It is common human nature to be afraid of something we are not familiar with. However, often people amongst us show signs of fear towards everyday activities and things.
A lot of times, such a fear can take a serious turn and prove to be detrimental to one’s mental health. A fear like this is most commonly known as a phobia, derived from the Greek word “Phobos” which translates to “Fear” or “Morbid fear” in English.
These include fear of dying, driving and even love. In today’s article, we will be taking a look at the fear of falling, also known as Basiphobia. We will be covering the symptoms related to Basiphobia along with treatments and cures.
Signs and symptoms
This phobia is more commonly seen in elderly people, especially the women. A person suffering from Basiphobia (or FOF) develops anxiety towards regular movements such as walking or moving about because they fear that they might fall and suffer from the serious consequences.
Now, this might be true in some cases, but more often than not, people who suffer from this illness agonize over the what-ifs of falling and this in turn hinders their day-to-day activities.
Sadly, many people feel too ashamed or frightened to voice out their worries and seek help because they feel like they will be laughed at or that their concerns will be made light of, and so they continue living on with this ever-growing anxiety which hence becomes even more harmful.
If you are still not sure whether you have a phobia of falling or not, try and see if your symptoms match any of the following:
- You will feel prickly and on-edge.
- You find yourself constantly worrying about falling and miscalculating the chances that you might fall
- Always looking for the worst to happen. In other words, you will start to develop a negative approach towards basic everyday chores that involve walking or running.
- Finding yourself clinging onto other stuff because doing so makes you think that you will not fall.
- Starting to lose confidence in yourself.
- You will be in a bad mood more frequently because you will start to find life less enjoyable.
There are more symptoms of FOF and you do not need to be experiencing every single one of them in order to be suffering from it. Luckily, none of these signs are long lasting or harmful but if you are familiar with even one of the above mentioned symptoms, contact your doctor immediately get it checked.
Causes and common triggers
There are a number of reasons why you might be suffering from Basiphobia; ranging from a traumatic experience, to simply just games your brain plays on you. In a lot of cases, a family history of such a phobia could also be the place your fear stemmed from. Upbringing also plays a major role in the development of this phobia and is related to having a family history of Basiphobia.
For example, if you were born into a family where the person taking care of you suffered from this kind of fear, the chances are really high that you might end up having the same mindset as them later on in life.
Moreover, maybe someone else in your family had it, who you were not directly connected with, but the presence of this phobia anywhere in your gene pool raises risks of developing it.
More technical causes of such a phobia could be actual past experiences that you suffered from. For example, fracturing one of your limbs after falling off of a bicycle or slipping from the top of a staircase could lead to you not wanting to face the same results again, and thus avoid such places or things as a whole.
Many a times, after a serious accident, if a person suffers from partial paralysis of their limbs, even after they get better and have been told by their doctor that they can move about again, they remain too afraid to try stand or walk because they think that their legs will give out under them.
Advertisements and other media outlets play a great role in the development of this phobia especially if the person watching these ads get anxious too easily. More often than not, when an elderly person watches how an old person died in a movie after falling off of some high place or from their wheelchair, they unknowingly develop this fear and refuse to leave their homes or even get up from bed.
Treatments and what should be done if you have this phobia
If you, or someone around you is suffering from this phobia, the first and foremost thing that should be done is to contact your local physiologist. Fortunately, FOF can be treated and physiotherapy has proven to the most operative approach to its treatment till date.
Of course, there are other therapy methods besides this as well, and you can choose from the list below to see which one you think is best suited for you.
- Counselling: Counselling is a very effective method for dealing with any mental health problems and FOF is no exception. These therapies are usually very relaxed and require you to talk openly with a highly trained professional about whatever you are feeling and thinking.
This enables your counsellor to analyze your problem and give you feedbacks on how and what to change about your thought and action process.
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is in some way similar to counselling because it uses certain approaches which determines whether what you are experiencing is just a mind game or if it really will affect you like you think it will. If it turns out to be the former scenario, through CBT, your doctor will come up with a plan to change your train of thoughts.
- Medication: Medications are not prescribed to directly combat your phobia, but rather you might be asked to take medications that counter-attack the numerous side effects of a phobia such as anxiety and depression.
However, if you are already undergoing therapy and you doctor still hasn’t prescribed any medicines to you, chances are that you might not need them.
Regardless of what it may be, a phobia can prove to be a very dangerous illness as it makes a person do a lot of things they would not otherwise do. Whether you spot the signs we talked about in this article in yourself or in someone else, be sure to seek help immediately.
Having a phobia is nothing to be ashamed of because in the end, your life is in your own hands. We hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for sticking around till the end!
You guys can also check Fear Of Driving: Amaxophobia.