Monsters Under Your Bed: What Is Teraphobia & How To Cope?
As a kid, did the thought of monsters hidden below your bed frighten you? Did you feel that the monster that you saw in a movie will peek at you from inside the closet? If it happened with you in childhood and the fear is still lurking in your life even as an adult, it is termed as Teraphobia.
Teraphobia is very common in pre-school or school going children but often comes down as the child ages. However, if it prevails in adulthood, it may lead to severe anxiety disorders that are life limiting. If you are dealing with Teraphobia, you are surely not the odd one out as many teens and adults also fall into this kind of phobia.
Teraphobia In Children
Fear in children is a healthy way to learn coping mechanisms and develops a child’s brain. If they are dealing with Teraphobia, they may ask you to check under their bed or if someone is hidden inside the closet. Some signs could be:
- Loss of appetite
- Scared of darkness
- Avoiding going for dark theaters for movies
This fear develops through frightening stories that are told to the kids, aggressive climate outside the house or a scary movie on television.
Teraphobia In Adult
Adults of any age could get affected by Teraphobia. The symptoms that children face becomes a nightmare for adults in the longer run. This phobia can either continue from childhood or may develop because of watching horror movies or reading horror books. It is important to tackle such issues as they may take a form of acute sleep disorder or may leave you in embarrassed state in many places.
Effects Of Teraphobia
Losing sleep can leave a person tired and fatigued which can lead to interference in everyday life. The person may not be able to complete the basic tasks properly and the even ability to focus on everyday tasks gets difficult.
There could be nightmares in the broad daylight hours and one may feel that monsters may visit them anytime. Parents whose children are dealing with Teraphobia may also find difficulties as they tend to lose sleep while taking care of their kids.
Kids may refrain from enjoying their favorite snacks, have loss of appetite or develop body ache due to constant anxiety. There could be physical effects of stress like headache, stomachache or edginess.
Treatment Of Teraphobia
Understand that people facing Teraphobia, especially kids, need comfort, love, emotional support and care when they are stressed about monsters. Before you look for treatment of Teraphobia, keep a few points in mind.
- Avoid using stressful situations to imbibe discipline in your kid.
- Validate the fear they are going through while trying to gently change the perception with positive talks.
- Prove them that there is nothing wrong with them or their room. If required, put a night light bulb in corners of the room.
Also Read: How To Relieve Stress And Anxiety? Top 10 Ways To De-stress!
Treatment Of Teraphobia for Children:
1. Use ‘Monster spray’! Yes, you got it right. Child psychologists and pediatricians give child spray to the kids which contain water. Whenever the child is under fear, he or she can spray the bottle to escape from the monsters.
2. Make comforting routines: Help your child to make comforting bed routines which helps in calming the nerves. For example, a hot water bath, a glass of warm milk, a calm bedtime story or soothing sleep environment.
3. Pet protection: Allow your kid to sleep with their pets so that they feel protected.
4. Respect and assure: Just like we need others to validate our feelings, the feeling of a person dealing with Teraphobia also shall be assured and respected. Show some sensitivity and tell them that everything will be fine very soon.
5. Therapy: If home treatments are not working for anyone, connect your kid to a licensed therapist by either visiting them in-person or messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Therapists can help find reasons for fear, how can one use imagination to cope up and change the behavior.
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Treatment Of Teraphobia for Adults:
The fear of monsters takes a specific form in adults but it can be treated well with a number of treatments. When you visit your doctor or connect with an online therapist, you can stay prepared for the questions like:
- Do you think that monsters will harm you in any way?
- Do you think that your children can also face similar fears in future?
- Do evil spirits haunt your thoughts?
With that, you must be aware about your expectations from the therapy and what you would like your therapist to do to help you.
NOTE: If your fear has connection with religious beliefs like demons, supernatural forces or demons, it is better to connect with a therapist who also studies the same religion as you.
What Else Could Be Done To Cope With Teraphobia?
If therapies are not your go to thing, these alternatives might actually help you!
- Search for behind the scenes: If a horror movie or series has taken a toll on your head, you can look for behind the scenes to check how the actors, directors and scary characters worked.
- Watch humorously: Horror movies can add humor in your life if you try watching movies like Hotel Transylvania or Monsters.inc. Such movies can help in dissolving fear stuck inside your head with the image of monsters.
We hope that Teraphobia or phobia or monsters could be eased with your strongest will power and courage to fight against it. Remember, no fear can stop you from enjoying happiness in your life. So stand up and fight against it.