My Fear of Falling (To My Death) From High Places

I do not have a fear of heights. I am fine on a plane or in a tall building. I have a fear of falling off high places to my death.

I am sure I have written before of family vacations in the mountains. I love to hike as long as I am not on the edge of a narrow path. My wife and son will walk to the edge and look down. I can barely watch them do that. I am sure I miss some spectacular photo opportunities because of this fear.

While I would like to overcome this fear, there are often reminders of why I have these healthy reactions. Newspaper articles with titles such as 81 Foot Fall Kills Man are all I need. First let me say that I send my sympathies to the family and friends of Milos Hrsto. He was only 21. But here is an excerpt from the article in the Chicago Tribune about his trip to Starved Rock National Park:

The latest death to hit the popular park about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, near Utica, involved a 21-year-old recent college graduate whom relatives said had veered from the marked path about 8 feet to peer over the rim of Pontiac Canyon along the upper trail, one of the park’s many rocky vistas.

Milos Hrsto fell 81 feet to his death Sunday while hiking with his older sister, her husband and her sister-in-law. Relatives said he fell after a tree branch he was leaning against broke, causing him to lose his balance.

I have hiked there. One of the few decent places for hiking in the Chicagoland area.

Lesson to be learned. Take risks but realize that the unexpected happens. Be careful when near the edge. I will be too far away to help.

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7 Responses to My Fear of Falling (To My Death) From High Places

  1. Frank Roche says:

    You won’t find me near the edge…I’m obsessive about staying away from it. I have bad acrophobia, and still think the same thoughts you think about going over the edge.

  2. Pax Romano says:

    Man, I am with you and Frank on this one also. No thanks, been to the edge once or twice when I was young and foolish (both figuratively and literally) and while the view is awesome, I don’t want to go back.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have this exact fear. What is the name of this fear? I am find in the tall buildings, that is, until I am near a window, can’t get too close to the window. In fact I have piloted small planes and that doesn’t bother me, but put me on a ledge and I will freak out.
    Sorry you suffer from this but it makes me feel a bit better that I am not alone.

  4. craig says:

    I recently whitnessed a co-worker fall from 48 feet to his death ,and I cant get the picture out of my head. thishas let me really scared of high places normally it wouldnt bother me but to see someone fall and see what the results were was/is shocking. my job requires me to work on scafolding in manlifts , and on the roofs of aboue ground storage tanks. I am worried that if I cant do my job what is going to happen to my future. I try to deal with it but, I think I am fighting a loosing battle (its hard to weld when your nerves are in your stomach and you can feel your heart beat in your chest) I dont want to loose my job for a fear… people overcome fears right?

  5. patrick says:

    falling from a high platform would be very scary but at least it is virtually painless and instant death happens. Would you rather end your life (you were old) smashing into the ground or get cancer and die an extremely painful and terrible death? If you ask me I would say neither but my second option would be falling.

  6. kailee says:

    i have the same phobia and im 10 i can go on high rides like a feris wheel because theres a safty bar but the moment you take that bar away when its hight i freak out i want to over come this fear because i love to go hiking

  7. Asimo says:

    @patrick, painless death? Ya thats true, but the part that gets me paranoid is that a death from a fall is usually preventable, and unessecarily shortens your life. Unexpected and tragic it also destroys the lives of the ones who loved you. No, of course death from a disease can boast the same tragedy, but when I think of my son dying because he did something stupid like slip from an edge, it painfully replays in my head.

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