Fear of Being Close to High Buildings
Do your palms become sweaty and your mouth sandpaper dry at the mere thought of tall buildings? Do you fear that a high building is going to collapse on you?
Do you avoid areas with high buildings, or even videos or photos that feature them? Does the thought of going near a tall building make you nauseous?
If so, you may have a fear of being close to high buildings. While some of us might steer clear from the edge of a skyscraper, even a photo of one can send individuals with batophobia into a frenzy.
However, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from some sort of phobia. If you want to know more, take a look at a complete list of phobias and meanings.
Also, you don’t have to live in fear. Batophobia is treatable, and you can learn to live a fear-free life.
What Is Batophobia?
Batophobia is a fear of tall buildings or of being close to one. Batophobia comes from the Greek words, bato, meaning passable, and phobia, meaning fear.
Individuals with phobias are genuinely afraid of the object of their fear, rather than disgusted by it.
Those suffering from batophobia live in constant fear of a building or other object falling on them. They are afraid of going near tall structures like bridges and even mountains or tall trees in fear that the structure itself or something above it will fall on them, crushing them. They may also have other phobias like fear of big things, and fear of large objects (megalophobia).
Some feel extreme anguish and at times even have panic attacks. To avoid feeling the fear symptoms, they may make major life changes, such as leaving the city and moving to rural areas.
Many choose to live in one-story houses and may even avoid elevators and stairs. Oftentimes, when the phobia has advanced, the sufferer may even avoid being in any heightened place, including a stage.
What Causes Batophobia?
The exact cause of batophobia is not known. However, like most specific phobias, it is often a combination of several factors that leads to the development of batophobia.
Most people are not born with the phobia of tall buildings. It develops later in life after a triggering event. However, most people don’t remember when the phobia started or what the trigger was.
Those with a genetic predisposition to mental illnesses have a higher risk of developing phobias. A person who has a family history of anxiety disorders is more likely to develop phobias as well.
News stories are another suspected trigger of phobia. Reading about people being buried alive in a building collapse or someone dying after being hit by something that fell from a tall structure can lead to a fear of tall buildings. This can later progress to a phobia.
The fear can also be caused by looking down from a tall building. When looking down, a person may be overwhelmed by the sheer height and fear they may fall.
The symptoms of batophobia vary from one individual to another and depend on the severity and advancement of the phobia. While some may experience only mild symptoms, others may experience panic attacks.
- Elevated heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety at the thought of a tall building or structure
- Fear of death
- Fear of getting hurt
- Panic attacks
Batophobia, like other specific phobias, does not have a definitive treatment. However, specific phobia studies show that therapies often prove helpful in managing the fear and its symptoms.
Self-help works well, especially if your phobia is in the beginning phases, and you are experiencing only mild symptoms.
If you suspect you are suffering from a phobia, journaling will help you realize what you’re feeling, what triggers a reaction, how you feel during and after an episode, and more. A journal will also help you track the frequency and intensity of your phobia.
You can also talk about it with someone close to you and ask them for help. Sharing your experiences with a trusted friend or family member can help ease the stress of phobia.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation are also helpful methods. These techniques keep you calm and composed in times of stress. You can try relaxation techniques during an episode; however, it will take time before you master calming yourself and reducing the symptoms, so be patient with yourself.
Exposure is another technique you can try. Most realize their fear is irrational and exists only in their heads. With this in mind, they can work to gradually expose themselves to the source of their fear in an attempt to overcome it.
As a note, exposure therapy is a technique professionals practice in a safe, controlled environment. When trying it on your own, remember not to push yourself too much, and stop if your anxiety increases.
When self-help isn’t enough, seek professional help as soon as possible. A mental health professional will be able to assess your condition and prepare a treatment plan tailored for you.
There are many therapies available for the treatment of batophobia. They are used singly or in combination, depending on the severity of your fear.
Some of the most common therapies are:
- Behavioral therapy
- Relaxation therapy
- Cognitive therapy
In rare cases, therapists may incorporate medication as part of the treatment plan. Anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs may be prescribed.
Medication is used only to treat the symptoms of the phobia, not the phobia itself. Once the client starts responding to therapy, medication is tapered while other therapy continues.
How to Cope with Batophobia
Living with a phobia isn’t easy. It affects your daily and social life and can leave you feeling afraid and isolated. However, by taking small steps, you can make drastic changes and help yourself regain confidence.
Always remember that your fear is irrational and that it doesn’t pose a real threat. Work with family and friends and, if necessary, a professional, to help you become a happier, healthier you.
Batophobia, the fear of being close to high buildings, can affect your daily life. But don’t avoid the object of your fear—avoidance can worsen your condition. Instead, seek help and work to recover from the effects of the phobia.