Why do we fear heights?
All people are afraid of something: someone is afraid of spiders, and someone with horror imagines a dark room or a closed space, panically afraid of blood or sharp objects. All of us are living beings, we are intrinsically afraid of something, but the main difference between such panic and absorbing fears of the ordinary is that a person is not able to control himself at such moments.
Obsessive fear of heights or, as it is also called, acrophobia, manifests itself in people more often than others, according to statistics, it is believed that it occurs in 4% of the female population and 6% of men.
For those who have never come across anything like that, it’s hard to imagine how a person feels embraced by an eerie and absorbing feeling, it may seem that these are only complexes and personal difficulties that are easy to handle, but that’s not the case ...
There are such jokers who offer to get rid of the haunting feeling of fear with the help of a parachute jump or with a bungee, saying that having survived this once, you will definitely forget about such fears.
But how to climb a high bridge or take off aboard a small airplane, if one idea of it inspires such overwhelming feelings of fear that the hocks are shaking and your head starts spinning? But how, then, to get rid of the haunting fear of heights, is it not just a small flaw, but a serious inner feeling, which from time to time makes it difficult to live and enjoy fully?
People who are really in the throes of acrophobia cannot fly on planes, look at skyscrapers from windows and go out onto balconies, sometimes go so far as to be absurd that there is a panic at the thought of elevation or elevation.
A phobia differs from ordinary fear in that it is impossible to control it, the horror to survive a certain event reaches its critical point, the arising feeling may not at all yield to some logical explanation.
Being at a height is sometimes so unbearable for a certain circle of people that they begin to avoid all possible events or objects that can return them to a state of fear. Feeling discomfort and a slight fear of high altitude is normal, so the human body activates internal reserves of self-defense, trying to ward off a possible threat to life.
A phobia, on the contrary, is capable of harm: at the moment of raging fear, a person abruptly loses the ability to soberly assess the situation, which often became the cause of many accidents.
Main symptoms and manifestations of acrophobia
To understand whether you are afraid of heights or not, it’s enough to go to a high-rise balcony or be somewhere in nature high above sea level.
The main symptoms of fear of heights are sharp dizziness, nausea appears instantly (not always), and perspiration appears on the face.
Man instantly ceases to trust his own sense of balance, instinctively looking for what to cling to, grab and not let go.
The first thing he is trying to do is to move on all fours, thereby bringing his body closer to the surface of the earth in order to reduce the risk of a possible fall. There were also such cases when people froze in similar poses and could not cope independently with their condition, could stand in such a stupor for several hours until someone was with third-party help.
In general, the symptoms of acrophobia are similar to those of any other phobias,a person begins to beat a nervous shiver, he may start screaming and crying, falling into a hysterical state, his thoughts are confused, from which it is no longer possible to think soberly and clearly.
From people who are embraced by such feelings, you can often hear "I'm afraid to look at the plane flying by," "I'm afraid to stand on a chair to screw in a light bulb."
Sometimes fear develops so much that it can take the form of psychosis: a person may be afraid to sleep on the bed or look at the ceiling, because at such a moment it may seem to him that the top changes with the bottom, which means that it may fall.
For a healthy person, such symptoms and manifestations may seem complete nonsense, but, unfortunately, it is a disease that is important to fight until it overpowers the patient.
How to get rid of the fear of heights?
In order to get rid of it, it is necessary to initially determine what caused the appearance of a phobia, which served as a lever that could be established in the human mind to the most extreme and critical degree of fear. Psychologists say that if you correctly determine the nature of occurrence, then it will be possible to overcome acrophobia, however, no one says that it will be easy.
- Congenital or hereditary acrophobia.Most often, it is inherited, so to speak, at the genetic level. It is also believed that somewhere on a subconscious level, your “organism” remembers that height represents a real danger to it, perhaps it even caused the death of some of your close relatives.
- The acquired fear of heights is explained much more simply: most likely, once in deep childhood, and maybe not in the very distant past, height became the cause of some real incident that had a strong influence on the formation of the psyche, so to speak, left a deep imprint, with who now have to live permanently.
It is much more difficult to get rid of a congenital phobia of fear; on your own it is impossible at all, most likely you will have to resort to hypnosis. Acquired fear is cured, of course, easier, especially in cases where a person clearly knows what caused its sudden appearance.
Many psychologists and specialists do not recommend independently resorting to extreme methods of treatment (parachuting, settling to live on the extreme floor of a high-rise building, etc.).
The fact is that this may be the result of the appearance of a new problem - the complete absence of fear of height.Often, such a change of affairs as a result can develop into an obsession, and in some cases - an irresistible desire to jump down.
But then how to help yourself? If the problem is not in the most extreme stage of neglected psychosis and nervous breakdowns, then you can try to gradually overcome your own fears: first find the time and imagine the height, struggle with the emerging sense of fear in your imagination.
When you feel the inner strength, you need to move on to actions: go out on escort to the balcony, for the beginning of 3 floors will be enough, gradually increase their number.
It should be noted that only a small part of people are able to have such a high sense of self-control, therefore, in most cases, it is better to contact an experienced psychoanalyst, after several sessions with which you are most likely to say goodbye to your fears forever.
As a treatment, most often, medication is prescribed, which helps to temporarily overcome fears and fears, in parallel with this, conversations are held and, if necessary, hypnosis sessions, during which a serious correction of the patient’s consciousness is carried out.
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