Acrophobia: How to overcome your fear of heights?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Fear of heights is a flaw that many people have.
It is a phobia that manifests itself in a high level of fear in the individual who experiences it.
In addition, we see that these people who have it tend, when they are in height, to lose their means.
Therefore, we also speak of acrophobia or fear of heights.
How to overcome it?
The rest of this article says a lot on the subject.
Causes and symptoms of acrophobia
You can’t treat acrophobia without knowing the causes and symptoms.
Indeed, several elements are at the origin of the fear of heights.
And warning signs of the disease are also present.
Acrophobia is a known phobia that is sometimes caused by the reactions of certain relatives or relatives of victims to heights.
It can also be passed on to children from anxious parents.
In addition, it has been observed that people with this phobia are generally women, given their tendency to anxiety.
Fear of heights is characterized by several elements in a person.
And among the distinctive signs of this phobia, we can retain:
- The feeling of being drawn to emptiness,
- Breathing difficulties,
- The feeling of being oppressed,
- An increased heart rate of the individual,
- Too much sweat,
- Momentary paralysis,
- A feeling of vertigo.
These are the signs that you have acrophobia.
Fortunately, there are several solutions to treat such ailment.
How to treat acrophobia
The phobia of the void is an evil that many people suffer from every day.
And since every problem has a solution, there are also a variety of treatments to deal with it.
In detail we have:
- Behavioral therapy
This method involves administering a substance in order to stimulate the human body.
The latter will thus be able to defend himself against a disease that said substance administered to a healthy person would make sick.
It is therefore a way of pushing the body of the patient under treatment to heal itself.
In the context of acrophobia, physiotherapy involves working the body of the sick person in order to re-educate it.
This has the advantage of preparing the body to be in balance with the conditions that require exercise of its joints in order to maintain balance.
Hypnotherapy is a method practiced by a therapist, doctor, or psychologist specializing in the field.
After contacting this specialist, he performs a hypnosis session on the patient, which consists of breathing exercises.
In addition, the patient is invited to relive experiences at heights during the sessions in order to better understand them and therefore to overcome his phobia.
When it comes to curing a phobia, behavior therapy is the best there is, and acrophobia is no exception.
Still called cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy involves correcting erroneous thoughts and eliminating negative beliefs.
By beliefs and negative thoughts, we mean here those related to situations of heights.
But for this the patient must first admit their acrophobia.
This process is carried out with the help of a qualified specialist in behavior therapy.
The behavioral therapy program for treating void phobia typically consists of about 20 sessions of 45 minutes each.
During these sessions, the behavior therapy specialist helps the patient to identify his emotions on his own.
This will aim to bring him to anticipate the latter through the practice of several support techniques such as relaxation.
One can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy at the office level or online.
Thus, during treatment with behavioral therapy, one can face a vacuum:
- Take a deep breath.
- Knowing how to keep your eyes open without looking away.
- Stay focused on your goal in your field of vision.
- Stay in control by knowing how to focus on a specific element.
- Know how to lean on a support (person or element of the relief) to stand up.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is about making eye movements less sensitive to changes in vision.
It is also called eye movement desensitization and retreatment.
It works to help a person with a phobia of heights to fight this sensation of changing the lens of the eyes in order to eliminate the fear.
Cybertherapy consists of using virtual reality to put the patient in a vacuum.
So it is about immersing a person suffering from a phobia, in a virtual world in order to help him be able to overcome it.
Moreover this method is quite used in the world which knows every day, an important numerical evolution with the simulations.
Self-esteem and love are also data that are impacted in people prone to void phobia.
That’s why having experiences that aim to boost self-esteem is a plus.
In addition, if these methods allow everyone to overcome their fear of heights, it should be noted that certain things should be avoided.
Things to avoid
In the treatment of acrophobia, we tend to want to attack the problem at the source.
The catch is that sometimes we find ourselves in situations that can aggravate the stress inflicted by this fear.
And then it is possible that the aggravated trauma turns out to be dangerous for the person am prone to it.
To simplify things, we can just try to cross a bridge or any other architecture of the same type leaving a safety margin.
It is strongly recommended that you exercise vigilance if you want to resort to this kind of behavior and go without too rushing things.
Ultimately, acrophobia can be treated in an average of 2 months.
It is a real phobia due to a dysfunction of the inner ear and which causes a loss of balance at the physiological level.
It is characterized by several symptoms.
In addition, it can be treated with homeopathy, physiotherapy, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, EDMR, or cybertherapy.
And while the results are encouraging, there are certain things you should avoid in order to combat this phobia, which may make the trauma during treatment worse.