Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
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Fear of heights
Information on Acrophobia
Acrophobia is the term given to a phobic and irrational fear of heights. Although "vertigo" is commonly used to describe this fear, it is more accurately a spinning sensation rather than a fear of heights. Acrophobia develops when a person experiences a panic attack in a high rise situation and is unable to escape. Panic attacks can cause immobility, high anxiety levels and a gripping fear. Those who suffer from acrophobia can also feel the urge to jump from heights in order to escape the overall situation. Maintaining balance at heights such as chair or table level can become impossible and simple tasks like climbing stairs, enjoying an upstairs balcony or changing a lightbulb can be difficult and unthinkable. In this way, acrophobia can conflict and detract from quality of life.
Acrophobia is a learned disease and hence, can be unlearned with the right therapies and medications. Treatments such as hypnotherapy and gradual exposure therapy involve adjusting the irrational pathways of the brain in order to develop healthy associations. Flooding involves completely exposing the patient to the fear in order to trigger the realization that they made it through the episode unharmed. Virtual reality therapy has become a popular way to expose patients to heights without the physical and financial limitations of reality. It also saves them from the embarrassment of the public places at which heights usually occur. Counter conditioning involves teaching relaxation techniques in order to allow the patient to regain control in the onset of a panic attack.
Alternate or Related Terms