Understanding Altitude Phobias and How To Overcome It

Height phobia or acrophobia is excessive fear of height. The fear experienced by people with high phobia can cause several symptoms, such as anxiety, stress, to panic, when in a high place. Although not easy, altitude phobia can actually be overcome. Someone suffering from phobia of height will usually avoid activities related to high places, such as standing on a balcony, crossing a bridge, looking out the window from a skyscraper, or just sitting on a stadium bench.

Altitude phobia symptoms

People with phobia of heights can feel fear, anxiety, and panic that is not controlled when in height, even though the situation is not dangerous. Other reactions that can also occur are shaking, palpitations, dizziness, cold sweats, nausea, shortness of breath, until fainting. Just by imagining being in a high place, people with phobic phlegia can feel scared, anxious, even experiencing panic attacks. People with phobia of height actually realize that the fear they feel is unnatural, but they still cannot reduce that fear.

How to Overcome Altitude Phobias

Fear due to phobia of height can disrupt the daily activities of sufferers. In conditions that are quite severe, climbing stairs to install curtains, change the light bulb, or just clean the windows already make the sufferer afraid. If this is the case, this condition certainly needs treatment. The following are some treatment methods to overcome altitude phobias:

1. Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is considered to be one of the most effective therapies for treating altitude phobias. In this therapy, the therapist will help the patient to open up slowly to the thing that is feared. This therapy can be started by looking at pictures from the perspective of someone inside a tall building. Patients may also be asked to watch videos of people crossing ropes, climbing or crossing narrow bridges. Furthermore, patients may be asked to stand on the balcony while accompanied by a therapist. At this stage, the patient will learn relaxation techniques to help overcome fear when he is at height.

2. Behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common psychotherapy techniques used to treat phobias. CBT is suitable for people with high phobia who are not ready to undergo exposure therapy. The focus of this therapy is identifying and changing thoughts and negative reactions to situations that cause phobias. By undergoing behavioral therapy, patients will be guided to divert feelings of fear and overcome the symptoms that arise.

3. Sedatives

There is no drug that can cure phobias. However, some types of drugs, such as anxiety medications and antidepressants, are at least able to make people with altitude phobia calmer in dealing with anxiety when symptoms appear. Even so, the use of these drugs must follow the doctor's instructions. If the phobia of altitude that you experience has to interfere with daily activities, you should consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get a treatment, because it is not possible you can forever avoid high places, crossing bridges, or taking a plane to travel.

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