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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I'm a 38 year old man. For some reason, I've struggled with

Customer Question

I'm a 38 year old man. For some reason, I've struggled with a fear of the dark off and on throughout my life that didn't really go away when I became an adult. I struggled with it throughout most of my twenties; it kind of went away in my early to mid thirties. Then, a couple of years ago, and went and saw a horror movie. At first, it didn't really affect me, but, about six months later, I found myself picturing it one night in bed and I suddenly started getting scared.
It's not so much a fear of the dark, I guess, as much as a fear of ghosts and demons. Intellectually, I know that it is completely irrational, and, yet, for some reason, I can't seem to talk myself out of the fear that some horrible specter is going to to suddenly appear in front of me, even though I know that it isn't going to happen.
This is really embarrassing for me as a grown man and I know it isn't normal. I just don't know how to get past it. I can't even sleep in my own bed; I have to sleep on the
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
couch in the living room and with a light on and I just want to be able to go to bed at night like a normal person.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello again,
I am very sorry that you are still struggling with this fear/phobia and anxiety, I can understand how distressing this can be for you. The last time we talked I recommended that you seek out a mental health professional to start therapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which will also include Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is a specific sub-set therapy that treats phobias. Did you seek out a psychologist/therapist for this level of treatment? Or did you at least talk to your doctor about being prescribed a SSRI/SNRI antidepressant (and possibly a sleep-aid medication) to help lessen this phobia and anxiety?