Bathmophobia or the fear of stairs or steep slopes can be associated with fear of heights, falling and loss of balance. For some, climbing stairs can be a source of exercise but people with this fear will avoid using the stairs at all cost and may choose to ride escalators or elevators instead. This fear can cause a pronounced lack of fitness and endurance and may result.
This fear may be closely related to fear of heights, or the fear of falling or getting injured. Although escalators and elevators will bring you to great heights, the people with bathmophobia may think that these are safer methods than going up the stairs using their own two feet. Some might have experienced falling down the stairs when they were younger, thus this fear is triggered. Or others might have seen people falling down the stairs and sustaining serious injuries, as well as seeing people falling down the stairs in movies and getting killed.
Balance problems as well as vision and hearing problems can also trigger this phobia. For those who develop this phobia due to balance issues, medical therapy should be a part of treatment.
Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and tension may actually increase the risks of accident when the person is exposed to triggers making him/her more terrified and agitated.
Treatment includes psychotherapy and exposure therapy. Little by little, the bathmophobe is exposed to climbing stairs one step at a time so later on he may overcome this fear.