Altophobia or Acrophobia is known as the fear of heights. This phobia is different from aerophobia which is the fear of flying, and from all other specific phobias since this fear is more generalized. An altophobic person, depending on the severity of the fear, may fear being on a high floor, climbing a ladder, or any activity that involves heights or being at height.
This phobia is often mistaken for vertigo, but this is very different from the latter. If you are suffering from altophobia, then you may never experience any symptoms of vertigo. When you have fear of heights, you might feel a sense of panic when you are at height. Instinctively, you will start searching for something you can cling on as you are unable to trust your own sense of balance. Other common reactions include descending immediately, kneeling, lowering the body or crawling on all fours.
The response to altophobia, both emotionally and physically, is the same to any other phobias. You might begin to sweat, shake, experience rapid heartbeat, yell or cry out loud. You might feel paralyzed and terrified as well and it might be difficult for you to think clearly. Having this type of phobia, you will soon dread situations that you have to spend time at height.
To avoid the feared situation, the risk of limiting your life and activities is very high. Although the situation is safe when you take normal precautions, panicking may lead to unsafe actions. That is why it is essential for this phobia to be professionally treated as soon as possible, especially if you need to deal with heights often.
Based on several researches, individuals and visual animals, have certain amount of reluctance when it comes to heights, and it is all but normal. Nowadays, there are various treatments available for Acrophobia including CBT or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. This is a main treatment of choice when dealing with specific phobias. Behavioral techniques that expose the patient into the feared situation gradually or rapidly are often used. Aside from that, sufferers are often taught various ways on how they can stop reacting and how they can regain their emotional control.