Barophobia Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Test, Treatment

Learn all about Barophobia definition, symptoms, causes, test and treatment.

Barophobia may be caused due to a traumatic fall during childhood. Or it can be caused as a result of negative perceptions about damaging forces of gravity. Some people fear that gravity may fail altogether or suddenly grow powerful.

An extreme fearing of gravity is called barophobia. Those who fear this natural force will feel overpowered by its strength and its effect on the world around them. People with barophobia may feel that the earth’s gravity will become forceful and cause them physical harm in some way. Such fears get amplified while in a lift or on an escalator.

Fear of gravity can be experienced in its extreme form during a roller coaster ride or other rides that rock one to a fore to evoke sensations of thrill and excitement. It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics).

Barophobia causes a person to feel helpless when faced with thoughts about the forces of gravity. One might dread about gravity suddenly turning zero, and make everything hang in the air. However, there are treatments for phobias, which include counseling, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and Neuro-Linguistic programming.

Barophobia Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Test, Treatment

What is Barophobia?

Barophobia is the fear of gravity. The origin of the word baro is Greek (meaning atmospheric pressure) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). Barophobia is considered to be a specific phobia.

Barophobia Definition

Barophobia is the irrational fear of gravity, a type of specific phobia. Individuals suffering from barophobia can either have the fear that gravity might crush them, the fear of falling because of the gravity involved (distinct from the fear of heights), or even the fear that gravity might cease to exist and they will float away.

Barophobia Symptoms

These barophobia symptoms become very noticeable when the person boards an elevator or an amusement park ride.

  • Extreme Anxiety, Dread
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
  • Lack of Focus
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of Powerlessness
  • Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
  • Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Headache.

Barophobia Causes

Barophobia may be caused due to a traumatic fall during childhood. Or it can be caused as a result of negative perceptions about damaging forces of gravity. Some people fear that gravity may fail altogether or suddenly grow powerful. It is believed that the traumatic event that causes the phobia will have something to do with gravity like falling from a great height and being injured. It could even be as trivial as learning the consequences of losing gravity or too much pull of it.
Barophobia Test
Barophobia can be tested by asking about anxiety for gravity. A barophobe may take extreme measures to avoid an elevator, escalator or other such utilities that make one feel gravity.

Barophobia Treatment

Barophobia treatment options include exposure therapy & systematic desensitization.

  • Barophobia treatment involves elimination of fear & relaxation. In counter conditioning method the phobic person is requested to intentionally substitute his fearful feelings with relaxation.
    While climbing stairs or descending in an elevator he is advised to employ deep breathing technique to conquer the irrational fear.
    If the patient feels encouraged and shows improvement, the therapist will employ systematic desensitization & exposure therapy.
    The patient may gradually be asked to take additional steps to prevail over his phobia. He may be requested to ride an elevator to rouse his phobia. Here, the relaxation techniques help him triumph over his fear of gravity.
  • Hypnoanalysis (Hypnotherapy) is a type of therapy by which a person, with the assistance of a trained specialist, has his/her subconscious mind opened to suggestion for the purpose of changing one or more behavior patterns.
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is basically the study and practice of how we create our reality. The basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of our problems. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, they will create an underlying problem as long as we continue to use and to think them. The therapist will help you remodel your thoughts and mental associations in order to fix your preconceived notions,
  • Energy Psychology is a type of therapy that uses various techniques, such as acupressure, yoga and energy medicine, which teach people simple steps for making changes in their lives. The techniques stimulate energy points on the surface of the skin which, when paired with specific psychological procedures, can shift the brain’s electrochemistry.

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