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Body Phobias

Hylephobia-Fear of Epilepsy

Hylephobia Look to Understand the Fear of Epilepsy Hylephobia, the fear of epilepsy, is a less commonly known phobia but can be deeply troubling for those who experience it. This specific phobia involves an intense, irrational fear of witnessing an epileptic seizure or being diagnosed with epilepsy oneself. For someone with hylephobia, the mere thought…

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Mastrophobia-Fear of Breasts

Mastrophobia-Understanding the Fear of Breasts The concept of fearing breasts may seem strange in a country when the media and culture frequently accentuate them. But for some, this anxiety is a real, upsetting reality known as mastrophobia. This phobia is characterized by an extreme fear of breasts, which can seriously affect daily comfort and interpersonal…

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Epistaxiophobia-Fear of Nosebleeds

Understanding Epistaxiophobia: The Fear of Nosebleeds Most if not all of us, do not want to see blood coming from any part of our bodies. Some people however, experience extreme fear or high anxiety at the mere sight or notion of a nosebleed? If this is you and the fear is extreme or debilitating, you…

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Rhytiphobia – Fear of Getting Wrinkles

The Fear of Wrinkles, or Rhytiphobia With age comes wisdom, maturity, sore joints and wrinkles. But what if the very prospect of developing wrinkles makes your heart pound, causes your palms to sweat, and overcomes you with an illogical fear? A deep-seated fear of wrinkles can come up because it is often linked to a fear…

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Kolpophobia – Fear of Genitals

The Fear of Genitals Is Rare but Real Kolpophobia, an uncommon fear, raises questions about whether it's a phobia or simply extreme disgust towards genitals. To grasp this condition, let's explore kolpophobia's specifics and the blurry line between fear and disgust. Kolpophobia includes fearing pubic hair, the vagina, and all genitalia, causing intense emotional discomfort when…

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Oneirophobia – The Fear of Dreams

What Is Oneirophobia, or the Fear of Dreams? Oneirophobia, or the fear of dreams, is a unique phobia that affects individuals in various ways. It is characterized by an intense and irrational fear of dreaming or engaging with the world of dreams. People with oneirophobia may experience anxiety, panic attacks, and even avoid sleep altogether…

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Queunliskanphobia – Fear of Saliva

Queunliskanphobia - Fear or Disgust? Does the prospect of kissing send shivers down your spine? Do you refuse to drink from someone's cup or eat off someone else's utensils? What about licking an envelope? If you often find yourself freaked out at the thought of saliva or spit, you may be suffering from queunliskanphobia, or…

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Fear of Pores

Disgust or the Fear of Pores Are you disgusted at the sight of sponges or honeycombs? Do you turn away from clusters of small holes? Do you avoid looking at images or videos of holes, bumps, or pores that are grouped together? If yes, you may be suffering from fear of pores, a branch of trypophobia, or…

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Fear of Smiles

Some People Have a Deep Fear of Smiles Do smiles give you the creeps, make you uneasy, remind you of devious people? Are your eyes always scrutinizing faces to check for the slightest sign of smiles or laughter? Do you fear smiles behind your back? If yes, you may be suffering from the fear of smiles…

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Parasitophobia – Fear of Parasites

Parasites May Cause Health Issues and Much More Do you tend to overcook meat and fish simply because you have a deep fear of parasites? Do you avoid walks in the woods or even in a park because you fear ticks? Does the idea of fleas in your carpet have you climbing the walls? If images of worms,…

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Your Fear Goes Up and Down

Are you someone who would rather climb the stairs than take the elevator? You call it squeezing in a workout after being sedentary the whole morning. Or perhaps you claim it's a faster route. These are both typical, normal, and acceptable reasons. But what if you need to be in the conference room on the eleventh floor in five minutes, and you're wearing your business suit and wingtips? Would you still prefer to take the stairs? If your answer is yes, then maybe it's time to take a closer look at your reasons for avoiding elevators. Elevators stir all sorts of emotions in passengers. From the discomfort of closeness to strangers to the sensations in our gut, elevators can be a source of the heebie-jeebies for many, but for some, they can also be a source of terror. Let's dig a little deeper into the latter, and see what this terror is all about and what can be done to manage it. To begin with, does being inside an elevator give you chills or the sweats? Or does it trigger an unpleasant memory? Perhaps you remember movies you've watched where something terrible happens inside an elevator. From Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, Final Destination 2, or the king of all elevator horror films, 2010’s Devil, the elevator becomes witness to something sinister and horrible. And you want nothing to do with any of it. You know that you're not claustrophobic. You can deal with heights just fine, too. And you know that you're not going to be trapped inside. All of these contribute to a fear of elevators—but they don't apply to you. Yet being inside one does something to you. It's hard to explain.

What is the Fear of Elevators Called?

What you have is a fear of elevators, which is called elevatophobia. It is most commonly triggered by an experience of getting stuck inside either due to a power outage or technical maintenance. Hearing about other people's experiences or watching a movie about similar circumstances can prompt a fear of elevators getting stuck with you inside. Usually, claustrophobics and agoraphobics may also develop elevatophobia because the triggers and objects of these fears are related. Claustrophobia is the fear of closed and cramped spaces, while agoraphobia is the fear of being trapped without any means of escape. Put the two together, and the elevator becomes the perfect combination of both phobias. The space is limited and closed, with only one means of entry and exit. You can add another point of access if you consider climbing the cables like they do in the movies, but that certainly isn't ideal.

Symptoms of Elevatophobia

If for some reason an elevator stops due to an outage or some technical difficulty, passengers with elevatophobia may go into full panic mode. Even if the maintenance team advises that it will just be a matter of minutes, by then, the person's mind has become irrational with the fear of the elevator falling, being stuck for hours, or other unpleasant thoughts. You would expect a person to exhibit the following physical symptoms: Additionally, you would be filled with that overwhelming anxiety where you feel that you have zero control over the situation. You start fearing the unknown and are filled with negative thoughts about death and imminent doom. You become irrational and unresponsive.

Possible Complications of Elevatophobia

When the panic sets in, the possibility of emergencies related to pre-existing conditions may make themselves known. This might include serious health crises like heart attacks or asthma attacks. When this happens, fear becomes a medical emergency. Elevator rides do not last long; it's just a matter of minutes or even less. But the fact that a person can escalate from panic to a near fatal medical situation classifies the fear of elevators as a 'hard phobia.'

Trying Some Self-Help Methods

Your fear of elevators can likely interfere with your social and work life and relationships. Not everyone understands that elevatophobia, like most phobias, can be crippling. But don't be disheartened. Depending on the level of your fear and level of control, you can gradually face and manage your phobia. Here are some recommendations you can try:
  1. Make a List of Everything that Entails Riding in an Elevator This is a systematic approach to getting over your anxiety. By following a step-by-step process, you can identify where the fear kicks in at its strongest. You can write a list of steps like pressing the topmost button and waiting to arrive on that floor, watching as the door closes and opens, being alone inside the elevator, or having delays with the doors opening. Now try doing the opposite. For example, face away from the door or occupy yourself with your phone so that you are distracted.
  2. Create Your Fear Ladder Although the name says fear of elevators, it is not the whole process that scares you. There are just phases and parts of the elevator riding experience that cause you to panic. So go back to the list you initially created and label the fear level you feel. You can do it numerically, too, like ten being 'really scary,' six, 'manageable scary,' and one, 'not scary at all.' You can put the corresponding fear levels so you can focus more time and effort into activities that are more scary to you.
  3. Face Your Fear By now, you have identified what scares you the most. You can try repetitive action to minimize your fear and increase your sense of ‘normalcy’. Remember that the longer you expose yourself to your fear, the better you get at handling your emotions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Pushing yourself too fast and too soon can backfire. Modify your pace and go slower instead.
  4. Talk About Your Fear People by nature, unfortunately, are not quick to offer understanding and support. You need to tell them what's wrong before they can empathize. Talk to someone who you trust and ask for their support, especially in the initial phase of overcoming your fear. If you are too afraid to ride the elevator alone, you can ask them to go with you, and before you realize it, you are on your floor, and there was no indication of panic.
  5. Learn To Be Patient Be patient with yourself and your predicament. This is, after all, your fight against fear. It might take hundreds of elevator ride practices before the fear gets under control. Even then, there might be some hesitations and episodes of nervousness. These are acceptable and expected, so cut yourself some slack and congratulate yourself for every progress.

Seeking Professional Help

Along with self-help, you can always enlist a medical professional's aid to support you with your elevatophobia. Talking to someone who has experience with similar cases can be comforting, because you know that you are not alone, and this situation can get better. Talk to your doctor about the severity of your fears and the symptoms that you experience. Explain how you deal with it in an attempt to control it. An exam and a health history are made to ensure that there are no unrelated or underlying problems that your symptoms might mask. Usually, phobias like this are approached with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Your doctor will talk about these options with you, and it's entirely up to you, with your doctor's recommendation, what you want to pursue. For psychotherapy, the most common type is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to help you find different ways of behaving, thinking, and reacting when about to step inside an elevator or when already inside it. With medications, there are beta blockers and benzodiazepines, but note that these can have side effects. Whatever these side effects are, you should promptly share it with your doctor.

Simple Tips to Overcome Elevatophobia

Elevators are not perfect, but their likelihood to malfunction, fall, or get stuck is very low. If you are not fully confident with this information, you can help overcome your elevatophobia by learning common elevator safety tips and basic elevator operations. These should help curb your mild fear until you become more self-assured. In addition to that, here are some of the things that you can do to gradually overcome your fear of elevators—both in getting on and riding one.

Conclusion

Yes, elevatophobia can be a challenge in today's world, but don't allow the elevator to win. Don't let it stop you from taking a job on the top floor or attending a social gathering on the rooftop. Sure, you can take the stairs if you insist and arrive winded and sweaty, with the party about to wrap up. But is this the quality of life you seek? Elevators are designed to make life easier. There are guaranteed ways to help you overcome elevatophobia. Take the first step and seek help. Soon, you’ll see yourself breezing through the floors with those arduous stair climbs little more than a memory.
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