Fear of Walking Down Stairs
I have a fear of walking down long staircases, especially if they're steep. It developed about four years ago, but I think it ties into a fear of heights I've had since I was a kid. When I start to walk down, I get slightly dizzy and feel my face become hot, which makes me afraid that I'll faint or slip and fall down. This leads to more dizziness and more fear, in a vicious circle.
The anxiety and embarrassment is worse when there are other people around- it makes me really self-conscious that I'm clinging to the railing with a scared looking face (while I see so many people practically run down the steps without holding onto anything).
It's very annoying because I work on the 2nd floor with this open-type staircase that leads to my work area. It's pretty steep, it's very visible from downstairs and upstairs, there's always a lot of people (including my boss, and I don't want them to notice I have this strange fear..)
The phobia has also started to cause travel anxiety, in case for example I have to descend to a subway station without an escalator or elevator. One time I knew I would have to take the subway and could hardly sleep the night before the trip with dreams of falling and a crowd of people making fun of me.
I've been slowly getting better by facing the fear. The less I think the fearful thoughts, the less dizziness, and the less fear as a result. Hoping to get over it eventually!
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