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Fear Of Heights Phobia Name – Acrophobia

fear of heights

I have a fear of heights. I am terrified of heights. I do not go over the 6′ height on a ladder, I do not go on my roof and I certainly did not look over the edge of the Hoover Dam on my Honeymoon. Ask my wife and she will tell you that I shouted at her to move away from the edge of the dam and scared the bejeebers out of her in the process.

Fear of heights phobia name-Acrophobia

I work in an industry with lots of ladders and heights and there are others with my phobia, I am not alone. Industries are very accommodating and from a safety perspective, they will not put you in a situation where you may freak out or freeze up and put yourself or others at risk.

Most people are understanding or really do not care but there is the occasional hotshot that says to “just climb up” or “it’s only another 10 feet”. It’s not an option. My hands get sweaty, my vision blurry, my heart beats faster, I don’t think straight and my irrational thinking makes me want to let go or climb down a different way. I must look like a crazed lunatic. But the absolute panic I feel is how I know that this is a phobia for me.

I know it makes no sense. It is the only phobia I have, that I know of. I have never fallen or had a negative experience with heights.

So what is the name of my phobia? It is called acrophobia, the extreme and or irrational fear of heights. The ones on the other end of the scale that like heights are said to have a “head for heights”. Perfect for ironworkers or tower crane operators. Think of the Mohawk men and others that built the Empire State Building in New York City with no safety lines and no fear of being that high up in the air walking on or eating lunch on narrow beams. It is thought that 2% of the population has acrophobia and it affects twice as many women as it does men.

Image result for building the empire state building

The fear doesn’t necessarily come from a traumatic event, it can come from just living in a world where heights are all around us and a fall is always possible. The fear may also be instinctual. Tests have been done on infants on glass floors with perceived heights underneath and they would not go on the glass.

One treatment method is virtual reality therapy-subjecting the person to the phobia in small amounts in a safe environment until they are comfortable enough to try the actual situation. Prescription medication may also be used in treatment.

Please leave me a comment on this. Do you have this fear? Or a different one?

Click here to learn about Claustrophobia.

George Carlin once said “I don’t have a fear of heights. I do, however, have a fear of falling from heights”. George was such a wise man.



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16 thoughts on “Fear Of Heights Phobia Name – Acrophobia

  1. Josephine Crawford

    I am afraid of heights, but I love traveling to different countries. Strange that I also like the window seat, but I rarely look down. My mom said I was afraid of climbing the stairs as a child, so it’s been a long time. I don’t know that I would take medication though.

    • Bill

      Phobias are tricky things. I have met a person who was terrified of birds. He got some help. I guess if it starts to overtake your life, time for help. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Gary de La Cruz

    Hello Bill

    Yes I have a fear of heights and I must say that it has not impacted too much on my everyday life, I am an avid mountain hiker, but just stay away from the edge.
    Your article is well written and represented with relevant visual materials, a good read and some useful information contained within.

    I love your website as it is unusual and entertaining, I have saved your site in my favourites bookmark and will visit regularly, keep the content flowing.

    I wish you success with your online future.


  3. YK

    I believe everyone has his or her own fear. I used to have Paruresis which is caused by the traumatic event I experienced before. Although I can’t say I have totally cured it but I feel alone a lot better going to the toilet. It takes practice and patient to slowly conquer your fear.

    • Bill

      It sure does. My fear is heights. Tried but can’t get over it. Just have to let someone else put up the Christmas lights 🙂

  4. Val

    Fidget spinners. They are all my son speaks of! He loves them.

    • Bill

      They are addictive little things. I might buy one myself. Thanks for stopping by

  5. Debbie

    Oh I am most definitely afraid of heights! My husband was watching the movie about Philippe Petit who walked the tight rope between the twin towers in New York, and he insisted that I sit down and watch the end where Philippe is on the tight rope, it about made me sick, that is how bad my fear of heights is….I don’t even have to be the one who is up high 🙂

    • Bill

      My maximum height is about 6′ off the ground. That makes it tricky for getting the Christmas lights up. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Norman Richards

    Hello and thanks for sharing, me and heights are no friends even though I have been in some high places many times before, I believe it is just a matter of facing it and dealing with it in order to overcome it. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. Chris

    Hi Bill,
    I don’t think I’m acrophobic but I still wouldn’t stand on a glass floor in a tall building. I grew up in Toronto. We have the CN Tower there and it has an area with a glass floor so you can see the world below. I would never go near the glass floor. BTW, the tower is around 450 meters high so I don’t think you’d go near the glass either.
    I do however think that I’m arachnophobic. I’ve gotten better over the years but when I was younger, I’d have to call someone to get rid of a tiny, ant-sized spider. Now the little ones don’t bother me but I can’t even look at a picture of larger spiders and I would never, in a 1000 years, go near a tarantula. God, just thinking about them freaks me out.

    • Bill

      Actually now that you mention it, I’m not a fan of spiders either. So if I’m at heights and there are spiders I guess that’s the end. We have the Calgary tower and it has glass floors too. I always think it’s going to break. Thanks for stopping.

  8. Andrei

    Acrophobia is actually one of my worst fears. It is pretty weird since I am not afraid in walking on unstable structure at 6 meters from the ground. I had to build a house a few years ago and I was working on the roof without any protection. I think I was at the 2nd level of the house, around 6-8 meters and I was perfectly fine. However, at anything over 10 meters, my palms start to become sweaty since I know that a fall from that height could be lethal. Even when I am on elevators I have this fear and I constantly calculate at what height I am in order to see if I could survive if something goes wrong.

    • Bill

      You can go higher than I can. My max is about 6 feet. The height you can go is actually quite high. You are braver than I am. Thanks for stopping by.

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