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What is the remedy for a 11 year old who as phobia of dark places?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, I would like to know what speciality doctor should be consulted regarding phobia? Its for a girl of 11 years who is scared to go alone to any dark place even within a closed house. This phenominen is found in other two kids of 8 year girl and 6 year boy (although the boy's fears are due to the characters in cartoons and some kid's movies). The mother of these kids also has a frequent fear of thieves and get disturbed even for a small noise if she doesnt know the source of it. I am not sure if the mother should be treated first since i believe it could be due to that the kids would have developed this nature. I tried my best to give them logical reasons and practicality of such situations but it never worked. Would really appreicate your advise on this including consulting a doctor. We live in Lahore, Pakistan but are from another Asian country.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 38 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Having phobia is a psychological problem. Phobias are common in children.

If the fear is not interfering with her daily life, then it is unlikely that treatment is needed. However, if the fear is interfering with her social activities, school performance, or sleep patterns, a professional help from a qualified psychotherapist is needed.

The most frequently used treatment for phobias is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy called systematic desensitization or exposure therapy. This treatment is very effective.

You need to consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist for this treatment.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful.

Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Wishing you good health.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the remedy for a 11 year old who as phobia of dark places? 2 hours later
I have asked if this could be related to the phobia from the mother who shows fear to the slightest noise during sleep, fear of some thieves or stranger breaking into the house? You haven't replied me on this? They spend most of their time with the mother and they are scared to death when i am not in the house fearing of many things. My main concern was if the mother be treated first but this has not been answered.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 23 minutes later

Thanks for writing again.

Children do tend to copy the behavior of the elders.

Mother's behavior must be having a good amount of influence on the children.

Fear to the low noise and fear of death seems to be clear psychiatric symptoms.

Yes, you can consider taking the mother to a psychiatrist first and simultaneously ask the psychiatrist to evaluate the children also to restrict the mental damage already done.

Hope my answer is helpful.

Wishing trouble free speedy recovery.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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