Most people have experienced the rush of excitement from being up high – whether it’s from the top floor of a skyscraper, or looking over a bridge and into the water below, or standing on a cliff and enjoying the view. 

This is a normal reaction to being up so high. It’s what keeps amusement parks busy and the lines for the rollercoasters long and flowing. It’s also what makes bungee-jumping and sky-diving activities thrive by giving people the dose of adrenaline they crave, making them feel like they’re living life to the full. 

If you are one of those people who loves these activities – and the rush they provide from being up so high – then you are lucky. These experiences make you feel like you are getting the most out of life. 

But sadly, for some, it causes the exact opposite. What if your fear of heights is so extreme that it verges on the irrational.  What is it stops you from even climbing the stairs of your own house? What if just the thought of going to your office on the 4th floor makes you feel nervous? Or what if you and your family decide to go walking for the weekend?  Would you really enjoy the thought of turning a corner and being faced with path with a hillside falling away to the side? 

The Acrophobic Condition  

When fear becomes excessive to the point that it prevents you from doing the things that people without that fear can normally do then it can be classified as a phobia. And when it’s a phobia of heights it’s called acrophobia.

If you have this phobia you are not alone. There is evidence that all mammals are born with a degree of fear of heights, which they then learn to overcome.  It’s a very common fear and physical manifestations include the following:

- Feeling out of breath
- Getting dizzy, or in extreme cases, getting vertigo
- Experiencing heart palpitations
- Trembling in your extremities
- Tension in muscles
- Paralysis
- Feeling nauseous
- getting a headache
- cramping in your stomach
- etc.

These symptoms can be very unpleasant, especially when it’s necessary to be in a high place, or when you are already there and there is no escape. They are restrictive and lead people to miss out on all the fun things that people around them enjoy. Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with your fear of heights.

Treatment for Acrophobia

Psychotherapy. One treatment option would be to go to a psychotherapist. It’s always a good idea to talk to someone about your situation, and it’s great if you can be comfortable with a professional who will listen to the specifics of your condition. Depending on your preference or receptiveness, the therapy may prove to be enough. 

Medicine. If Psychotherapy isn’t an option, or it doesn’t help or you need more immediate relief, you may also be referred to a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication to relieve your anxiety temporarily. This can be helpful, especially if heights are unavoidable or the fear is preventing you from functioning properly.

Exposure Therapy. This is a classic way of dealing with your fear – facing it head on. While it may work for some people, it has also been observed that some are worse off than when they started. Be wary of this method and make sure you have a professional who will be able to help you in case the exposure triggers more anxiety in you. 

Hypnotherapy. This treatment has been around for quite some time, and is probably one of the most effective, easiest and non-invasive treatments available. Fear of Heights Hypnotherapy will not force you to face your fear, so you don’t have to worry about going through extreme anxiety just to get over it. This kind of treatment has proven to be effective within just a few sessions. 

Self-meditative practices. If you think you can self-medicate, then by all means, do it with meditation. Meditative practice works wonders with anxiety in general, and help with your overall psychological state. Who knows? Healing your phobia may be more accessible than you think!