General Question

Inspiron38's avatar

I have a bad phobia of wide open spaces and flat horizons but don't want to depend on prescribed drugs to control this. Is there anything I can do to reduce this anxiety when in such open places?

Asked by Inspiron38 (5points) December 9th, 2010

Have a fear of wide open spaces and flat horizons, even when driving. Its a feeling like I’m going to be pulled into space and can get very intense. Am looking for advice on breathing or mental techniques I might employ when in such situations. I don’t want to have to depend on prescribed drugs or tranquilizers to reduce this anxiety. I’ve seen other blogs here that indicate there are others that share this phobia. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?

CBT is more focused on changing your thinking, and DBT is more focused on changing your reactions to your thinking. They both work. Just depends on what kind of person you are. DBT works for me. CBT doesn’t. It’s different for others.

Afos22's avatar

Try sunglasses. They will make the open spaces seem smaller, and make you feel more secure. This phobia probably stems from an primal human instinct to avoid open fields, since it makes it much easier to be taken by a predator.

Nullo's avatar

Failing all els,e there is some very beautiful mountainous terrain out there.

deliasdancemom's avatar

Spatial therapy slowly introduce yourself to these type of spaces gradually increasing your exposure and the length of time you are being exposed to the situation until you buld up your tolerance, the experiencethat you are being” pulled out” is called depersonalization if that is what you are feeling and can be hard to control

talljasperman's avatar

bring a portable phone and watch it… novels work too… I get scared when going over large bridges over rivers

crazyivan's avatar

Oh, and never take psychiatric advise from random people on the Internet… I mean, we’re well meaning and all, but I have enough Psych education to tell you that nobody on earth would be qualified to help you from afar.

The real question is exactly how debilitating the phobia is. If it puts you in a position where you are unable or unwilling to travel or your life is otherwise interupted because of it, I would strongly urge you to seek professional help. Don’t worry, drugs are almost never employed in dealing with phobias even in extreme cases.

Any relaxation technique is likely to help, though I would be cautious when turning to things like “Spatial Therapy” in that they’re efficacy has not been scientifically demonstrated and what little research has been done shows either no effect or no statistically significant effect. If you can afford to see a psychologist, that’s your best bet but if you can’t there may very well be public money avaiable as well.

And remember that phobias are not “hard wired” and can be overcome, often through force of will. This does not mean that people who can’t overcome them are weaker willed, but it does mean that no matter how severe a phobia is, it’s not something you’re stuck with for life. The most important thing to…. OH NO! THERE’S A VAST PLATEAU RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!

sorry, couldn’t help it

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m with @deliasdancemom. Very slowly expose yourself to these types of spaces and terrains. Deal with the anxiety in small steps, knowing that you only need to tolerate it for a moment or two and gradually increase the exposure. Eventually you will be o.k. with it. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, a therapist can help you through it. And also list to @crazyivan; actually a fairly sane person there. :-)

BarnacleBill's avatar

Stay out of central Indiana; it’s extremely flat and disorienting, like the cornfield scene in North by Northwest.

Inspiron38's avatar

Thank you all for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate them!

deliasdancemom's avatar

I personally do take medication but I am an agoraphobe

drdoombot's avatar

I found Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety and Depression (audio course) to be very helpful (more helpful than my therapy sessions with a psychologist, in fact). David M. Burn’s “Feeling Good” book is another great resource.

Whether you do it on your own or with a therapist, CBT is the way to go.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther