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Acrophobia: fear of heights

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Experts believe the root cause for acrophobia is that at some point an individual may have experienced a sense of fear while up high, and that sensation sticks. The past events become an emotional trauma, which is carried on throughout an individual’s life.

Another school of thought proposes that other factors, like watching something in movies or TV involving heights, can also be responsible for acrophobia. Famous actor Tobey Maguire, who portrayed the character of Spiderman – a comic famous for climbing buildings and performing stunts far off the ground – admitted his fear of heights. Maguire had to overcome his fear to play the role of the hero in the movie.

Liam Neeson is also frightened of heights. The scene in ‘The Haunting’ where the actor is shown dangling of a staircase probably shows the actors true fear – no acting required.

Famous American singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow is another victim of acrophobia. She says heights and scary noises frighten her the most.

People suffering from acrophobia may experience dizziness, dry mouth and heart palpitations. This might also include fear of dying with a strong feeling of detachment. Panic attacks are common. This can be dangerous is an individual succumbs to a panic attack while in a high place and is no longer able to get themselves down safely.

There are several cures for acrophobia including hypnosis and positive thinking. Some drugs may also be taken, however they do not work to cure acrophobia, but rather might calm a person down.

This fear of heights can easily be overpowered with strong will and determination to face the heights. A phobia is not a disease; it is a kind of emotional stress that is out of an individual’s control.

Find out more about acrophobia.

Celebrities who are plagued by their phobias include Justin TimberlakeChristina RicciWoody Allen and Billy Bob Thornton.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glass_Floor_of_the_CN_Tower.JPG, Author: Pascal Reusch

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