Fear Of Jumping From High Or Low Places

The fear of jumping from high or low places is known as Catapedaphobia. Often, this fear is tied into the fear of heights, but it may also exist on its own.

Reasons For This Phobia

Sometimes, this fear can develop in childhood. Often, phobias are the product of painful childhood memories, which may surface in nightmares, flashbacks, or as the result of contact with triggers. It’s even possible to have repressed memories, which lurk in the subconscious, causing strong feelings of fear and unease when the prospect of jumping from high or low places occurs. Untangling the web of this phobia may require some delving into the psyche.

Memories Can Be A Trigger

If a fall from a certain height has caused Catapedaphobia to develop, then the reasons for the phobia are clear-cut. Injuries or feelings of terror experienced during the fall will continue to influence the phobic person’s attitude towards jumping from high or low places. Even “safe” jumps from a low height can actually cause serious injuries.

Falls From Low Or High Heights Can Be Dangerous

Unintentional falls from low heights occur quite commonly in the workplace. Falls from ladders, etc., are known to break bones, and even cause death. The manner of falling, and what part of the body takes the brunt of the fall’s force, are key determinants with regard to the seriousness of the injury. Jumping and falling unintentionally can sometimes have the same negative result.


Children who climbed trees and fell or were forced to jump because they could not climb back down often develop this phobia later in life. Adults who suffer from these experiences will avoid any similar activities in later years.

Diving Boards Can Be A Trigger

Another childhood trigger for this phobia is diving boards. Sometimes, young people are cajoled into jumping from diving boards, when they are really afraid and would rather not jump at all. Improper dives from low or high boards can hurt, and they may also terrify young people. Even fully-grown adults have struggled with the prospect of jumping off a high diving board.

The Horrors Of 9/11 Were A Trigger For Many

Sometimes, mass media can report news that triggers phobias. Many were haunted by the sight of people jumping from the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11. This horrifying choice, between jumping and burning, was all televised on every major network. The terrible fate of the poor people trapped in these buildings and forced to jump was also retold by those on the ground, who watched the bodies fall, and heard the sounds of impact.

Jumping is a well-known method of suicide. For some, the connection between jumping from high places, and death, is strong and unavoidable. They may associate jumping with doom or desolation.

Extreme Sports Can Also Cause Anxiety

Even daredevils like bungee jumpers can trigger this phobia. Now, more than ever, extreme jumps are featured on TV and on the Web. Base jumping, bungee jumping, and jumping from airplanes can be exhilarating, unforgettable…and extremely scary. Mainstream programs like The Amazing Race also feature extreme rappelling, jumping, and treacherous climbs down skyscrapers. For some, watching these programs can evoke their deepest fears.

People with Catapedaphobia will turn away from triggers, because they cause emotional and physical symptoms that are unavoidable and very unpleasant. Nausea, dizziness, headaches, and feelings of tension and anxiety are quite common. When forced to jump from even a low height, the person with this phobia will likely panic and refuse to jump. When this phobia impacts career or personal safety, treatment should be considered.

Panic therapy and psychotherapy are both solid choices for combating the fear of jumping from high or low places. It’s important to know that you can overcome your fears if your take control. Getting at the root of the reasons for your fears is the best way to start.

The fear of jumping from high or low places is also referred to as:

  • jumping phobia
  • jumping fear
  • fear of jumping
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