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Overcoming the Fear of Stairs (Bathmophobia)

fear of stairs - bathmophobia

If you’ve ever had to walk down a steep set of stairs, you may have felt a bit nervous or cautious. Going up was fine but coming down was a bit dizzying. Possibly you’ve felt skeptical when seeing a set of stairs that looked to be flimsy or half broken. These are all natural fears about climbing stairs, but some people have a fear of stairs that is not based on any real dangers. This type of fear is called bathmophobia.

The fear of stairs, or bathmophobia, may be caused by a variety of situations. Most phobias have their roots in some past incident. For example, if someone falls down steps as a child, he or she would be more at risk for developing the condition. Another potential risk factor is genetic issues. Also, a person who has other phobias may develop bathmophobia.

What is Bathmophobia?

Phobias have been around for a long time, despite there being no medical term created yet. A phobia is defined as a type of anxiety disorder that stems from facing certain situations. Whether it is a fear of closed spaces, spiders, or a set of steep stairs, these phobias are all very real for the person who encounters them.

The fear of phobias is not an ordinary fear, but something more intense. Many people may be uncomfortable at times in these situations, but the indicator that a person is dealing with a phobia is that it interferes with their life. People will go to great lengths to avoid the object or situation that causes their fear.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 12.5 % of the American population will experience a phobia at some point in their life. Bathmophobia is a specific phobia. The word itself defines what it means — ‘bathmo’ means step in Greek and ‘phobia’ means fear in Greek. Therefore, we have the meaning, which is a fear of steps.

People who suffer from bathmophobia may try to avoid situations that involve using stairs. This is often not practical as many homes have stairs leading to an upper level or basement. A person’s avoidance of the stairs depends on the severity level of their condition.

Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Stairs

Navigating stairs will likely need to be a part of every person’s life, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to help people overcome their fear of stairs.

Start slow

Every difficulty can be overcome one step at a time. You may need to start slow by just navigating a small staircase with only a few steps. Then work your way up to a slightly larger staircase. As time goes on and you overcome each step and conquer your fear, you can conquer steeper and narrower stairs.

Get support

You may feel a lot better about going up or down those steps if you have support. Ask a friend or loved one to come with you when you need to make the trip. Explain that you have bathmophobia and are afraid of falling down the stairs. They could hold onto your arm and help steady you as you go.

Hold on

If you don’t have anyone to hold onto you, then make a point to hold onto the banister for support. If there are no banisters, you can still get support by holding onto the side of the wall as you traverse the steps.

Do some renovating

You may need to do a bit of renovating before you can tackle this fear. Obviously, you cannot eliminate stairs, but if you have stairs that are in disrepair, loose, or uneven, you may want to have them repaired. Also, if the stairs are covered with vinyl or linoleum, that could make you feel like you are going to fall due to the slippery texture. You could cover the steps with non-slip rubber mats or carpeting. However, this may be a lot of work.

Ride right over your fears

One easy solution to conquer the fear of falling down the stairs is to ride up and down the steps on an Easy Climber. The Easy Climber is your mobility solution for navigating those steps in peace. Completely motorized and fully comfortable, the sturdy chair is ergonomically made and space friendly. You will discover that the Easy Climber chair fits perfectly in any stairwell size and installs quickly. If you have a fear of falling, the Easy Climber chair even has a seat belt for added security!

For more information about our Easy Climber chairs, get in touch with us today!