I won't. But I could.
March 21, 2012 10:59 AM Subscribe
I am irrationally afraid of heights and subway trains. I live in New York City. HELP!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So, I was already afraid of heights when I moved here, but not, like, terrified- I just didn't like them. Once I moved here I realized I also feared subway trains (when I'm waiting at the station, I mean- not when I'm inside them.) I sort of assumed that these fears would go away with time... but being exposed to them on a daily basis has actually made it a lot worse.
I really need to deal with this, because I work in an office over 20 floors up, and since it's gotten warm we have begun propping the emergency exit door open. This door opens onto a very narrow concrete landing, and is surrounded by a yard-high iron bar railing. When I even look at this open door, even from the other end of the hall, I feel sick. I get the same feeling when a subway train is coming into a station at high speed- sick to my stomach, tense, etc.
The reason why I feel this way- and this is why I'm asking this anon- is because whenever I see these things I imagine my own, violent death. And, although this sounds crazy, I'm not afraid of being pushed- I'm afraid I'll jump.
I AM NOT SUICIDAL, I'm a very happy person and I have no history of mental illness, and there is absolutely no chance that I would choose to end my own life. But I guess I'm afraid that I'll snap or something? I know it makes no sense. I think it's the permanence of it- if you jump off a building or in front of a train, that split-second decision WILL end your life. It's as if I was pointing a loaded gun at myself- I don't want to use it, but staring down that barrel is like staring death in the face. Seeing the abyss on the other side of that iron railing makes me ill because I COULD do it. I COULD take a running jump, clear the railing like it was nothing, and I would be dead. And although I totally 100% don't want to, and I KNOW that I never would... it still makes me sick.
I don't think this really warrants full-on therapy, but I am interested in knowing if anyone else is familiar with this feeling, and if there are any books, techniques, etc that helped them. (I've previously had a lot of luck with CBT for unrelated issues.) I am very poor but if you do think I need actual therapy, low- or no-cost recs for NYC would be helpful.