General Question

Koi's avatar

Flatlands terrify me?

Asked by Koi (32points) 2 weeks ago

I want to travel more but have recently discovered I get dizzy and panicked when I travel to flatlands. Not just in the car, but like while my feet are on the ground and it’s flat I have so much anxiety and fear gravity will stop working. I’m in my 30’s and know that’s not going to happen but my body can’t help but feel that way. I have a few diagnosis but NONE of them explain this weird new problem with flatlands. Any tips on how to help this? And why in the heck this has started in the first place?

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17 Answers

LadyMarissa's avatar

I have NO idea why it starts, but you can learn to control it,

I was doing just fine UNTIL I walked out my front door one day & had a severe anxiety attack. I couldn’t get my feet to go down the steps, I couldn’t breathe, & I felt like I was dying!!! I live alone & had no one to run any errands for me, so it was up to me to fix the problem for myself. I’ve discovered that just as soon as the attack started, IF I’d close my eyes real tight & take a few slow deep breaths, that I could ease the attack by a little bit. Sometimes I have to repeat the process several times before my body finally calms back down. After several times of stopping my attacks, it seems that whatever part of me that creates these attacks realizes that I’m NOT accepting the attack just as soon as I close my eyes, they stop. Don’t know that this will help you, but it might be worth a try!!! Many phobias don’t have a specific reason to start, so you need to find a way to STOP them when you can’t deal with them!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

Inspired_2write's avatar

When hiking I avoid walking across flatland or “open fields” as then one is a target for wild animals and No cover of hills or areas to run .

I have seen people wander across a open area without checking for avenues to escape should they be cornered in the open and this in a National Park System where wild and dangerous animals exist.
I think what scares you is just that, that you have NO escape route planned.

So the real problem is that one should always check out the areas escapes routes in case of emergencies .

By the way this is a survival tactic that travelers are taught in this day and age of terrorism and or airplane safety too.

Zaku's avatar

There’s no escape in the flatlands from attackers who are faster than you. Nowhere to run to. Nowhere to hide.

Also I find it unnatural, having grown up with lots of hills, trees, buildings, ravines, mountains and water features nearby. Not to mention bleak.

Yellowdog's avatar

The fear/thought of gravity not working—irrational as it seems to me—has gripped me also.

I cannot lie flat on the ground and look into the sky without fear of falling into it, and have obsessed over the thought of reverse gravity—being safe in a house but not outdoors.

It is rare but this fear does seize me from time to time, All I can do is know that what I am imagining CANNOT happen so I go about my business even though I am afraid, and the fear goes away.

Inspired_2write's avatar

“The fear/thought of gravity not working—irrational as it seems to me—...”

It is possible that as a baby one was dropped?

My older brother mentioned that he was always afraid of heights ( falling) and my late mother recalled a time when he was a baby and my late father threw him up in the air but missed catching him thus this fear?
By the way my brother conquered this fear by taking parachuting lessons and overcame it.

seawulf575's avatar

Interesting. Are you afraid of lying down on a flat mattress? Is it Agoraphobia? Does it happen anywhere other than wide open spaces? Does it happen in crowded areas like a shopping mall?

Yellowdog's avatar

I think it results from viewing wide spaces or great distances while upside down or looking upward. I remember when I used to lock up a large rec center at night, while trying to cool off when the A/C was out, lying on the gym floor, looking at the big room and high ceiling from the floor. The sensation was like being suspended from a ceiling, looking down on a floor about 35 feet down. Probably just a nerve or fluid effect on the brain.

gondwanalon's avatar

Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk to a medical doctor about this. Wired type of Vertigo or middle ear issues. Good health.

Sagacious's avatar

Do you also have foothill syndrome?

mazingerz88's avatar

Curious as to what the field of Psychiatry would say about this. What came to mind instantly was…special eye glasses that makes your eyes see the flat terrain as uneven?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
janbb's avatar

Some short term counseling would probably be the most helpful.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Wear ankle weights.

Patty_Melt's avatar

My suggestion is sincere. You might develop a new sense of security wearing them.

Yellowdog's avatar

Its not about the feet or feeling of security.

Its like when you drive on steeply sloped pavement and you feel your car will flip over because you are not used to driving on it, but others pass you at 40 mph while you are not sure you can go through with it. It is a strangely dizzying vertigo feeling.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Come to Illinois, you’ll love it here. :P

In seriousness, though. I have something kinda close to. It’s not fear or anything, but rather a kind of dizziness when I look up at the sky. Particularly when it’s a clear, cloudless daytime sky. There’s nothing for the eyes to fix upon. I don’t have this problem at night, as my eyes can fix upon the Moon or stars, only during the day. And only when the sky is cloudless. If there are clouds I’m usually alright. I have some inner-ear issue, so I suspect it’s related to that. Perhaps you have something similar.

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