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Rethroz's avatar

Methods to progressively overcome a fear of heights?

Asked by Rethroz (38points) January 16th, 2017

As the title implies, I have a fear of heights and am looking for ways or methods to overcome this fear.
I used to practice a little bit of parkour years ago. After a while, things began going downhill for me so parkour was an on and off thing until I stopped it completely.
Things for me are now a bit more stable and heading in the right direction, ergo I would definitely enjoy beginning parkour practice again, but there’s one thing : Heights.
Now, with this mental obstacle, it’s odd how I manage it. I have a fear of heights, yet there are some times more than others when I would proceed to climb high objects and even jump off of them. So, do I have a genuine fear of heights, or is it all sort of an illusion?
And if so, I would like some ways to progressively overcome this supposed fear.

Thank you for your time and responses, they are greatly appreciated.

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5 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Expose yourself to it a little at a time. For me though it took one experience and my fear of heights was greatly reduced. It’s still there but it does not paralyze me. In my old job I had to crawl down a ladder along the inside of an intake structure of a hydroelectric plant to replace a sensor. Usually there is a crate elevator but it was not working. It was dark at first so it did not bother me but my coworker got to the bottom before me and turned on the lower lights revealing the fact that I was still ~80ft in the air clinging to a ladder. There was a cage around it and platforms every 20 ft or so but I not only had to climb the rest of the way down I had to climb back up. It was the stuff nightmares are made of. Halfway back up I almost broke down, I could hardly move a finger I was so encased with fear. I slowly made it to the top but after that is was as if a dimmer switch turned the volume way down on that fear.
Recently I tried one of those VR gizmos, If you are in a game that puts you high up it arouses that same fear. I can see this as a tool for exposure therapy in the future.

ucme's avatar

I’ve always looked at it this way…“arrgghh, oh shit is that high…”
Only joking, it’s good for morale you know.
Anyway, my serious answer is this, i’m scared of heights too, always have been since my grandad thought it would be fun to hold me, as a 5yr old, over the end of a pier while the sea raged below.
Essentially we’re afraid of falling, not the height & the best way I approach it is to say, look, if I were walking on a pavement near the kerb, i’m in no danger of falling into the road & perfectly able to walk in a staight line, but yet if I were to walk that close to the edge of a high building i’m going to be shitting my pants.
Physically, there should be no reason in the world to fear heights & so make that happen, ignore the distance to the ground & focus on what’s in front of you, easier said than done I know, but that’s how I deal with it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This Geocache helped me. If you are in Central New York it is worth visiting.
BWT’s Acrophobia Cache

Strauss's avatar

Exposure therapy. High diving platform at the local pool.

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