Scared Of Jumping Heights

by Bob Walsh

Are you scared of jumping heights? This is a pretty rare kind of phobia. While the fear of heights is very common (there’s a clinical term for that too: Acrophobia), the specific fear of jumping from a high to a low place is rather unusual – but even for this there is a clinical term: Catapedaphobia.

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But for some reason, people are afraid of it. In some cases it can be simple heights like stairs, but sometimes it’s just more severe heights.

You could of course say: so what? What’s so terrible about being scared of jumping heights? After all, it makes good sense to be scared of it!

But there are several reasons why it’s still worth tackling that fear. For one, if you want to engage in some kind of athletic or recreational activity where you have to jump, then that’s an obvious issue. Parachuting, bungee jumping, parkour anyone?

But apart of that – this kind of fear can be an issue in everyday life too. Because you’re constantly living under that shadow of fear, and it can cause a kind of subliminal anxiety which drains you emotionally and psychologically, stopping you from experiencing life as fully as you could, reducing the mental focus and clarity you have because of that constant lingering worry in the back of your mind.

What’s more: overcoming your fear of jumping heights will mean more personal freedom. Nobody should live in fear.

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There is no scientifically validated medical treatment for catapedaphobia. Many therapists would just prescribe some anti-anxiety medication or prescription drugs which they use to treat phobias anyway, and probably a form of cognitive behavior therapy. Most of the prescription drugs however can come with heavy unwanted side-effects and can form dependencies (addictions).

As far as the therapeutic part is concerned, therapists will often prompt you to get into a deeply relaxed state first. They use different kind of relaxation techniques and breathing exercises for that. Then they guide you through an imagined szenario where you jump from a height – this can be in varying degrees. At first you can just imagine yourself jumping from a pretty low height that isn’t as frightening, but then step by step increase the height in your imagination – always pushing yourself a little bit close to the edge of the limit of your fear.

And then you can simply practice this in real life: step by step jumping from different heights. Of course always take proper safety precautions.

Common symptoms are all the typical signs that you experience when you have a phobic reaction. These can been sweaty palms, heart palpations, irregular breathing, nausea, and in severe cases feelings of dread, panic or even fainting.

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