Elevator phobia: Causes and ways to overcome it

Elevator phobia may be related to past phobias caused by elevators or to the influence of other phobias. Seeing a psychologist, trying to ride the elevator many times with friends and relatives and then gradually moving to go alone will help the patient overcome this phobia. However, to overcome this disease requires great determination from the patient.

What is elevator phobia?

Elevator phobia is a psychological problem belonging to an anxiety disorder group characterized by irrational and over-expressive fears. In people with agoraphobia, they tend to feel dizzy, anxious, break out in a cold sweat, vomit, tremble in their limbs, and even faint if they have to enter an elevator or simply look at them. see the elevator.

Elevator phobia
Elevator phobia makes patients feel dizzy, panicky, and nauseous when entering the elevator

People with this condition tend to avoid taking elevators or seeing elevators as much as possible. They can accept to take dozens of stairs just to not have to step into the elevator. If they have to take the elevator they will become extremely shaky, unsteady, the fear can last for hours.

In fact, the fear of elevators does not affect the patient’s health or life too much. Because if the patient is simply afraid of the elevator, as long as the patient doesn’t have to see or take the elevator, there won’t be any problems. The elevator is also not a must-have item, you can completely choose to stay at a low house, avoid going to places that are too high so that you do not need to take the elevator.

However, it cannot be denied that the introduction of the elevator has brought countless benefits in daily life, especially in saving travel time. On the other hand, sometimes in life you can’t always choose to stay in low places, there are important jobs or competitions, meetings that force you to go to high places. Or for example, if you are traveling with a partner and let them take the elevator and you choose to take the stairs, it will be very weird. Therefore, finding out the cause and finding a way to overcome this disease is very advisable.

Causes of fear of elevators

Elevator phobia is formed from many causes, which may be related to environmental factors rather than an innate fear. Specifically, some related factors include

Haunting from the past

Being locked in an elevator alone, being stuck or experiencing other elevator-related incidents is one of the reasons why a person has a fear of elevators. Especially in people with weak psychology or having physical injuries after these incidents, it is easier to carry phobias, every time the elevator is seen, the images from the past recur.

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Elevator phobia
Obsessions from elevator incidents make these people always feel that the elevator is a dangerous place, so they do not dare to enter

Many articles have also shown that in the victims of accidents, accidents encountered in the elevator will self-form a psychology of caution, alertness and fear when riding the elevator. Gradually, these things become phobias and fears that make them always feel that the elevator is a potentially dangerous place and always find ways to avoid direct contact.

In addition, witnessing elevator incidents (even though not victims) or reading too many articles and information related to elevator accidents also make many people form this mentality. Elevator phobia can be experienced by anyone, such as people who are often worried and suspicious around or children and women because these objects are often weaker psychologically.

Fear syndromes

If you don’t experience elevator problems but have this syndrome, it is likely that the anxiety is related to some other phobia. Specifically

  • Acrophobia: Using elevators to higher floors can cause terror for people with this condition, especially with elevators with transparent glass for viewing. It can also be caused by negative experiences with heights, genetics, or prolonged exposure to people with a fear of heights. Not only the elevator, but these people also do not dare to climb stairs, stand outside on the balcony, approach the glass door area to look down or use the multi-storey car park.
  • Claustrophobia: Obviously, elevators are a prime example of tight spaces, so people with this condition will definitely not dare to enter. If having to step into a place with a narrow space, the patient always feels short of breath, the heart is strangled when the elevator is closed but cannot find a way to escape, gradually forming a fear of the elevator. The cause of this syndrome is also related to genetic factors, dark experiences in the past, abnormal structure of the amygdala. In addition to being afraid of elevators, these people do not dare to go to the cinema, go to the car or the shopping center …

Due to health problems

Some health problems prevent you from taking the elevator or when taking the elevator will affect, so gradually form a mentality not to dare to use this vehicle. For example, being “drunk” when taking the elevator, many times dizzy, headache, nausea every time you step into the elevator also gradually lead to the fear of elevators.

Elevator phobia
Feeling dizzy, unsteady when entering the elevator is also the reason why many people are afraid to go

The cause of these cases is usually the person’s inability to balance when the elevator moves. Normally, when moving, the eyes will detect the movements first, then the soles of the feet feel the contact between the feet and the ground, increasing pressure, and finally, the musculoskeletal muscles receive the signals. this to perform the transfer. However, if the central nervous system does not receive synchronous signals, it will lead to symptoms of dizziness, vomiting, and unsteadiness as above.

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People with a fear of heights or a fear of narrow spaces also experience symptoms for the same reason as above. In addition, the fear of elevators also tends to occur in people with severe motion sickness.

How to overcome the fear of elevators?

As mentioned, not taking the elevator does not affect life too much, so many people often choose to accept it, ignore it, and don’t get treatment. However, it is still inevitable that there are times when you need to take advantage of the convenience of the elevator, such as when you need to take an urgent exam, are traveling with partners and customers. On the other hand, instead of hiding, each of us should learn to face and overcome fear to master ourselves.

Meet a Psychotherapist

Most people with a fear of elevators have something to do with a phobia that they can’t overcome on their own. There are still people who accept taking the elevator when there are critical and important situations, but then they can lose all their energy, have nightmares while sleeping, making the whole body extremely tired.

When a person cannot help himself, it is extremely necessary to seek professional help. Psychotherapists are the people who can help you remove the obsessions from the past, clear your mind, understand that the elevator is not as scary as you think. Strategies to help reduce or eliminate this fear are also taught to the patient by the therapist.

People with elevator phobia themselves need to be honest when sharing their experiences with a counselor to get the best support. Events from the past can also be prompted for the therapist to understand the root cause of the problem, thereby finding effective ways to untie the knots in the patient’s mind.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are often applied primarily by therapists to patients. The specialist will create a favorable environment for the client to come into direct contact with his or her fear, which is the elevator, and teach him how to control his fear, so that the feeling of anxiety from the disease Fear of elevators is gradually reduced significantly.

Improve health problems

Exercise, improve your mind, improve your balance is the way to overcome the fear of elevators. In particular, Yoga and Pilates are said to be two subjects that can improve balance most effectively today that you should not ignore. These are extremely good subjects in raising the spirit, improving sleep, helping the body become more supple and healthy.

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Besides, you can also refer to running, weight training, cycling or any other subject you love to improve your overall health. When you have a strong and healthy body, you no longer have to worry about being crooked, unsteady, and tired every time you step into the elevator.

Change the way of thinking

Behaviors and emotions will change in a way that is controlled by the brain, meaning that if you think not to step into the elevator, your legs will automatically become shaky, not daring to enter; whereas if you think you can do it, you should try, your whole body will become more agitated, more aggressive and ready to enter the elevator even though it is very scary.

Elevator phobia
Taking the elevator with a loved one can help you feel more secure and calm

Changing the way of thinking, boosting determination is one of the things to do to avoid elevators. Some measures that may help you are as follows:

  • Learn about elevators to see that even though there are, but the rate of elevator accidents is very low, all are censored and thoroughly tested before operation, so you can rest assured when using.
  • Learning about ways to deal with problems when riding the elevator also helps you feel more secure when entering the elevator.
  • Actively confront your fears. At first, you can go with your loved ones, go up 1-2 floors, then gradually increase to 10-11 floors and go alone. Gradually the feeling of anxiety and fear will disappear or decrease because you have been exposed to it many times.
  • If you feel unsteady on your feet, choose to stand near the handles so you don’t fall
  • For people with fear of elevators, priority should be given to new, clean elevators, if there is information about elevator censorship for inspection, it will be even more priority.
  • Being able to hold something, take a deep breath, and close your eyes while riding an elevator also reduces feelings of fear significantly

Elevator phobia can be completely improved if the patient is determined to persevere in treatment and follow the instructions from a psychologist. Overcoming your own obsession is winning yourself, so that no matter what difficulties you face, you will not feel as serious as you thought.

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