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xlr8r | 13:56 Mon 11th Aug 2003 | Body & Soul
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hi folks, Recently I have noticed that I am totally useless with Heights. I never had a problem in the past and now all of a sudden I get panicy going out on a balcony 4 stories up for example. How can I over come this fear that I want to get rid off?


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You refer to 'in the past' and there is no doubt that this is - or can be - an age-related thing. As a young man, climbing was my hobby and most weekends would find me dangling from a sea-cliff or mountain-crag somewhere. Now I get acrophobia if I find myself on a too-high bar-stool!

I can assure you of one will affect you only if the structure you are on is attached to the a balcony, cliff-edge, outside lift etc. I guarantee you could sit totally unperturbed with your legs dangling from a helicopter at 500 feet.

That's been my experience at least. Once the fear had developed, it has never gone away.

Lucky old you, QM - I get the heebyjeebies whether attached to the ground or not (and if not exactly a spring chicken, I'm certainly not an old boiler!) The thought process goes like this: "Blow me, that's a long way down. Gosh, wouldn't it be terrible if I fell?" and somehow my imagination works on my central nervous system to simulate just how it would feel if I did. A kind of virtual fall, if you like. For the same reason I can't watch people bungee-jumping - I get collywobbles on their behalf. I have no idea whether bungee-jumping does actually feel that bad; having experienced it second-hand, no way in the world would you get me up there! Sorry, xlr8r, no advice - but lots of sympathy....
I always used to have a problem with heights, but not anymore! I solved my fear with a trip to Alton Towers. I had always been terrified of rides and had never even been on one that went upside down. Some friends dragged me (and I really mean dragged) on the then newly opened Oblivion ride, which is a straight vertical drop. I was terrified at first, but once I'd made the drop I was fine. I can't help with the age thing though: I was afraid of heights from birth, and only 17 when I fixed the problem. Good luck though!
Dangling out of a helicopter?! I prefer to remain on terra firma. The more the firmer, the less the terror.
Me to, Bernardo, but the strange thing is, I love flying (in aeroplanes of course) unless it is just a short flight in a smaller aircraft and I have to walk up steps to get in, (as opposed to just going from the terminal/gate straight onto the plane). You can bet your life that the queue to get on moves smoothly until I get to the top of the stairs. That's when someone loses their boarding pass and I have to endure hours, ok, minutes, trying not to look over the side of the stairs. Still, good excuse for a G&T once on board...
Yes, I can vouch for the truth of 'heli-dangling' being fear-free, Bernardo, having done it many a time during military service. So, too, was hang-gliding when I tried it a few years ago. There is no doubt whatever that being free from "the surly bonds of earth" is a key element here.

I suspect that being 'outside' - as in both situations above - is important as well, so may not apply to flying in an aircraft with some people. Take me to within fifty yards of a cliff-top, however, and I'll end up lying on the ground clutching at clumps of grass! (Who are these idiots who fall halfway down Beachy Head by accident?)

As my pedantic Father taught me - I have no problem with's DEPTHS that scare me! (Don't mean to shout, just can't do bold)
xlr8r, 'heights' is a problem caused by lack of self confidence. I used to have loads, and did heights easily. Now i have less and don't. This is the top and bottom of the issue as i see it. Anyone know differently?
Toglet, Assuming you're serious about bold print, here's how to do it. Immediately before typing the word or phrase to be emboldened, type a left-arrow (that's one of these <) then a letter b then a right-arrow (that's one of these >). After the bold word/phrase type another left-arrow, a forward slash (that's one of these /) another letter b and another right-arrow.

And there you have it! For italic, replace the letters b with letters i and, for underlining, replace the letters b with letters u.

Thank you Quizmonster. Yes, I was serious (hang my head in shame)....has it worked....?
I am also terrified of heights to the extent that it has taken me 5 years to venture into my loft and then I thought my heart would leave my chest it was beating so hard. My fear is not so much the height itself but that I get an ulmost uncontrolable urge to throw myself off the edge and I just know one day I will not be able to stop myself doing this.
Parkhead, There's a well-known quote from Nietzsche that says: "When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you." That eerie feeling is what you - and many, many others - experience with heights. Don't worry about won't one day hurl yourself over any more than 99.9999% of others ever do.
Toglet, well don't get carried away or you'll want to know how to do colours next!

Seriously, if you click a link will take you to a website with some tutorials on how to use these basic html codes. Enjoy!

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