Understanding your fears can help you overcome it

Juliane Sunshine/Staff Writer

According to fearof.net, the number three fear in the world is, Acrophobia, better known as the fear of heights.

Personally, I have struggled with this fear ever since a failed attempt at rock climbing. I can remember getting half way up the wall until I looked down and felt dizzy and scared. I started to question whether or not I had a fear of heights.

The first thing a person should do if they feel like they are suffering from a fear is understand the symptoms.

According to helpguide.org, symptoms can include difficulty breathing, dizziness, heart racing, sweating and chest pain.

Junior sports education major, Brandon Starke, explained his feelings about heights.

“It’s weird because I love rollercoasters, but when I am on a ladder or somewhere high up and I don’t feel stable, my heart begins to race really fast. I don’t want to say I have a fear or heights, but I definitely don’t like it,” said Starke.

When people generally talk about heights, they are generally referring to it as a fear, unless they specifically have been diagnosed with a phobia.

While fear and phobia might seem like the same thing, they are completely different and have different symptoms.

As defined by Google, a phobia is, “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.”

An example by healthguide.org, helps to show the difference between a phobia and fear.

Turning down a great job because it’s on the 10th floor of the office building would be a phobia. While, experiencing butterflies when peering down from the top of a skyscraper or climbing a tall ladder is a normal fear.

I have found that through baby steps and exposing myself to heights slowly, I’ve been able to learn how to handle my fear of heights.

All fears and phobias, can be helped with proper treatment. For more information, you can visit helpguide.org or talk to someone at FIU mental health service department in SHC 270 at MMC and WUC 320 at BBC.

Sunny side up is a column that discusses various issues that affect students.

Image retrieved from Flickr.

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