Raymond Collins rcrcoll6 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 06:13:48 BST 2021

I never had a problem with heights until I suffered a inner ear problem
that affected my balance. Of course I have this weird problem watching
people on TV or movies of cliff and building edges. "Vertigo" still freaks
me out.

On Thu, Oct 14, 2021, 12:05 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> From: Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk>
> >Gwynne: I'm terrified of heights, I can't even climb a ladder. When my
> >father turned 80 we gave him a hot-air-balloon ride and somehow the
> >family elected me to go with him. I decided to spend the whole time
> >with my eyes closed. So off we went.
> >And it was amazing. I could look out, and straight down, without feeling
> >that sick panic and paralysis. We just floated, silently, and I loved
> every
> >minute, leaning out and looking at everything....
> AIUI, when you have a physical connection with the ground (e.g. you're
> on top of a cliff, or a building, or whatever) it's somehow more
> frightening than when you're suspended in mid-air.
> I've met people who can't go out on hotel balconies - having flown to
> the resort.
> I'm not sure what the mechanism is, here, unless that it's simply that
> evolution hasn't prepared anything for our mental toolkit to deal with
> flying.
> Gwynne: Interesting point. I haven't heard that theory before, but it makes
> a lot of sense. I think for me there's more than just height issues,
> though.
> I actually live on top of a cliff. I love the view, and I'm fine even at
> the edge,
> because I have a sturdy fence that I know is safe. I can hold on there and
> look out or even straight down with no worries. I suspect that, for me,
> part
> of the problem is that I have serious balance issues (middle ear and ankle
> damage) so I need to be anchored - even just touching a wall with one
> finger
> will suddenly orient me and make me feel a bit safer, if I'm up high (when
> I
> was teaching, I would have to climb up onto a desk to hang artwork on
> high display boards, or strings across the room. Getting up there and
> making
> myself stand up took so much determination. Once I made myself reach up,
> even just touching that string made me feel better - and it's not as if the
> string would give any help at all if I fell over.
> --
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