Although there are many who appreciate the view from a scenic bridge it can simply be a horrific reminder of fear to those who suffer from acrophobia, the fear of heights. In some cases those who ride in vehicles passing over a bridge might experience air hunger or even a wave of nausea. However, in worst case scenarios it is possible the phobic personality may scream, lose control of bodily functions or may even attempt to exit a moving vehicle in an attempt to escape what they view as danger.
Overcoming the symptoms of acrophobia associated with crossing a bridge can be managed by following a step-by-step process to reduce adverse reactions when the time comes to cross that bridge.
- Height is simply a location. Acrophobes prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground and they resist living in locations with high elevations. However, learning that our world exists in both a horizontal as well as vertical plain can be helpful in reducing the originating fear.
Decide how you will react before you react. If you know you will be crossing over a bridge from a height you know will cause you concern you can determine the best way to react before you are faced with the issue. It is a rational approach that can help an acrophobe deal with the fear when they are aware a fearful issue is pending.
Get to the bridge before you get to the bridge. This means you need to mentally visit the bridge crossing before you get there. This companion step allows you to visualize a response that can help you live out that response in real time.
Find a way to relax before you cross the bridge. Relaxation techniques can he helpful in preparing yourself for the bridge crossing. One technique in relaxation that may be especially helpful is to engage in deep breathing with your eyes closed (only if you are a passenger). It is possible in this state to moderate your visible and inner response before, during and after a crossing.
Do not work against your forward progress. If relaxation provides clarity and rationality then it makes sense to refrain from foods, beverages and activities that are overstimulating.
Get help when you need help. Therapy from a trusted mental health advisor can be a key step when previous steps have not helped in overcoming the fear. A therapist is capable of assisting you in methods that help you engage, overcome and manage the fear you may experience.