Gigantasophobia: The Fear of Tall People
Have you ever avoided going out with your friends because tall friends will be there too? You don’t have anything against them, but being in their presence makes your skin prick with fear.
If your answer is yes, then you may suffer from gigantasophobia.
You don’t have any other reason for sitting out most plans, but being in the presence of tall people makes your chest tighten and your heart beat faster. Admitting that you have a phobia of tall people may feel irrational, but it isn’t.
Gigantasophobia is a real phobia. In fact, many people deal with it every day. However, with proper steps and some help, you can overcome this fear. But first, you need to get to the root of your tall people phobia.
What Are the Causes of Gigantasophobia?
Phobias are complex, so it’s not always easy to identify your gigantasophobia causes. More often than not, phobias are connected to our past experiences.
Perhaps you were bullied by a tall person. Or maybe you got caught in a sea of people when you were a child and felt like you would be trampled by the much taller people around you. Or maybe in your childhood, your parent or a teacher painted a villain in a story as someone very tall.
Such experiences can instill a deep-seated fear in our minds. Oftentimes, such an extreme fear stays with us for a very long time.
Everything You Need to Know about Gigantasophobia
Gigantasophobia is derived from two words: gigantism and phobia. Gigantism is a condition where a child has high levels of growth hormones that result in them growing especially tall. And phobia refers to an extreme fear of any particular situation or object.
Anyone who struggles with a phobia generally tends to avoid situations and thoughts that trigger that specific fear. They do not always have to be exposed to the cause of their phobia to experience anxiety; sometimes even the mention can trigger their fear. It can cause their brain to paint all kinds of scenarios involving the object of their fear—in this case, tall people—and spiral into panic or extreme anxiety.
Like most phobias, gigantasophobia is one of the fears that you can consider on the irrational fears list. While gigantasophobia in itself is not irrational, it’s the effect that this fear of tall people can have on your life that’s irrational.
Such a phobia can cause you to avoid stepping out of your home for fear of running into tall people. But that’s not possible when you have to go to school or work. You can’t control whether or not you’ll come across a tall person.
However, the good news is that gigantasophobia can be treated. Acknowledging the fear, accepting it, and recognizing the symptoms are all crucial steps in dealing with the phobia.
Phobias are a serious issue that should be addressed with caution. In extreme cases, they can significantly impact our daily lives and limit us from living a full life.
Depending on the severity of this fear, you can experience any of the physical and psychological symptoms described below.
Similar to other phobias, people suffering from gigantasophobia may also experience severe anxiety or panic attacks when faced with a tall person. Some of the physical symptoms of an impending panic attack are as follows:
- Sweating and trembling
- Shortness of breath/Difficulty in breathing
- A choking sensation
- Rapid heartbeat
- Tightness in chest
- Headache and dizziness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Rise in blood pressure
Along with physical symptoms, people may feel other fears and thoughts seep into their minds that are triggered by their phobia.
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of dying
- Fear of harm or illness
- Fear of fainting
- Feelings of dread
- Guilt, shame, and self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Generalized anxiety and fear
- Feeling disconnected
- Anger, irritability, and mood swings
These symptoms can have a negative impact on a person’s well-being and can even make it difficult to lead a normal life.
But there are ways in which you can manage this fear.
How to Overcome the Tall Peoples Phobia
There are different ways in which a phobia can be treated. In the case of gigantasophobia, since it’s not always possible to avoid tall people, it’s crucial that you address this fear in a positive and effective way.
Only you know what you experience during panic episodes when your phobia is triggered. So, you can help yourself overcome this fear in ways no one else can. Here are some effective methods that can help:
- Manage Your Anxiety
Learn to manage your anxiety by trying different relaxation techniques. It can be meditation or exercise or anything else that helps calm your nerves. You can even learn breathing techniques to focus on when you feel a panic attack kicking in.
- Talk to Someone
Talk about your fear with someone your trust. Talking it out will help you acknowledge it yourself. Often the reason our fears affect us so much is that we aren’t ready to acknowledge them. Talking with someone you trust can help reaffirm that your phobia is valid but also irrational. It can help you see that there is no reason to fear tall people.
- Join a Support Group
Look for peer support groups in your locality or school. If you don’t want to reveal your identity, you can try online support groups where your identity will be kept hidden. Meeting other people who share your experiences will reassure you that you are not alone. These groups can also help you find other methods to overcome your fear.
If none of the self-help methods work or don’t yield the expected results, you can seek help from a professional. Take a look at a couple of the more common gigantasophobia treatments that are known to be successful.
- Talk Therapy
Just like how you acknowledge your fears and slowly try to overcome them while talking to your friends, in talk treatments or talk therapy, you will be talking about your fears with a trained professional. These professionals are experienced in identifying your thought patterns that lead to anxiety. They will help you resolve your feelings and cope with your past, which may have been the cause of your phobia.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT will help you identify your perception of reality and challenge it. It helps you identify your fear of tall people and whether what you are feeling is real and valid. If it’s not, the therapy will challenge your perceptions and work on ways to change them.
Most phobias are treatable as their roots are more psychological than physical. But there’s no guaranteed treatment that will work. What works for one may not work for another. It depends on the person suffering from the phobia and the severity of the fear.
Coping with Gigantasophobia
Gigantasophobia is not as common as other phobias, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. It is a valid and very real fear that can have crippling effects if left untreated.
You can try to overcome this phobia by acknowledging and understanding your fear of tall people. You can also try exposing yourself to your fear gradually. Go out with your tall friends, if not alone then with some other friends. Focus on your breathing and positive thoughts if you start feeling uncomfortable.
Talk to a professional and learn about other ways that can help.
Gigantasophobia or fear of tall people, if not dealt with, can hinder your daily life and can have lasting effects. Don’t let it prevent you from leading a normal life. Acknowledge your fear, talk about it, and get help.
So, the next time your friends call you for an outing, say yes. And if you feel your anxiety creeping in, just breathe!