You must have heard about the fear of height, but there’s more to it then you probably know. Aeroacrophobia is a word for fear of open high places.
This is a relatively common fear as many people can stand exposure to high places once there is a form of protection or shield. This explains why someone can visit the top floor of a very tall building and be comfortable enough to dance, work, eat, and do other things.
However, the same person will tell you how scared they are of high places. Such a person has Aeroacrophobia. In this article, we will tell you all there is to know about Aeroacrophobia, including the possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Causes of Aeroacrophobia (fear of open high place)
All phobias have certain things in common, and the absence of generally known and accepted causes is one of those.
Aeroacrophobia doesn’t have a known cause, but psychologists and therapists are of the opinion the environment and genetics play a significant role in its formation.
What this means is that a person who is genetically predisposed to mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and phobia because of a parent or both parents stands a high chance of having Aeroacrophobia.
Also, phobias like Aeroacrophobia can be learned by watching or leaving around people who have similar fears or tell stories about bad things that happen to people who are exposed to open high spaces.
Still, a person’s fear of open high places can be as a result of something other than the two possible causes mentioned here.
Symptoms of Aeroacrophobia
Before we take a look at the symptoms of Aeroacrophobia, it is essential to note that phobias are to be taken very seriously.
If you do not give them proper attention and treatment, they might begin to limit the life of the sufferer. In some cases, these limitations get up to the degree of extreme depression and anxiety.
Having the right information on how best to manage thoughts and anxiety related to a phobia will not only help a person live a healthy life but also help them deal with any other phobia that may come up.
People who have Aeroacrophobia or suffer from the fear of open high places will most times purposely avoid coming into contact with places or situations that will cause them to experience such fear or anxiety to start with.
This might come across as a good quick fix for such discomforts, but it’s damaging in the long run as it causes the suffer to make up excuses for not seeking professional help.
Also, people who exhibit such avoidant behavior because of a phobia may lose opportunities or find it challenging to live life to the fullest if their regular dealings involve situations that will expose them to open high places.
Note that people who deal with a fear of open high places or Aeroacrophobia may not only do everything physically possible to avoid such places; they also condition themselves to avoid the thought of open high places.
There have been innumerable cases in which people have developed a phobia from open high places where they get scared of dealing with anxiety itself because it would make them become very uncomfortable in the exact moment they are in contact with object of their fear.
Panic attacks can be quite discomforting for the sheer fact that they are felt on a physical level. Individuals who experience panic attacks will commonly feel palpitations, a pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate.
People who suffer from the fear of open high places often deal with panic attacks. These panic attacks can be extremely distressing and frightening both for the person suffering from it and those around them.
These symptoms will, most of the time occur suddenly and without any prior warnings or signs. No matter how overwhelming the feelings of anxiety is, a panic attack can lead to real physical symptoms, like the ones listed below:
- Hot flushes or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- A choking sensation
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Headaches and dizziness
- Feeling faint
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- A sensation of butterflies in the stomach
- Numbness or pins and needles
- Dry mouth
- A need to go to the toilet
- Ringing in your ears
- Confusion or disorientation
- The rise in blood pressure
- Tightness in the chest/chest pain and difficulty breathing
In cases that are very severe, a person who is dealing with a panic attack that is triggered by Aeroacrophobia may also deal with the following psychological symptoms:
- Fear of dying
- Fear of harm or illness
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of fainting
- Feelings of dread
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Anxiety and fear
- Feeling disconnected
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
In some rare cases, there may be people who are dealing with intertwined phobias, also known as complex phobias.
Situations like this can often cause a detrimental effect on an individual’s mental well-being and everyday life. Because they may limit a person’s life so much that they become unable to lead a normal personal or social life.
All of these will trigger a chain reaction of most or some of the symptoms as mentioned above and eventually lead to depression.
Treatment of Aeroacrophobia (fear of open high places)
For many individuals who are dealing with a fear of open high places – Aeroacrophobia, they never feel the need to get professional treatment because they know they can simply avoid the object of their fear.
This ability to prevent the object of fear gives people suffering from Aeroacrophobia, a feeling of control over the problem. But then, it is not every time that it is possible to avoid open high places.
It is very important for a person to seek professional help when they can, and as soon as possible. This way, such a person doesn’t lose time and gets to do a better job of understanding what is going on with them. With understanding, the next thing you can do is to move on to overcoming your deep fear of open high places.
While almost all phobias are curable, there is no specific treatment available for managing all of them, or a treatment method that is guaranteed to work.
The efficacy of any adopted treatment method depends on the person who is suffering from the phobia and the severity of the Aeroacrophobia symptoms.
There are some cases where a combination of treatment methods may be more effective than using a single method of treatment.
Please, bear in mind that you should not self medicate or take any form of treatment on your own! Make sure that you see a doctor beforehand.
All the treatment methods we have mentioned below are strictly for informational purposes and not for personal use, and no one of them is specific to Aeroacrophobia.
The treatments listed below are all used in most cases of phobia.
Talking Treatments for fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia)
Talking therapy or talking treatment is quite common when it comes to the treatment of phobia.
These kinds of treatment usually include counseling, and they might be very useful for the treatment of fear of open high places or Aeroacrophobia.
Most people prefer to opt for talking therapies because that is a very laid back form of therapy, and they are also physically nonintrusive.
Such treatment usually involves having an honest talk with a proficient and highly trained professional about your feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
There are many different types of talking therapy, but all of them aim to:
- To help patients recognize unhelpful behavior patterns, and find unharmful ways to change them (if you’d like to)
- To help patients resolve any existing complicated feelings, or search for new ways to live with those feelings
- To help you make sense of things and understand yourself better
- Provide patients with a safe place and time to talk to someone whose job is to listen and won’t judge them
Talking therapies are in almost every case, the same thing as psychotherapy, counseling therapy, talking treatment, psychological therapy.
This means that there is usually little or no difference between what is meant when people talk about any of these.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia)
CBT treatments are also very popular and effective. This method of treatment stands on the concept that what people think and perceive is often influencing how they behave.
Experiencing distress and anxiety can sometimes bend or distort one’s perception over many things, including reality.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works with the goal to identify if what a person thinks is an accurate depiction of reality.
If the therapist and patient are able to conclude that they are not, the next step is to employ strategies to both challenge and overcome these unrealistic ideas.
For example, when a person is experiencing Aeroacrophobia, with the help of Cognitive behavioral therapy, they should identify if the anxiety or fear experienced from being in open high places is a correct depiction of reality.
If not, the next thing is to work on ways to remedy that.
Medication for fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia)
There is no medication for the treatment of any form of phobia, and that includes fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia).
No medication should ever be taken without first consulting a doctor. In general, drugs are not recommended for the treatment of fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia) or for overcoming any phobias.
Therapies have been found to be a useful or definitive way to overcome their fears. However, there are some types of medication that are prescribed as short term fixes to the possible side effects of phobias, which include depression and anxiety.
There are three main types of medication that are recommended for treating anxieties.
Self-help with fear of open high places (Aeroacrophobia)
One of the most convenient ways to overcome any challenges or be well prepared for any that may arise is to take good care of oneself. Being able to figure out how to help yourself is essential to be able to control your phobia of open high places.
We hope that this article has been helpful to you. Kindly leave a comment below.