Acrophobia is the fear of heights. People suffering from this typically do not fancy amusement parks, getting on planes or even using an elevator in high buildings. Some can even get dizzy while driving over bridges. Acrophobia can trigger a wide range of unpleasant symptoms and overall, it affects one’s quality of life. You might experience stress and anxiety over being given a room on the top floor of a hotel. You might even delay repairing a simple leak on the roof because of your fear of climbing. All of these scenarios are just examples of how acrophobia is affecting your lifestyle.
In children, acrophobia will hinder them from enjoying simple activities like playing with their friends at the playground; climbing ropes, hanging on monkey bars etc. Therefore, as a parent, it is good that you understand what acrophobia is and where it stems from so you can determine how best to help your child conquer this fear.
Causes of Acrophobia
Acrophobia can develop in response to a traumatic encounter that involved heights like:
- Watching someone else fall from a high place
- Falling from a high place
- Having negative experiences or panic attacks while on higher grounds
Experts believe acrophobia, like all phobias, may be a learned response to a previous fall and it is just a hyper-reaction of the normal response to fear. Other implications have been made, suggesting that acrophobia can develop without a known cause, but environmental factors and genetics play a role.
Symptoms of Acrophobia
Common symptoms of acrophobia include:
- Feeling paralyzed or terrified
- Crying or yelling
- Crawling on all fours
- Feeling the need to descend immediately you reach higher ground
- Experiencing heart palpitations
- Dizziness and headaches when you are on higher grounds
- Experiencing panic attacks with complete breathlessness
Treatment for Acrophobia
Phobias don’t always require treatment. For some, getting over a feared object just requires you to avoid said object and you will be good to go. For others like acrophobia, you might need extra help to overcome it. Some of the most common treatment options for acrophobia include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
In this treatment, you work with a therapist to reframe and challenge negative thoughts about heights. It might include some bits of heights exposure but within the safe space of a therapy session. The behavioral techniques that expose you to the feared situation are used rapidly or gradually. The patient is the taught how to regain control of their emotions and stop panicking.
- Exposure Therapy
In this option, you work with a therapist to gradually expose yourself to your fears. You might start by watching videos of people climbing or look at pictures from the perspective of people inside a tall building. You might then go out onto a balcony perched high up on a building. By this time, the therapist will have taught you how to conquer your fear.
Some medications can help in easing the symptoms of anxiety and panic. Beta-blockers and benzodiazepines help keep your blood pressure in check and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Acrophobia is real but it is easily manageable. Do not let your fear of heights dictate how you should live. When you notice your child’s fear of heights is hindering their growth, seek out the help of a therapist.Fitness Kids has a wide array of indoor playground equipment that will help your child get over their fear of heights in no time. Our products are made of highly durable material to safeguard the safety of your child while they play. Contact us today to learn more about the products that we offer.