Illyngophobia, or concern of vertigo, is a somewhat difficult phobia. It is related to acrophobia, or concern of heights. However, these with acrophobia are actually afraid of being at a big height. Those who are suffering illyngophobia will not be afraid of the height itself, however of developing dizziness or vertigo when looking down. The difference is subtle, and might only be properly diagnosed by a trained clinician.
What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a medical condition that’s related to dizziness. There are two varieties of vertigo: subjective and objective. In subjective vertigo, the sufferer feels like he or she is moving or swaying. In objective vertigo, the sufferer looks like objects are shifting around him or her.
Vertigo is a balance dysfunction with many potential causes. True medical vertigo stems from an issue in the inside ear or brain structures. However, the term can also be used to explain similar symptoms that have a distinct cause. Both types could be exacerbated by heights, significantly when trying down from a ledge.
Illyngophobia or Vertigo?
Illyngophobia is the fear of developing vertigo when looking down from heights. However, the phobia itself can induce many of the same signs of dizziness, shaking, nausea and vomiting. Therefore, it isn’t unusual for those who suffer from illyngophobia to believe that they have legitimately developed vertigo. It is necessary to receive proper medical testing to determine the reason for your symptoms.
Illyngophobia in Popular Culture
The best known example of illyngophobia in common culture is Alfred Hitchcocks 1958 film Vertigo. In the film, a police detective develops vertigo after seeing a fellow officer fall to his death during a rooftop chase. Throughout the film, the detectives situation is shown to be psychological in nature and he is ready to conquer the vertigo at the end, albeit at a horrible price.