sleep in a pitch black room. I always have a light on and not some measly nightlight either – I turn on a lamp that lights the whole room. Not to get into details, but this has more to do with my anxiety than anything.

Btw, imagining things grabbing you under your bed or thinking a face is staring at you outside of your covers isn’t a very uncommon experience with kids/teenagers. I think you’re alright, but I do agree with @marinelife – if you feel it is seriously compromising your quality of life, get help.

Austinlad's avatar

Absolutely nothing wrong with being afraid of the dark at any age. And kudos to @Maddox for not being afraid to admit it!

Nullo's avatar

Fear engenders caution, and caution is dang useful in the dark.

If you want light in the room at night, but don’t want to get a night-light, get a computer with lots of blinkenligts – my own setup has a LED on the monitor, two on the speakers, four on the router, and one on the printer. Given time to adapt, it’s almost like being under full daylight.

WasCy's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Well, nominally it’s okay to be afraid of the dark.

What is assuredly not okay is to be 18–20 years old, and you should rectify that at the earliest opportunity.

Maddox's avatar

@Nullo I have a very bright street lamp outside one of my bedroom windows and I keep the curtains open at night. Also, my alarm clock is pretty bright.

coffeenut's avatar

Fear of the dark is/was my favorite fear of all. It was mostly caused by movies……I used to go into the woods near my house that were pitch black at night to help get over it…..didn’t take long. but nowadays there are things waiting in the dark to get you….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Ok for what? If it bothers you, it’s not okay. I sometimes feel the way you feel as well but it’s not often.

nebule's avatar

Being a jelly and all… you might want to morph into one of these… if you’re not one already… but in all seriousness… it’s ok to be any age and be afraid of anything in my book! xx

Cruiser's avatar

I am generally not afraid of the dark but I will also have my moments where getting to a light source seems to be the thing to do based on a creep out moment. The wildest time was on a dive trip at night…in the dark. Just me and my dive buddy and our 2 flashlights. Talk about frrrrreeeeeeeeky!!! Never did that before or since but what they say about they only come out at night… this case that was sooo true. I mean the WEIRDEST shit you could imagine is out and about and everywhere. The big freak came when I turned around and there is this shark 20 feet from me….reef shark even a nurse shark any shark at night is a major scream like a little girl and pee in your pants moment…good thing I was in the water!!!

Austinlad's avatar

I remember as a young teen walking into our family garage late one night—and I mean, it was TOTALLY black—and suddenly having this overwhelming feeling of lightness in my head, which I now know was a rush of adrenalin induced by panic. And worse, I’ve dreamed that exact childhood incident many times in my life. I still enter garages at night with a bit of fear.

john65pennington's avatar

My wife is 64 and still afraid of the dark. We keep a small light burning and a dog at the bottom of the bed. Ahhhhh, the things we do for love.

WasCy's avatar


That’s not half as weird as if you kept a small dog burning and a light at the bottom of the bed. Or the bottom of the bed burning, and a small, light dog.

zzzpatzzz's avatar

If it’s dark they can’t see you and they don’t know your house like you do so you have the uper hand to get them first , so reach out and grab it and choke it out one night and your fear will be gone.

woodcutter's avatar

there’s no difference between night and day except the the color of the air….and the monsters.

sliceswiththings's avatar

As I tell my campers when they get scared, if it weren’t for the dark, we’d have no time to pick our noses without everyone knowing!

SierraB's avatar

I´m 26 and still very afraid of the dark, sometimes when the electricity goes out and I happen to be alone in a room I just can’t stand being there by myself too long I have to run to find someone else. :)

Berserker's avatar

The fear of the dark most of us have had as children is a remnant from our caveman days. Well, or so I was told; back then, humans would often be attacked by nocturnal predators as they slept. It was badass enough to create the fear which acted as a defense mechanism and conjured caution, means of defense and prevention. So, if that remained in us after all that time, it is okay to be afraid of the dark, even when you grow older, since a lot of it is natural.
However, if it bothers you to an extent that it may affect your life in some way or another, it might be a phobia indeed, or something to consider checking into.

Vbis4evercool's avatar

It is perfectly ok to be afraid of the dark 18 or older… I may not be 18 but I know some people who are 36 and still afraid of the dark…

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