There are a variety of different phobias that are experienced by people all over the world. Whether it be claustrophobia, the fear of small spaces or acrophobia, the fear of heights, they are all fears that are real to the people who suffer from them. One thing that is unique about acrophobia is that it can classify a variety of different things that are associated with being far from the ground. Unlike other phobias which are fears of specific things. If you or someone that you know suffers from acrophobia, you may be equally terrified of climbing a ladder or being on the highest floor of an apartment building.
Common Statistical Facts of Acrophobia
Phobias are one of the most common mental disorders experienced by people throughout the world. There are literally thousands of different phobias that can describe thousands of different fears that may cause panic attacks and anxiety attacks in an individual. With that being said, there have been many studies conducted on patients with acrophobia, helping to gather information for the following statistics. Between 2% and 5% of the entire population suffers from acrophobia, most of which are women. Twice as many women suffer from this mental disorder in comparison to men.
Acrophobia can be incredibly dangerous to the social and emotional events in a person’s life. Being afraid of heights severely limits the amount of activities that a patient can partake in, including simple tasks such as climbing flights of stairs or riding a rollercoaster. With that being said, it is imperative to seek psychiatric assistance to maximize your potential even if you are suffering from a specific phobia.
The Related Conditions of Acrophobia
As previously mentioned, this particular fear is unlike any other as it can be associated with any fear that makes the sufferer stray far away from ground level. With that being said, there are several different conditions that can either be experienced as a result of acrophobia or in synchronization of the phobia. Some of these conditions include:
Vertigo: An illness that is accompanied by dizziness and spinning. Vertigo can happen as a result of being in high places and the inability for the inner ear to balance itself out. Acrophobia can induce feelings that are similar to vertigo but they are two separate medical conditions that will require separate treatments.
Bathmophobia: Slopes and stairs are generally associated with heights, therefore they are a disorder that can be related to acrophobia. Bathmophobia is the fear of stairs and slopes and you may experience an ample amount of anxiety and fear when you are looking at a steep slope, even if you don’t have to climb it.
Climacophobia: Loosely related to bathmophobia, climacophobia is the fear of having to climb something with height. Generally you won’t fear a set of stairs that are steep if you do not have any reason to climb them or go down them. Climacophobia commonly occurs in tandem with acrophobia.
Aerophobia: The phobia that happens most frequently alongside acrophobia is aerophobia, the fear of flying. Considering that flights are generally held at extremely large heights, it can be incredibly difficult for sufferers of acrophobia to conquer their aerophobia as well.
The Symptoms of Acrophobia
As with other phobias, the majority of symptoms that you will experience will relate to a panic attack or an anxiety attack. If you find yourself at a height that is uncomfortable to your mind, you will begin to experience a feeling of fear and panic. The majority of sufferers of acrophobia also search for a specific item to hold on to if they are at a height that makes them uneasy. Crawling on your hands and knees, kneeling, and lowering your body are all actions that you may perform if you are at an uncomfortable height.
Other physical symptoms associated with acrophobia pertain to emotional distress. You may begin to sweat, have heart palpitations, shake, cry, or yell. On the other hand, your body may become paralyzed and overwhelmed with fear, making it difficult to think or make practical decisions. Considering that these symptoms are quite undesirable, acrophobia will make sufferers dread specific situations where they know that they will be at high heights such as visiting a friend who lives on the 30th floor of an apartment building.
What Causes Acrophobia?
The majority of phobias are attributed to a traumatic experience during childhood or in someone’s past. Generally it will relate to a detrimental experience that had something to do with heights or the structural imbalance of a tall building. Many individuals also find that they may suffer from acrophobia if they have lived with balance issues their entire life. The main way for the brain to establish control over heights to stabilize itself and maintain a high level of balance. If a person is unable to perform this action, you are essentially relying on the safety of the structure that you are on.