How to overcome fear of heights
Height phobia, also known as acrophobia, is the extreme fear of heights and falling from heights.
People with phobia of heights are even anxious about taking the elevator or climbing stairs. Fear of heights manifests itself in different degrees.
While some people are afraid of going to very high heights, others experience moments of fear even at a very small height. For some acrophobics, their fear of heights is so intense that even the mere thought of being at height causes them great fear.
Height phobia can reduce the quality of life of people with this phobia. For example; you live in the city and you are going to visit a friend but his house is on the fifth floor and you cannot go because you have a phobia, you have just started a new job but the workplace is located on one of the highest floors of a plaza, or you have a very serious height phobia, you cannot even climb stairs and when you have to go somewhere where you have to use stairs, you feel like you cannot breathe and you have a crying crisis. Situations like these can lead to a decrease in your quality of life and have a negative impact on your relationships with your close environment and your work life.
What are the Symptoms of Fear of Heights (Acrophobia)?
Symptoms of phobia of heights include heart palpitations, muscle tension, dizziness and trembling hands even at a small height. People with fear of heights do not want to live anywhere other than the first floor, let alone on the balcony of a high-rise apartment.
What Causes Fear of Heights?
First of all, it should be noted that thoughts of being at heights and falling from heights generally worry everyone. Most people do not want to be too high. However, people with phobia experience this much more intensely. One of the causes of height phobia is the warnings we have heard from our environment about heights since we were little. Warnings such as “don’t go to the edge of the balcony, you will fall”, “hold on tight when climbing the stairs, you will fall” have a greater effect on some people than others and cause phobia.
One of the causes of phobia of heights is genetic predisposition. If someone in the family has a phobia of heights, it is common for people to develop phobia of heights.
In some people, phobia of heights is caused by traumatic events. People who see someone from their close environment experiencing an event related to heights, such as falling or having an accident, may experience great fears about heights in the future. However, this does not mean that every person who witnesses a negative event will have a phobia of heights.
Phobia of heights generally begins to develop in childhood and its causes are rooted in childhood. It is more likely to occur in women than in men.
Can Fear of heights be cured?
As with all phobias, fear of heights can be treated. Some people prefer to avoid high places instead of seeking treatment. For example, they prefer to live on the first floor rather than on the high floors of apartments, they find it convenient to meet their friends outside rather than at home, but this may not always be possible for every person.
As mentioned earlier, if you live in a city with a lot of high-rise buildings, it is not possible to avoid fear of heights.
One of the treatment methods for phobia of heights is virtual reality. Here, psychotherapists aim to treat people with height phobia by gradually exposing them to height with virtual reality, which provides an environment as if they are in a really high place.
Another method that can be applied for the treatment of height phobia is cognitive behavioral therapy, which is frequently used in phobia treatments. In this therapy, an expert psychotherapist examines the causes of the phobia in the patient, and with the cooperation of the patient, the phobia of heights is tried to be treated by addressing these causes.