Fear of heights Phobia (obsessive fear) - it's prettyan unpleasant state with which it can be very difficult to cope on your own. Obsessive fears are different, but today we will find out what acrophobia is - fear of heights - and how to deal with it.

Acrophobia and Associated Fears

In contrast to specific phobias (as, for example,aerophobia - fear of flying), acrophobia can cause a person to be afraid of various things, somehow related to his stay at some distance from the earth's surface. Depending on the severity of the phobia, a person suffering from fear of altitude may be afraid to be on the top floor of the building or even just climb a flight of stairs. Fear of height can be accompanied by concomitant phobic disorders:

  • True illusion can bea sign of various diseases. And illingophobia is a phobia in which fear of dizziness can lead to symptoms that are very similar to it. Fear of heights can also cause such symptoms, but not always dizziness is true. In order to clarify the nature of such feelings, it is worthwhile to see a doctor who will prescribe the necessary examination. Most likely, you will have to pass blood for analysis, as well as make a computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Such a survey will help to exclude (or, conversely, detect!) A variety of neurological diseases.
  • Batofobiya - fear of differences in heights and depths Oftenit is connected with the fear of heights. A person prone to this phobia is scared not only, for example, to climb the hillside, but even just from the side to look at this elevation. I must say that not everyone who is overcome by the fear of heights suffers from bacterophobia; but almost all the bacterophobes are afraid of heights.
  • Climacophobia - obsessive fear of stairsIt can be related to batophobia, except that fear arises only when it is necessary to climb the stairs. If you are tormented by this phobia, then, most likely, you are not too afraid to see with your own eyes even the steepest ladder (unlike the previous phobia, when only the appearance of a hill or ravine causes a total horror); you will remain calm until you can feel safe at the bottom. So climaticophobia "acts" in tandem with acrophobia, fear of heights.
  • Aerophobia is fear just before the flight Bdepending on the severity of your fear, you can be afraid not only of flying in an airplane, but also of being at the airport. And, of course, very often this phobia develops along with fear of heights.

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Symptoms of Acrophobia

If you are afraid of height, you are notwill suffer from dizziness. Instead of it you will feel the attack of panic, having appeared on this or that height. Man in this state begins to seek instinctively, for what would he cling to. He suddenly realizes that he does not trust his sense of balance at all. The first reaction to this feeling is the desire to immediately get on all fours, kneel down or somehow lower the position of your body and come closer to the surface of the support. Emotionally and physically, the body's response to the fear of height is similar to the reaction in any other phobia. The person starts to beat a trembling, at it the sweat is extensively allocated, the strong palpitation begins; the sufferer often begins to cry or cry. Horror paralyzes movements, thoughts get confused, and it becomes very difficult to think soberly and clearly. If you are afraid of heights, then it is entirely logical to assume that you will also begin to fear situations that may cause you to spend some time high above the ground. For example, you can not enjoy the anticipation of a close vacation, because you will worry about having to live on the top floor of the hotel. You can postpone the repair of an apartment or house, for fear of even thinking about using a ladder or step ladder. You will avoid going to visit a friend, because you can not watch as she goes out onto the balcony. You will give up much in this life, not always even realizing the reasons for your behavior. Any phobia is a risk of limiting the full life and normal activities, and this is due to the fact that a person who is very much afraid of something, will avoid the situation frightening him with all his might. The danger of acrophobia is that you can really hurt yourself when you lose the ability to act calmly and deliberately, being at the height and getting under the influence of panic. It is therefore extremely important to seek professional help as early as possible, especially if the need to regularly touch the height is part of your life. phobia fear of heights

Causes of acrophobia and its treatment

Studies that have been carried out repeatedlyscientists to find out the causes of acrophobia, show that the fear of heights is characteristic not only for humans, but for all animals that have eyesight. And in 1960, the famous American psychologist D. Gibson experimented with the so-called "visual cliff". The essence of the experiment was that part of the surface on which the children were motivated to crawl (in the experiment, both human babies and young animals of various animal species participated in turn) were replaced by transparent glass panels, under which there was empty space. Cheerfully crawling along the opaque surface, the kids stopped abruptly in front of the glass panels, not wanting to move around the empty space above the empty space. And even the presence of mothers who encouraged their children did not convince them of the safety of such a "journey". Thus, this phobia, which is obviously partly rooted in our subconscious as an evolutionary survival mechanism. Nevertheless, most children and adults are only careful to face height, without being too afraid of it. Therefore acrophobia, like all other phobias, is only a hyper-reaction in comparison with the usual reaction of fear. Many experts believe that the reasons for this hyper-reaction should be sought either in the previous fall of a particular person from somewhere above, or in the nervous behavior of parents who feared heights and gave a similar reaction model to their child. What treatment does this phobia suggest? Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the main choice in the treatment of specific obsessive fears. Behavioral methods that immerse a patient in frightening situations are either slow (the method of systematic desensitization), or rather quickly, are most often used. In addition, the patient is taught the ways in which he can stop the panic reaction and regain control over his emotions. Traditionally, the actual exposure to height was used (if a person has a phobia associated with fear of heights); but studies that have been conducted since two thousand and one year have shown that virtual reality in the treatment of phobias can be just as effective. And the main advantage of virtual reality is saving money and time. Acrophobia, as we have found out, is rooted in the evolutionary mechanism of security. However, this phobia is an extreme option of normal caution and can take an especially severe form. It can also be dangerous for those who experience panic, being at a considerable height. Acrophobia can coincide on symptoms with certain diseases, and it is often complicated by other phobias. We think all that's said is enough to make you understand - if you are experiencing signs of acrophobia, you should do everything possible to seek professional help as soon as possible! We advise you to read: