Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Acrophobia or Philophobia?

Birds do not have fear of heights, they have been born to embrace it. Most people are wary of heights—a normal response to a potentially dangerous situation. But when the wariness turns into extreme and irrational fear, it becomes a real problem. 

Even more, people have what’s called visual height intolerance, in which the visual stimulus of a high place causes unpleasant feelings or sensations like fear of losing balance or falling. Also called height vertigo, it is a less-recognized and less-treated condition that varies in severity. 

Virtual reality therapy is a type of exposure therapy that uses computer-generated visual, auditory, and tactile sensory inputs to immerse the patient in a 3D environment that realistically simulates the feared stimulus. Advantages are that it can be done in a safe office setting, and the patient has control to turn off the stimulus as needed. However, nobody can guarantee the fear of falling into emotional feelings of stomach tingling...what is that called? 

Oh, that is called philophobia.
Philophobia isn’t social anxiety disorder, although people with philophobia may also have a social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder causes extreme fear in social situations, but it’s different from philophobia because it encompasses a number of social contexts.

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