Acrophobia is an irrational fear of heights or high places. Many people dislike heights, but someone with a clinical case of acrophobia can have intense emotional and physical responses at just the thought of being in a high place. Acrophobia is simply a severe fear of heights. Now being afraid of heights is a common and sometimes appropriate feeling. But the phobia part kicks in when you feel afraid in a safe environment such as inside a skyscraper. Acrophobia is treated with graded exposure therapy. (Horton, 2011) Fear of heights seems to have a simple physiological explanation, and there is a solution to it: Learn to rely more on your ears for balancing.
Fear of heights
In this essay I try to analyze my fear of height through self-inspection and document my experiments in trying to overcome this irrational feeling also known as acrophobia. First of all, make sure to take this text for what it is, namely the naive, non-expert, non-scientific ramblings of someone with no medical training whatsoever, so please don't hold me responsible if you get some false or harmful information here. You might or might not have a similar condition like me, I have no idea, and even if I had, I wouldn't be qualified to give any advice. So what is fear of heights (acrophobia)? It seems to be one of those things like autostereograms where if you are wondering if you experience it or not, then it's almost certain you don't. I'm pretty sure I have at least a mild form of it as I am afraid when I look down from heights, but it's not so serious that I couldn't look out from my window. I have climbed some decent mountains and my feelings have ranged from general discomfort to complete panic. The alarming thing was to discover that it's been getting worse recently and I have real difficulty climbing to places where I had no trouble years ago, so I decided I had to do something about it. Just to make sure, acrophobia is when you look out from the balcony on the second floor and feel safer to stay close to the wall or hold on maniacally to anything secure or when you feel dizzy on a mountain trail and you have to crawl on all fours, grabbing every blade of grass for the illusion of safety but you are pretty sure you could fall any moment. If you look down, the world seems to spin and sway, your stomach contracts, you forget to breathe regularly, mouth dries out, you start sweating like a pig and generally panic in every possible way and swear that if you ever get down alive, you'll never set foot on a hill again. Meanwhile your friends are carelessly passing by, jumping from one rock to the other, wondering what the hell is happening to you... Fear of heights is a misnomer. It is not height per se that I am afraid of. I have no trouble flying in airplanes, I have flown glider planes, I think I could manage parachutes, paragliders or even space flight without acrophobia kicking in. It's not being on high altitudes that I find scary but being in places where I feel I can fall on sharp rocks or buildings and places where I can't easily tell which is the horizontal direction, where I am already not sure if I am standing straight or I am tilting. I'm talking about mountaintops, towers, bridges, balconies. At first I thought that I feel safe in airplanes because my mind tells me there is no way I could fall out, as it is well sealed. On a cliff, if I really wanted to, I could jump voluntarily if I went crazy for a second. This explanation occurs in a bizarre short story of Edgar Allen Poe where he argues that fear of height is really fear of oneself, our "dark side" that would urge us to jump and commit suicide. This "pull of the deep" explanation or the notion of a "latent death wish" seems like a fascinatingly romantic idea to a teenager, but lately I started to become suspicious. Why would I have this sort of split personality or psychological issue that none of my friends seem to suffer from. Surely there must be some more down-to-earth...
Many individuals suffer from a phobia or a natural fear of something or a current situation that they may have been in or are in currently. One of the most common phobias is having a fear of heights, also called Acrophobia. Acrophobia is often mislabeled as vertigo. Researchers have said that “those with an extreme fear of heights, that the stronger their fear is, the bigger the error could be (Callaway, 2009).
The fear of heights in different learning perspectives
Someone that is truly associated with acrophobia can go into panic mode when having to face that fear, normally right away their first thought is to grab ahold of something to help them feel more secure, but then there are others that will start shaking, sweating, holler, panic, or even break down and cry. When the individual that has this phobia starts to show all those signs that is their unconditioned responses starting to show. (Fritscher. 2011) The system that helps alert us is the unconditioned stimulus. (Ruden, 2012) At times their unconditioned stimulus will kick in to say and make them panic to the extreme levels of them crawling around on all fours or even as so much lay in a fetal position (Fritscher, 2011). Although every person handles their phobia in a different manner, most still find it difficult to trust in their own...
...therapy for anxiety disorders, other studies have shown weak effects or no effect at all. Some preclinical data suggest that the DCS augmentation effect is moderated by the success of extinction learning. Therefore, we conducted a reanalysis of existing data to examine whether the effects of DCS on clinical outcome would vary as a function of response to the exposure session (i.e., exposure success).
In a clinical trial, patients with height phobia received two sessions involving 30 minutes of virtual reality exposure therapy and were randomly assigned to a pill placebo ( n = 14) or 50 mg of DCS ( n = 15) immediately after each session.
Mixed-effects regression analysis showed that the effects of DCS administration on clinical improvement was moderated by the level of fear experienced just before concluding exposure sessions. Patients receiving DCS exhibited significantly greater improvement in symptoms relative to patients who received placebo when fear was low at the end of the exposure. In contrast, when end fear was still elevated, patients receiving DCS improved less compared with those receiving placebo.
D-cycloserine appears to enhance the benefits of exposure treatment when applied after a successful session, but it seems to have detrimental effects when administered after inadequate/unsuccessful exposure sessions.
Despite the overall strength of D-cycloserine (DCS)...
September 11, 2014
Have you ever been on top of a large building and were too afraid to look over the side? Have you ever climbed a really tall tree and were too afraid to climb down? I have, when I was younger I climbed a really tall tree and when I got to the top I looked down, I was too afraid to climb back down. What I was experiencing was a fear ofheights know as acrophobia. Acrophobia (n.d.) according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is an abnormal dread of being in a high place: fear of heights. I believe that most people become a little scared when it comes to heights. There is nothing wrong with having acrophobia to an extent. It is a defense mechanism our bodies use to stop us from walking off cliffs. The problem is when a natural instinct becomes paranoia. For example, someone who has acrophobia would be scared, nervous, and or panic inside a safe environment like a skyscraper.
There are many symptoms of the fear of heights (acrophobia) that may occur when up on a tall building or high place. Many people with acrophobia can become dizzy, excessive sweating, nausea, sick to their stomachs, shaking, dry mouth, and unable to speak. One of the main symptoms of...
...Dictation by Fear
As the Twin Towers fell to the ground, mass chaos spread throughout the United States. Among many other overwhelming feelings, many Americans were left in question and accusations. The motives of the terrorists were unknown and many Americans’ fear overtook a sense of logic. With fear fueling the minds of many Americans, many began to take illogical and unjustified actions. A stereotype developed amongst the Muslim society, which has still shrugged them from American society to this day. 9/11 instilled a fear in Americans that strung a chord in each person that disregarded a sense of logic or morals. Arthur Miller sets a scene of mass chaos and paranoia in the 1600’s in an area much like Salem, Mass.. A fear of witchcraft, that could quite possibly overtake the holy lifestyle in the Puritan society, created a spiraling downfall. In Arthur Millers multithematic play “The Crucible”, fear directs the decisions and course of life.
The deep rooted fear Reverend Parris feels stems from the reputation he must uphold as reverend of the holy community. In desperation, Parris allows his fear to contradict himself as he defends his niece, Abigail. Although Parris knows that Abigail is lying when she says she is not involved in witchcraft, Parris defends her in hopes it will secure his reputation and position in the community. As reverend, it is not...
As the instructor put me in that choke hold on my second to last day of swim instruction I knew I broke the one rule I tried so hard not to. “Get the hell out of my pool” he yelled. I dangled there in the middle of the pool wondering how this man could hold me in a chokehold while keeping both of us afloat. “You weak bitch, get the fuck out of my pool”. As those words echoed through the empty olympic sized pool room I was let go, left to reach the side of the deep end under my own power.
Already a month and a half in Marine Corps boot camp I was use to the abuse. This was different, I could handle all the physical punishment on the land. The countless push ups, and being forced to roll around in sand pits at 5 am before breakfast. Being in the best shape of my life at the time there was only one thing that could bring this fear over me. Up until boot camp I could count my exposure to bodies of water on one hand. Growing up in the middle of Queens, NY I rarely encountered a pool. Although my family moved to upstate New York, to a high school that did have its own pool, I wasn't forced to use it.
At the end of my senior year of high school while most of my friends were visiting and picking colleges I was preparing for boot camp. Everyday I ran countless miles and did numerous pushups getting my body ready for the three months of pain I was about to endure. Not being the biggest or strongest kid in high school most of my friends...
...1970. Choose a character from a novel or play of recognized literary merit and write an essay in which you (a) briefly describe the standards of the fictional society in which the character exists and (b) show how the character is affected by and responds to those standards. In your essay do not merely summarize the plot.
1974. Choose a work of literature written before 1900. Write an essay in which you present arguments for and against the work’s relevance for a person in 1974. Your own position should emerge in the course of your essay. You may refer to works of literature written after 1900 for the purpose of contrast or comparison.
1976. The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is the recurring theme of many novels, plays, and essays. Select the work of an essayist who is in opposition to his or her society; or from a work of recognized literary merit, select a fictional character who is in opposition to his or her society. In a critical essay, analyze the conflict and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society. Do not summarize the plot or action of the work you choose.
1987. Some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Choose such a novel or play and note briefly the particular attitudes or traditions that the author apparently wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques the author uses to influence the reader’s or audience’s...
...Fear And Phobias
What is your greatest fear? Do you know the answer? A lot of people don't. We just know that we sometimes feel fear and most people don't like it. Sometimes, people like the feeling of fear. Have you ever heard the term "adrenaline junkie"? That's those people that like fear. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about fear and phobias.
The Origin and Reasons of Fear
The sensation of fear is related to 2 parts of the brain, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. The prefrontal cortex is the body's "hub of safety" if you will. It receives stimuli and determines whether it's potentially dangerous, and sends signals to different parts of the brain to release adrenaline, hence the term "adrenaline junkie". This release of adrenaline is called the "fight or flight response". The amygdala, part of the limbic system, controls all strong emotions. It is what stores strong points of fear, causing us to have a phobia of that situation. It automatically sends a signal to the prefrontal cortex, which causes the prefrontal cortex to invoke the fight-or-flight response. This happens when the phobic gets near, sees, or, in severe cases, thinks about the thing they are phobic towards.
Picture of the limbic system....
...Part 1. Phobia
1.1 Meaning of phobia.
A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is an intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. When the fear is beyond one's control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.
This is caused by what are called, neutral, unconditioned, and conditioned stimuli, which trigger either conditioned or unconditioned responses. An example would be a person who was attacked by a dog (the unconditioned stimulus) would respond with an unconditioned response. When this happens, the unconditioned stimulus of them being attacked by the dog would become conditioned, and to this now conditioned stimulus, they would develop a conditioned response. If the occurance had enough of an impact on this certain person then they would develop a fear of that dog, or in some cases, an irrational fear of all dogs.
Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from phobias. Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all...