A way to overcome a phobia

Fear - Our biggest obstacle   I had a trip lately that involved some heights and I had to face my fear of heights phobia (also called acrophobia). A phobia is basically an excessive persistent stupid fear. Because I want to overcome it, I brought out in the light my old college materials and I found this method called systematic desensitization.

   In short, the person is exposed imaginary (or rarely, physically) to that scary sh*t while doing some relaxation techniques so that anxiety is diminished. This is repeated until that anxiety comes down to a bearable level.

   First of all, that person has to know a profound muscular relaxation method (I wrote about one here). Secondly, that person has to create a list with all situations related that cause anxiety and order those situations from 0 to 10 based on how much anxiety it causes (usually, it’s easier to start with the extremes). The more situations are found, the easier the transition will be.

   Here is my list:

0 – Staying on the ground.

1 – Looking at a photo view from a top of a mountain;

2 – Watching videos with people being on high buildings with no safety fence;

3 – Standing up on a chair;

4 – Watching down from the open window of my 4th floor apartment;

5 – Going up on a ladder;

6 – Being on a second floor open balcony;

7 – Riding a cable car;

8 – Being on a 10th floor open balcony;

9 – Riding a chairlift;

10 – Being on the edge of a roof of a building that has 100 floors with no safety fence.

   The “work” that needs to be done is imagining doing each situation from 0 to 10 while relaxing the body, but don’t get to another situation too fast because the anxiety might be too big to handle. Just the exposal itself without some relaxation might still reduce the anxiety, but it takes much more time.

   What phobias do you have? Have you tried to reduce it?

19 thoughts on “A way to overcome a phobia

  1. Ahh this is a really good idea. I have a phobia of spiders and it’s got so bad that I probably should do something about it, but I haven’t yet. Maybe one day I’ll try these steps.

    1. I’m also afraid of spiders, but it’s nothing compared to my fear of heights. Try these steps and let mw know how it works for you! 😀

  2. Heights and me “Do not like each other” at all!!! I believe when your toes ache, it means that your thinking of letting go and leaving the platform and to me that is horrible, I cannot do it.. I freeze like nothing at all…afraid is an understatement, to say the least!

      1. Far out yes, In fact I would be very dangerous person on a high place as I would freeeeeeeeeze.. done it before and it was horrible

      1. I get stressed as soon as I book the flight tickets… and the stress stays until I’m back home from the journey.. I avoid flying if I can help it… I never take the same flight with my husband if my children are not with us..

      2. I see. How do you feel during the flight compared to the moments before the flight, but after the booking?

  3. Hate heights – I can get vertigo and “feel” myself falling from 40,000 ft when flying. Movies with action shots of skydivers? Nope! The funny thing is, I DID a tandem skydive in my 20s to slap that fear in the face. I think it’s moved from fear – obviously I survived it – to anxiety. That there will be a long and terrifying prolonged death involving fear or terror.

    I’m not a fan of spiders, but learned when living alone, if I want them gone, I gotta do it.

  4. Fear of heights definitely. I get tunnel vision and weak especially when it’s like a high bridge or cliff with no rail or safety feature. I’ll have to try your techniques. Great blog by the way, I enjoy it!

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