Fear of heights or Acrophobia is a debilitating anxiety disorder that affects nearly 1 in every 20 adults.The word is derived from the Greek word “Acron” meaning heights and “phobos” meaning fear.
Here we shall study the causes, symptoms and treatment options for the fear of heights, which is also known as acrophobia.People with acrophobia often avoid situations where they will be exposed to heights. When faced with heights or anticipating them, their sympathetic nervous system is aroused, as if preparing the body for an emergency.This arousal helps either approach or escape from a threat (commonly known as the fight-or-flight response).This suggests that people are born with a dislike of heights.However, most children and adults are a bit nervous around heights, but they don't have a phobia. Are people more likely to be afraid of heights if their parents are?They may experience vertigo (a moving or spinning sensation), increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, anxiety, shaking or trembling, and nausea or an upset stomach.A fight-or-flight response can be adaptive in dangerous situations, because it can help us respond to dangerous situations.Simply thinking about climbing a ladder can lead to intense fear and anxiety.These are the roughly one in 15 people who have a fear of heights (acrophobia) at some point in their lives.Many scientists think that a phobia is a learned response to either a parent's fear of heights or a traumatic experience in childhood, like a fall. The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.