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Illogical fear

  1. Jul 12, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    Ok i can stand on a flat roof with some sort of wall or at least waist high railing around it, but i could not even think of standing on one without
    either, not even in the middle, crazy or what?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2006 #2
    I try to avoid needles at all costs...and last week, i had a nightmare about getting blood drawn, from my FACE!
     
  4. Jul 12, 2006 #3

    turbo

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    That phobia is probably more prevalent than you think. There is a lookout at the Balsams Resort in NH that has a very steep (perhaps even undercut) drop with a gorgeous vies. I have been there with friends several times and some people will walk out and enjoy the view, some will crawl out gingerly, and some will not leave the safety of the trail no matter what the persuasion. Having done some technical rock climbing, I trust the solidity of the rock, decent shoes, and gravity to keep me safe. Of course that wouldn't be an absolute guarantee of safety, as the collapse of the Old Man of the Mountain demonstrated.
     
  5. Jul 12, 2006 #4

    Evo

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    I am the same way, it's referred to as vertigo, or height vertigo.
     
  6. Jul 12, 2006 #5

    turbo

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    I'm not a big fan of getting injections, but my physiological reactions to fragrance chemicals can be life-threatening (super high blood pressure, asthma, etc). When I had a stroke a number of years ago (induced by a medicine that caused my heart to fibrillate) the doctor told me that I would have to remain hospitalized for a week for a course of intravenous anti-coagulants. I asked him if he could guarantee that no nurses, aides, lab technicians would come into my room wearing colognes, after-shaves, perfumes, scented cosmetics, etc, and he said "of course not", so I told him I was going home. He said that I could only go home if I could give myself injections in the abdomen several times a day (anticoagulent) - I told him that was no problem (hoping it wouldn't be) and he had a nurse bring in a syringe of the drug. I did it without flinching (although I hate having blood drawn, etc) and he signed the release papers. Sometimes, pragmatism wins out over phobias.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  7. Jul 12, 2006 #6

    wolram

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    It just seems strange to me, as i have been in light aircraft hundreds of times and not worried about height, and yet when i went to the top of one of the towers in Bolognia i could not even go the last steps to the roof.
     
  8. Jul 12, 2006 #7

    Evo

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    It has to do with the distance between you and the nearest object in your line of site, as long as there is something in close vision, you're fine, if not, you get dizzy.

    We won't mention the time I had to climb onto my second story roof and shimmy across to the bathroom window and manage to remove the screen and force the window open, at midnight, in a mini skirt. At least I took off my high heels first. It's a good thing I had been drinking, otherwise I don't know if I could have done it. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  9. Jul 12, 2006 #8

    Astronuc

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    A lot of people are like that. Most people have a certain amount of fear of heights.

    I used to walk I-beams with flanges 6-8 inches (150-200 mm) wide when I did structural iron work. I just got used to it. The highest was over 150 feet (>180 feet including the pit it was over) to ground and nothing in between. :tongue2:

    The most interesting time was walking a beam in the wind. I had to walk out with the purlins in order to stablize the beam, then unhook the crane. The beam was wobblin a few inches left and right. :biggrin:

    Then there was the time a rappelled down the side of the dormitory, off the top balcony (10 stories) with a rope tied around a couch held in place by the doorway. :biggrin: :tongue2: It was fun. :rofl:
     
  10. Jul 13, 2006 #9

    turbo

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    My first time rock climbing was with a friend. He was writing a guide for the Appalachian Mountain Club, and there was a climb that had never been attempted and his regular climbing partner had finals, so he roped me and another friend into it. I had never been higher than a high roof-top before, but thought that I could do it without being scared. I did. It was an adrenalin rush. It was the first ascent of a climb of as-yet undetermined difficulty, but I was in good shape and very lean. I do not recommend that anybody do this kind of thing as their first climb, but I trusted Les and I was young enough to still think I was "bulletproof".
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  11. Jul 13, 2006 #10

    selfAdjoint

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    I have always had the same kind of phobia about falling that you describe. But when I was in the Air Force I went TDY to another base in a helicopter, and they kept the big side door open. I expected to have cold sweats, but I found myself standing there in the opening, looking down at the landscape, and enjoying it without a care in the world. Showed me just how modular our consciousness really is! Apparently "up in the air" is not the same thing as "up on a high building"!
     
  12. Jul 13, 2006 #11

    turbo

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    Interesting! I have not flown in a helicopter with the side door open, and I wonder if I would be so cavalier about my lack of fear of heights in that situation. I think if I was asked to stand in the center of the opening, I would have concerns if I couldn't grab something substantial if necessary, just in case of turbulence, etc. I don't seem to have any problems standing on a precipice, but rock is pretty darned solid under your feet. I like airplanes, but my only helicopter experience is with commuter-type birds, and they are safely enclosed and very comfortable.
     
  13. Jul 13, 2006 #12
    I've fallen off a cliff before and only remember passing out before the fall. I ended up at the bottom looking up at all these people around me. Then the paramedics came and had to lift me up that darn cliff. It happened in 1980 at Point Doom, Zuma Beach, California. I had no broken bones, just a scratched up foot that I had to hobble on for awhile. I fell over 150 feet, and yes I was drunk. I don't want to do that again! Ha!
     
  14. Jul 13, 2006 #13

    Moonbear

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    For me, it's not so much a flat roof, but more what turbo described of going out near the edge of a rock cliff. I can get within a few feet, but I think it's more of a fear that there's nothing to stop me if I suddenly turn into a klutz and trip over the edge.
     
  15. Jul 13, 2006 #14
    I have a similar fear. For some reason, I "know" that if I am near a long fall then I "will" turn into a klutz and trip. I know it sounds odd, but I feel that if I do get near the edge of a high place then it may turn into some kind of self-fulfulling prophecy. Then again, as long as there is a rail I am fine.

    Wow, Leah, that was a very long fall.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  16. Jul 13, 2006 #15

    wolram

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    I think my fear is worse now, i used to be able to work up ladders with out a second thought but now i will go up them only if there is no other opption.
     
  17. Jul 13, 2006 #16

    Evo

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    Being drunk probably saved you, much the same way as they say being unconscious in an accident saves you because you are completely limp.

    I still can't believe I scaled down and then back up that shear cliff at Lake Travis, in Austin, TX to go skinny dipping on a little island in the lake. Where are those pictures?
     
  18. Jul 13, 2006 #17

    wolram

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    Where are those pictures.
     
  19. Jul 13, 2006 #18
    That's an interesting concept, Evo, that the issue is the distance of the closest object to your eye. Is that proven or something you've personally observed? It's a fascinating idea.

    Yes, me too about the rock's edges. Pretty much what Moonbear said. I'm convinced I'll get to the edge, lose all balance and reason exactly at that moment and topple over.

    Ladders really get me too, even though every time I go up one I have a dialogue with myself about how they don't bother me. But they do.
     
  20. Jul 14, 2006 #19

    wolram

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    I have a strong urge to jump :surprised nothing to do with suicide, but it can be so strong it, it scares the pants off me.
     
  21. Jul 14, 2006 #20

    Lisa!

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    :bugeye:
    Me too!
    I am jealous why cats can fall from a high places and don't get hurt...
     
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