Hypnosis Berlin

Hypnosis for Fear of Heights
Overcome Fear of Heights

Fear of heights or acrophobia (formerly also known as altophobia or hypsophobia) is triggered by height, it refers to the fear of a certain distance from the ground, which can be triggered even at low altitudes. Many people know the oppressive feeling of standing on a high structure or a mountain and looking down into the depths, it is not for nothing that people talk about dizzying heights. But for people who suffer from vertigo, it is not just an oppressive feeling. Even the thought of being on a tower, mountain, skyscraper, steep slope or bridge can trigger fears. People often describe similar fears when they stand on a ladder or a balcony, which makes it clear that it does not have to be about a particular height. A few meters above the ground can be enough for us sufferers to trigger strong feelings of anxiety, with sweaty palms, tension and restlessness, which can increase to panic and constitute a high level of suffering for sufferers. Hypnosis helps to overcome the fear of heights and to be able to move safely in his life again, no matter at what height. 
Hypnosis for Fear of Heights - Overcome Fear of Heights
Image: Hypnosis for Fear of Heights - Overcome Fear of Heights

Fear of heights symptoms

How to recognize Fear of Hights - Acrophobia

At altitudes, sufferers may experience physical and psychological symptoms. These include inner restlessness, dizziness, sweating, tingling in the limbs, nausea, an elevated pulse, palpitations, palpitations, abdominal pain, headaches, a tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, depersonalization (the feeling of alienation from one's own body and consciousness or the strangeness of the situation). Some people who suffer from fear of heights have feelings of loss of control to the point of fear of death and experience ideas of stumbling, falling, tumbling, or being pulled down into the depths. When feeling acutely threatened, they may experience rigors of shock, crying fits, screaming fits, fear of death, or even fainting. Affected individuals may also develop obsessive thoughts that they cannot explain to themselves. For example, there are acrophobics who are afraid that they themselves might jump down a precipice or push their children, although the thought is completely absurd and there is no motivation to do so. Obsessive thoughts are an outgrowth of the symptom of losing control that is typical of anxiety disorders. Through them, the feeling of losing control over oneself is reinforced.
Physical Symptoms of Fear of Heights
Fear of heights usually manifests itself with physical symptoms such as palpitations, increased blood pressure, tension, cramps and dizziness. The physical signs can also include goose bumps, tingling in the limbs, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and even feelings of lightheadedness. Some of those affected also report sweating, sweating, tremors, muscle cramps and even a panic attack. People with a fear of heights experience the situations they fear individually. Your body reacts with feelings of anxiety, which can manifest themselves differently in everyone. Fear of heights can escalate to panic attacks.
Psychological Symptoms of Fear of Heights
Psychologically, fear of heights is reflected in fearful thoughts about an upcoming ascent or a stay at a height, as well as negative thought spirals and brooding. These thoughts and worries may or may not be related to a possible loss of control. Some sufferers imagine in horrific thoughts that they might trip or fall. Obsessive thoughts can develop which the affected persons cannot explain themselves and which they perceive as exaggerated. The stress can show itself through insecurity and a decreasing self-confidence. Those affected often feel helpless and unable to change anything in the situation. Especially if they do not feel effective and are dependent on staying on higher floors, for example, depressive moods, Depression and exhaustion can be observed. Avoidance behavior can also be observed in those affected, while at the same time they judge themselves and are ashamed of their behavior.

Fear of heights hypnosis solves the causes

People affected by acrophobia are mostly aware that their fear of heights is irrationally great and they will not fall or fall in a height situation. However, knowing about it does not reduce their fear reaction. That's why well-intentioned advice such as "The railing is stable" or "You can't fall off that" are pointless. On the contrary, they can even have a negative effect on the self-esteem of those affected, because they are ashamed of their fear and do not feel understood. Hypnosis helps to work through the causes of fear of heights and to establish a new security and trust in yourself, so that you can feel safe no matter what height you are.

Fear of Heights Self Test

Do I suffer from Fear of Heights / Acrophobia?

Read the following questions and answer the questions given with yes or no. If you can answer yes to at least one question, this is a possible indication of a fear of heights. The more yes you answer, the more likely it is that you actually suffer from such an anxiety.
  • 1

    Do you experience symptoms such as tingling in your limbs, sweaty palms, goosebumps, discomfort or anxiety when you think of high altitude?
  • 2

    If you look deep, experience any of the following symptoms: increase in heart rate and palpitations, sweating, tremors, and dry mouth.
  • 3

    Does the fear increase as you climb higher?
  • 4

    Are there places or routes that you deliberately avoid because of the altitude?
  • 5

    Do you consume alcohol or take tranquilizers before exposure to a high-altitude situation?
  • 6

    Do you need an escort to be able to expose yourself to a high-altitude situation?
  • 7

    At high altitude, do you have an instinctive need to get out of the situation?
  • 8

    Is there someone in your close family circle who is afraid of heights?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions and feel anxious in high-altitude situations, you should seek medical or therapeutic advice. You may have a fear of heights, acrophobia. Please note that questions are always broad, so it is possible that people who are not affected by acrophobia will also get a positive result. Not everyone who is afraid of looking down in a high-altitude situation suffers from acrophobia.

Fear of Heights Facts

Fear of Heights – Acrophobia, every 5th European is affected

Acrophobia comes from the ancient Greek words akros for peak and phobos for fear. According to a study, every fifth European is affected. Acrophobia, fear of heights, is one of the specific phobias. This fear can vary widely. While some acrophobics find a walk in the mountains too much, others find it difficult to climb a ladder. One speaks of a phobia whenever the fear is unreasonably great, since no danger is to be expected. A healthy respect for altitude, on the other hand, is completely normal and has been shown to exist even in small children and animals. One speaks of the so-called cliff phenomenon. An acrophobic's fear exceeds this, and the situation seems distorted and far more threatening than it really is. The fear of heights or looking down is combined with the fear of falling and dying. Depending on the severity, the fear can severely impair the quality of life of those affected.

What Acrophobics fear

What someone with a fear of heights is specifically afraid of can be very different and also differ significantly in the actual height.
  • Fear of a certain distance from the ground, of going "too far" off the ground
  • look in depth
  • Fear of dizziness
  • fear of falling
  • Fear of tripping and falling
  • Staying on top of a tower, mountain, skyscraper, steep slope or bridge
  • Fear of climbing a ladder
  • Fear of standing on a balcony
  • Fear of losing control

Acrophobia along with other anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia

Acrophobia can also occur as part of another anxiety disorder, such as agoraphobia. Incidentally, those who suffer from a fear of heights do not necessarily have problems with a fear of flying. The altitude experienced in an airplane is perceived differently. For one thing, there is no vertigo in an airplane. On the other hand, it is much more difficult for the mind to assess such a height because it is more difficult to compare than the abyss that one compares with the landscape in which one stands. The primal fear of heights is perhaps also not reported on the plane because people were not originally traveling at such heights and it seems almost irrational.

That scares people in Germany the most

According to the 2016 Statista online survey, fear of heights is number one in Germany. Second place is fear of bacteria, infections and diseases, third place is fear of deep water, fourth place is fear of making the wrong decision (15.5%). According to the survey, Germans are the fifth most afraid of being alone and lonely, sixth is the fear of absolute darkness. Multiple answers were possible in the survey. Fear of heights is therefore not uncommon. In the survey, Germans were asked about their greatest fear, with the following answers occupying the first three places:
21.4  %
Great Heights
18.8  %
Bacteria, infections, diseases
16.6  %
Deep water
Source Statista:
Own representation, data source: https://de.statista.com/statistics/data/studie/617642/umfrage/umfrage-zu-den-anxiety-factors-in-germany/, accessed on 18.08 .22

Fear of heights causes

Causes of Fear of Heights

The cause and trigger for the fear of heights are often difficult to understand for many of those affected. There are assumptions about how fear of heights arises. It may be due to a childhood experience that people have experienced or observed themselves. Those affected may have had overanxious parents who warned the child about so-called “dangerous” situations when climbing. Fear of heights can be learned in childhood through the behavior of the caregivers, parents, role models, but it can also have developed as a reaction to an unfortunate fall that was actually experienced or observed. In many cases, however, it is not known why the fear of heights arose and it is assumed that a multifactorial event is involved in the development of a fear of heights. In high-altitude situations, unconscious processes bring anxiety symptoms to the surface without being able to explain them logically or rationally. Repeated fears in high-altitude situations can lead to avoidance behavior, which is why it is so important to seek professional help in good time. Affected people feel helpless at heights, repeated experiences confirm those affected in their fear of heights and strengthen them.

When vertigo triggers fear of heights

Fear of heights is different from vertigo. Vertigo is characterized by the eyes having difficulty focusing on certain points in the distance. While the eyes search the area for fixed points and the head moves slightly back and forth, the feet signal a firm footing. These signals contradict each other. As a result, the person feels dizzy. The feeling of dizziness can be a trigger for the fear of heights, since the affected person can develop the fear of falling or of losing control in general. Completely normal physical symptoms triggered by stress hormones also reinforce the assumption of a threat in such a situation.

How fear of heights arises

Imagine a ride in a big Ferris wheel. At the highest point, it could cause vertigo and the affected person develops an uncomfortable feeling. If he cannot escape the situation and finds no way to deal with it constructively, the discomfort can lead to a further release of stress hormones. These in turn lead to further physical symptoms and a rise from discomfort to fear or even panic. This increases until the person concerned changes how they deal with the situation or - if they cannot find a way - leaves the situation when the Ferris wheel stops and they can leave it. The memory of this experience can become a trigger for fear the next time the person stands in front of a Ferris wheel. The fear may relate to the specific situation of riding the Ferris wheel. However, it can also spread to other situations that are associated with a (possibly only slight) discomfort. The fear of heights does not only vary depending on the individual case at the respective altitude. There are also sufferers who feel safe behind a protective device such as window glass at great heights. Incidentally, the most famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also suffered from acrophobia at the time. To treat himself, he climbed the spire of a cathedral several times a week. However, such attempts to confront the fear without therapeutic guidance are not advisable. In most cases, those affected do not succeed in overcoming the fear through a confrontation alone; in the worst case, the fear of heights intensifies with each further confrontation. Panic attacks and shock can be the result. Time and again, people in the mountains get into trouble because they want to confront their fear and overdo it. In the worst case, the mountain rescue team has to come. Such an experience negatively impacts self-esteem and can exacerbate the fear of heights.

Attention to heights is essential for survival

Basically, it can be said that a certain respect for heights is essential for survival and makes biological sense, since there is a risk of falling at heights. However, some people are oversensitive in this respect and feel threatened, even though nothing can happen to them. The trigger may be a moment of fright and the knowledge that a fall can be dangerous or even fatal. For example, vertigo can be a trigger for fear of heights, as the dizziness can quickly create a fear of losing one's footing. The fear of stumbling and falling is henceforth associated with this experience. To the actual fear is added the so-called fear of fear. The affected person begins to avoid situations that scare them. Escape from the situation appears to be the only proven means of resolving the threat. In this way, fear can develop over time even at lower heights, such as when climbing a ladder. 

Fear of heights consequences

What consequences can fear of heights have?

The consequences of a fear of heights depend on how strong the fear is in the specific case. People who are unable to climb stairs or cross a bridge suffer greatly. Others, only spotted with their fear on very tall structures or mountains, can avoid such places and otherwise lead normal lives. Whether or not this phobia should be treated depends on whether it affects the quality of life and whether there is distress. However, treatment for fear of heights is always advisable, as phobias can affect self-esteem. It is possible that the acrophobia extends to other everyday situations that have nothing to do with climbing a mountain or a tall tower.

The consequences of fear of heights can be summed up like this:
  • Feelings of shame, lower self-esteem and diminishing self-confidence
  • Avoidance of high-altitude situations with, in part, increased withdrawal into one's own four walls up to social isolation
  • Higher risk of developing depression
  • Problems in the professional and private environment when certain places are avoided due to the altitude
  • Risk of developing addictions due to desired sedation by means of "self-therapy or self-medication" with alcohol or medication in order to expose oneself to an altitude situation
  • Difficulties and conflicts in relationships and partnership due to avoidance behavior

Fear of heights and secondary diseases

Persistent and untreated fear of heights can lead to feelings of shame and reduced self-esteem and self-confidence. Other fears can also arise as concomitant illnesses if they were not already there, such as agoraphobia. Fear of heights can lead to those affected suffering from panic attacks even at low altitudes and as a result withdrawing and avoiding situations more often. The fear can also spread to completely different life situations, such as taking an elevator, crossing a bridge or sitting by the window of the office. Those affected have a higher risk of developing depression or developing addictions through "self-therapy or medication".

Fear of Heights Hypnosis

Fear of Heights Hypnosis - Overcome the Fear of Heights

It is possible to successfully alleviate symptoms of fear of heights and reduce fear with the help of hypnosis. Since 2006 there has been an expert opinion from the Scientific Advisory Board for Psychotherapy, which is made up of sponsors from the German Medical Association and the Federal Psychotherapist Association. This opinion scientifically recognizes hypnotherapy in adults as a method for various indications, including anxiety disorders. Various studies such as "The effectiveness of hypnotherapy for anxiety disorders" by the psychologist Erich Flammer from 2007 were able to prove the effectiveness of the applications for anxiety disorders. The successes that can be achieved vary from person to person. The sooner those affected by fear of heights seek help, the more successful hypnotherapy can be. A well-trained and experienced hypnotherapist knows how to professionally accompany people in special situations.

Positive Experiences with Height through Hypnosis

Hypnosis can process and dissolve negative images, thoughts and beliefs associated with fear of heights. There are various methods that can be used successfully in hypnotherapy, such as the exposure experience in trance: Fear of heights can be treated with the help of a hypnotherapeutic exposure experience in hypnosis. Exposure experience means the experience of positive experiences with height in different height situations. The state of hypnosis with deep relaxation is used to make you feel safe and relaxed during the experience. Experiences that have sustained the fear of heights can be processed in hypnosis and resources for new positive experiences can be strengthened. The aim is to decouple the connections that repeatedly create fear and anchor new connections. A reassessment of the fear-triggering situation is made possible and self-confidence is strengthened. The sooner your fear of heights is treated, the better your chances of getting rid of it altogether. But even with clients who have been struggling with acrophobia for decades, relief and even complete healing are possible. Hypnosis can be easily combined with coordination, balance and equilibrium exercises, as well as strength and endurance training, which restore the interaction and thus the confidence in one's own body.

Safe and relaxed with Hypnosis, no matter the Height

In addition to hypnosis in our practice, we support our clients beyond the hypnosis session, with practical self-hypnosis techniques, to take the experiences of hypnosis into life. Once people have experienced new security in hypnosis, they experience themselves as more secure and relaxed, no matter what level.

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