How To Get Rid Of Acrophobia- A Common Phobia Among People

Fear of heights is scientifically known as acrophobia.  It is caused by a feeling of extreme fear and uneasiness when standing on a high altitude, near the edge contributing to fear of falling down. This fear of heights is generally associated with fear of death. If you are acrophobic, crossing a bridge or even seeing a photo of a mountain can trigger the feeling of fear and anxiety in you. This distress can have an adverse effect on your daily life. In the following passages let us understand the reason, symptoms and how to get over the fear of heights.

Causes of Acrophobia

Acrophobia can be caused by various reasons in different people. Some might have had a bad experience related to height or might have witnessed someone getting hurt or facing tragedy from a high fall.  This triggers acrophobia whereas others develop acrophobia genetically or due to environmental factors. For instance, if someone from your family or a caretaker in your childhood has acrophobia, you are more likely to learn and adapt this by watching their behavioral changes. This fear is ingrained in our minds from olden days as this was a significant threat to the existence of primitive humans.

Symptoms of Acrophobia

Acrophobia has the following symptoms:

  • Nervousness 
  • Breathlessness
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Trembling
  • Increased heart rate

Diagnosis of acrophobia can be done with the help of a professional and if needed a psychiatrist’s help can be sought in the treatment. Nowadays there are many consultants available to help you get over the fear of heights. Check out  for more details on how to overcome the fear of heights. After reviewing the history, they will be able to guide you regarding the line of treatment. Generally, acrophobia is diagnosed when you respond with intense fear and anxiety when facing heights, start worrying about encountering the heights for a long period, purposely avoid heights or if you have the above-mentioned symptoms for more than six months. 

Treatment for Acrophobia

Acrophobia can be treated with different methods and medications. These include exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), virtual reality, and medications.

  • Exposure therapy: This is considered the most effective treatment for acrophobia. Here the therapist and the patient will work together and get exposed to whatever the person is scared of. With the help of pictures and video clips, the patient gets over the fear of heights by learning relaxation techniques to conquer the fear.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This is one of the popular methods used to treat acrophobia. In this method, the person works with the therapist to reframe the negative thoughts on heights. In this approach, the patient is exposed to fear-inducing instances and gets trained to retrieve mental and emotional controls during such situations.
  • Virtual reality: This is a potential method to get over phobias. With the help of computer software, the person gets exposed to what they are afraid of in a safe setting without having any discomfort.
  • Medications: Many medications are used in the treatment of acrophobia that can alleviate the symptoms of panic and anxiety. Certain medicines like beta-blockers keep your heart rate and blood pressure steadily. Benzodiazepines are used as an anti-anxiety drug. D-cycloserine (DCS) helps to enhance the effect of exposure therapy. 

Generally, all human beings are scared of heights to an extent and it is a natural phenomenon. However, if the symptoms are seen for a prolonged time, it is important to find effective and comforting treatment with the help of a therapist before it is too late.


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