What is acrophobia?


The acrophobia as its name suggests is a phobia is an irrational fear of heights, generating in the individual a great anxiety , causing it to look for methods to escape or avoid at all costs approach that positions in a relatively high place.


What is acrophobia?

The acrophobia is the irrational fear or extreme to becoming involved in a situation that will lead you to the heights or simply be placed in a location high in many finishes cases be disabling for sufferers, degrading their quality of life. People often confuse the term with vertigo , however, they are not the same. Vertigo produces an illusion in the sufferer in which they see that as the height increases, everything in their environment begins to shake or fall, even producing a sensation in which the person feels that they are higher than it is.


Definition of acrophobia

According to experts in the field, which are Psychologists , the term acrophobia is given to people who have an exaggerated fear and who simply cannot control when being at a great height, causing them an uncontrollable anxiety condition when be in these situations.



The term acrophobia has origin in ancient Greece and is composed of three parts, the first is the term ” akra ” which translates as height, the second term is ” phobos ” which translates as ” fear ” and finally the suffix ia which it is translated as quality that which links the word as quality to fear.


People who suffer from acrophobia are always going to be defensive , and in some cases it can transcend verbal aggression. Because in his mind it is inconceivable to see them in a place where they are not close to the ground. Depending on the degree of fear, they may even suffer severe physical pain due to discomfort in these situations.

Causes of acrophobia

One of the causes could be some untreated trauma , however, the person may have grown up with that fear and has never been exposed to it in a therapeutic way , in addition to it, there could be exposure, but if it was abrupt and radical The phobia of heights may have become more ingrained than previously existed.

Symptoms of acrophobia

As with other phobias, there are a series of characteristics and unique situations in which the person suffering from acrophobia will reveal the following symptoms, thus allowing the psychologist to diagnose it:

  •  Pains or certain muscular tensions : generally one of the most visible symptoms in those affected by this phobia is muscle tremors or muscle disabilities. However, the sympathetic nervous system, being under this pressure, causes the muscle fibers to receive a large number of activation signals to move from the place, immediately when doing so the muscles react very quickly.
  • Anxiety : it is the second most obvious, this is caused when you have the feeling of an accident or misfortune for the individual. This is your own state of physiological and cognitive activation where all attention is focused on possible dangers, causing physical discomfort and making it impossible for you to think clearly.
  • Panic : it is a sensation that originates from an excessive fear originated by the mixture of several sensations in which pain, death or both are anticipated and in turn generates false sensations of the distance between the individual and the background of the precipice or the slope.
  • Loss of control: it is one of the sensations that starts from the cognitive aspect where it disables you to develop well the executive processes such as establishing plans or sequences of actions that are consistent.
  • Tachycardia : it is a physical sensation produced by the progressive increase in blood flow, giving the apparent sensation of the loss of air flow in the body.
  • Headache : it occurs when all the previous symptoms have already been presented. It becomes very common in most phobias and is produced by changes in blood pressure and the activation of the nervous system to its maximum capacity.


The psychologist who is analyzing the case must make a record with all the symptoms that the patient presents , in addition to looking for a way to simulate a situation in which the individual looks at the heights in order to see their reactions .

How to overcome acrophobia

There are different techniques and therapies that have been shown to substantially eliminate acrophobia, however, there is no best method to suppress the phobia.  Although this does not mean that a method should not be sought since this is extremely necessary to improve the quality of life of the human being.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most used in the area to treat phobias, based on exposure procedures, it is the one that  has a more successful trajectory in the area of ​​clinical application.

This method seeks to strengthen the individual by progressively leading to their phobias trying to strengthen their security and confidence, thus reducing their anxiety. The symptoms of acrophobia are not completely suppressed, although it means a drastic improvement in the development of the patient’s daily life.

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