High Anxiety over Altocelarophobia?
Have you ever been inside an auditorium and found yourself scrambling for the door? Does the thought of entering a mall fill you with a sense of unease? How about entering any enclosed space with tall ceilings?
If so, you may be suffering from altocelarophobia — a fear of high ceilings.
We all know about the fear of heights, but is there a phobia for high ceilings? Yes, there is. While it is not a common phobia, altocelarophobia can still be debilitating.
But don’t worry. Just like any other phobia, altocelarophobia can be managed. Let’s take a closer look at understanding this phobia of high ceilings, what triggers it, and how to cope with altocelarophobia.
Like many other phobias, altocelarophobia can prevent you from living a full life. You may never have visited a museum, an art gallery, or even entered an airport because of this fear. And you’ve probably asked yourself a thousand times, why am I afraid of high ceilings?
This fear can be the result of several different factors. It may have been formed due to a past experience involving a room with high ceilings. It may stem from something as simple as falling from a ladder as a child while staring up at the ceiling. Perhaps you had a fear of ceiling fans, and it evolved into a fear of high ceilings.
Apart from past experiences, the fear of ceilings is also associated with one’s childhood. The phobia could even be hereditary.
The severity of your experiences and encounters will also define the severity of your altocelarophobia.
Some Things You Need to Know about Altocelarophobia
The term altocelarophobia is derived from the Latin words alto, meaning high, and celaro, meaning cover or ceiling, as well as the Greek word phobos, which means fear. This phobia may be closely related to acrophobia, gigantasophobia or even vertigo.
When you have altocelarophobia, you don’t need to be in an environment with high ceilings to experience symptoms. Even imagining yourself in an enclosed space with tall ceilings can trigger anxiety and panic. This fear response is triggered even though you may not be physically confronted by the object of your fear.
Unlike other phobias, fear of high ceilings, a branch of celarophobia (fear of ceilings), is not well known. This may be due to sufferers’ embarrassment. However, even though it is an irrational fear, don’t dismiss or ignore altocelarophobia. Phobias can often significantly restrict a person’s everyday routine and can also be the primary source of anxiety and depression.
Altocelarophobia, like any other phobia, is unique to the person experiencing it. As a result, the intensity of one’s fear and how they react to it also varies. But with the right treatment, this phobia can be managed.
Common Altocelarophobia Symptoms
Fears and phobias like altocelarophobia are generally classified as anxiety disorders. Consequently, a person may experience an array of both psychological and physical symptoms.
For the individual experiencing them, panic episodes triggered by a phobia can be terrifying. Most of the time, these symptoms occur unexpectedly and without forewarning.
Take a look at some of the common physical and psychological symptoms of altocelarophobia.
- Increased heart rate
- Hot flushes
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Feeling nauseous
- Trembling and sweating
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling of numbness
- Tightness in the chest area
- Anxiety about losing control
- Feeling disconnected and withdrawing from social circles
- Moodswings, anger, irritation
- Fear of dying
- Feelings of dread
- Fear of getting hurt
- Feeling depressed
Many who suffer from phobia avoid seeking treatment as they fear they may not be taken seriously. This is also true for those suffering from altocelarophobia.
People may simply avoid the object of their fear, in this case, enclosed spaces with high ceilings. However, phobias can worsen with time and have debilitating consequences if left untreated. In the case of altocelarophobia, one may feel like they are more in control, but avoiding high ceilings all the time is not possible.
Most phobias are treatable, but there is no specific treatment recommended. The effectiveness of any treatment often depends on the severity of altocelarophobia.
Talk therapies entail discussing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a skilled expert in a very relaxed and non-intrusive setting. It is a form of therapy that provides a private space for you to explore your fears with a person who will not judge you.
It can help you identify unhealthy thought or behavior patterns. You can then discover methods to change them. It can also help you deal with difficult emotions and discover coping mechanisms for them. You will also be able to better understand yourself and your perspective of the world.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Phobia can cause a lot of worry and distress, which can bend and alter one’s perspective of reality. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can help you question and conquer these thoughts and help you determine whether or not they accurately reflect reality.
For someone with altocelarophobia, for example, CBT can help you determine whether this fear and anxiety regarding high ceilings is a realistic representation of reality. It can then give you tools to break these thought patterns and rectify them.
If you don’t wish to see a professional, there are several self-help techniques you can try that have seen success in dealing with phobias.
Like any other phobia, altocelarophobia can cause a significant amount of stress and anxiety. Your heart rate increases when you are faced with the object of your terror.
Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, rhythmic breathing, or mindfulness on a regular basis can help lower your blood pressure, relieve tension, and significantly reduce anxiety.
Depending on your preferred method of social interaction or level of comfort, you can also consider participating in support groups. Groups are available in person or online. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with others experiencing the same issue and be reassured that you’re not alone.
Yoga has also been shown to be effective in helping people with anxieties related to phobia. Like meditation, yoga helps reduce overall stress levels.
As with any self-help methods of treatment, if you begin experiencing new or more intense symptoms, seek professional help.
Ways to Cope with Altocelarophobia
If you’re questioning how rare altocelarophobia is or are concerned about not being able to find appropriate help, don’t worry. This phobia may be uncommon, but there are many who struggle with it.
There is no quick fix for any phobia. However, with consistent professional therapy or by practicing self-help techniques, you can learn to cope with altocelarophobia and better manage it.
You may also want to speak to your close friend or family member about your fears. Confiding in someone you trust can help you process your feelings. This is the type of support you’ll need along your altocelarophobia treatment journey.
Living with altocelarophobia can seem exhausting. But remind yourself that it is an irrational fear that is treatable. Once you gain an understanding of your fear of high ceilings and what triggers it, you will be better able to cope with it. With time and patience, you may just find yourself strolling through a cathedral admiring the architecture!