Fear of Vertigo – Illyngophobia

Finding a sense of balance isn’t especially difficult for most people. If you struggle  with vertigo you might grab onto a railing or even the arm of another person to steady yourself. It can be a bit unnerving at times, but is not generally the cause for a phobic tendency. However, there are some that obsess about dizziness and this approach often leads to what therapists refer to as Illyngophobia.

It can be frustrating to feel as if you may fall, but there can be medical issues such as an inner ear infection that can be the cause of the experience.

What Causes the Fear of Vertigo?

Personal experience is a primary motivator toward fearful tendencies. What this means for some people is that there was at least one instance  of vertigo in the past. The result could have been a fall or the individual may have been left wondering about what might have happened in a worse case sceanrio. Race care drivers who experience vertigo are not allowed to drive due to the belief that they might cause an accident.

Another way that this fear can be developed is to see it modeled in the life of a trusted friend or family member. This is something often referred to as ‘modeling’. A younger individual observes the response of a trusted adult. If they have an unnatural fear of vertigo then it is likely that the young person observing the behavior will conclude that this is something to be anxious about.

Symptoms of Illyngophobia

Individuals with this fear are often prone to avoiding places with exceptional heights. Ironically there may be an exception is the individual is fully encased in something that can protect them from falling. For instance an illyngophobe may not struggle inside an airplane, but would never consider the potential of flying in a hot air balloon. They may not struggle in an elevator, but they might on an escalator. For this phobia there can be a real link to the distance an individual might fall.

Other symptoms may include…
  • Air hunger
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Loss of control
  • Screaming
  • Weeping
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Elevated heart rate

You need to know that in the mind of the phobic personality there is a rationale behind their response. They may not be able to clearly articulate it, and it might not even make sense to themselves when spoken out loud, but this phobic personality can come to the conclusion that there is no other appropriate way to respond.

How to Overcome Illyngophobia

If vertigo is a medical condition then it should be dealt with. There is nothing to fear when the primary fear trigger is gone. When you no longer experience dizziness the reason for fear goes away.

It vertigo is a natural response to heights then a therapist can help you understand if perhaps a fear of heights is more in line with your originating fear. If this is the case the therapist can work to help you deal with your fear response as well as how to work through the issues that caused the fear in the first place.

The fear of vertigo is also referred to as:

  • Vertigo fear
  • Fear of feeling dizzy when looking down
  • Illyngophobia
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