Fear of Looking Up

When you want to relax and enjoy the beauty around you it is likely you may sit in a chair or porch swing outdoors, tilt your head back and take in the beauty of the sky. You may take in a deep breath and exhale in great satisfaction. This is the stuff that makes life thrilling. The trouble is not everyone finds this comforting. In fact looking up brings questions that can overwhelm and frighten. For those who fear looking up the phobic name is Anablephobia.

What Causes Anablephobia?

A person with this fear may be responding to the vastness of what is above them. The feelings of such immense space makes them feel small and perhaps even insignificant. If they can refuse to acknowledge the vastness of space they may feel it is possible to avoid the fear.

Others with this fear may simply be responding to what can fall from above. This may include rain, snow, hail or even items that rarely fall, but may be feared such as meteorites, trees or aircraft.

The fear may be part of something that was personally observed – for instance seeing a loved one struck by a hailstone in a storm. The fear may also be attributable to something observed and taken to heart. In either case the fear is real and often requires help to overcome.

Symptoms of Anablephobia

While we’ve discussed this fear in terms of the outdoors it can also extend to situations inside a home. For instance a vaulted ceiling may be especially fearful while a closer flat ceiling may bring about a greater sense of comfort. Because items can fall from above in almost any situation those with this fear will likely work to refrain from looking up and some may go so far as to wear protective head gear in an effort to avoid falling debris.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Air hunger
  • Trembling
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Panic attacks
  • An urge to dodge and flee
  • A strong interest in personal protection

For those who don’t express symptoms of fear it can be hard to deal with a phobic personality because it can be easy to believe this is something they can just “get over”. Any continued negative response you may observe can be thought of as weakness, but for the phobic personality they may want to overcome the fear, but feel powerless to do anything about it. In the process the reaction from others may allow them to feel less than acceptable.

How to Overcome Anablephobia

Many phobic responses can be lessened by gaining a clear understanding of the thing they fear most – at a time when they are most rational. By understanding the facts about what they fear the mystery that had been feared may seem less mysterious, and by default the fear may seem less fearful.

Usually more is required. A therapist may be needed to help deal with all fears and provide tools to retrain the mind to check with facts first before automatically accepting an emotional fear-based response as something to act on. It is possible to deal with fear in a healthy way – help is available.

The fear of looking up is also referred to as:

  • Looking up fear
  • Anablephobia
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