Monday, February 5, 2007

climacophobia

"Defined as 'a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of stairs, climbing stairs, or falling down stairs', each year this surprisingly common phobia causes countless people needless distress.
Known by a number of names - Climacophobia, Fear of Stairs, Fear of Climbing Stairs, and Fear of Falling Down Stairs being the most common - the problem often significantly impacts the quality of life. It can cause panic attacks and keep people apart from loved ones and business associates. Symptoms typically include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread..."

I can't believe this is an actual, acknowledged fear.
Every time I walk up stairs- uncarpeted, cement ones, I feel like I'm going to tip backwards and crack my head open. So I don't actually have any of the symptoms, except maybe the overall feeling of dread. There is actually a prescription for it.
It's not causing me needless distress, and it doesn't keep me apart from loved ones or business associates. It's more like a fleeting thought along with a visualization of the event, the tipping, the falling backwards, the blood seeping into the cement.
I guess I'm just lucky I'm not one of the countless people whose quality of life has been affected. I imagine installing a stair lift wouldn't help.

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