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Thread: fear of heights = fear of pain

  1. #1 fear of heights = fear of pain 
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    (debilitating) fear of heights = fear of pain

    the type of fear of heights that is so bad that you become completely paralyzed and incapable of even moving can't be overcome until you first overcome your fear of pain.

    Suppose that A fears pain and B doesnt fear pain

    it isn't that A & B feel the same thing and one fears it and the other doesnt.
    A & B feel completely different sensations
    A feels scary pain and B feels nonscary pain

    the difference is not one of intensity.
    they are two fundamentally different sensations.

    scary pain is completely debilitating.
    if I am far enough above the ground then I am completely paralyzed with fear


    furthermore fear of pain seems to be unique to humans.
    Apes obviously aren't afraid of heights.


    Last edited by granpa; April 3rd, 2014 at 08:25 PM.
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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    fear of heights = fear of pain
    you can't overcome fear of heights until you first overcome your fear of pain.
    Evidence?


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    Infants have to learn a fear of heights | ScienceNordic I draw your attention to - But scientists found out back in the 1960s that there was no clear link between how much a small child falls and how uncomfortable he or she is on the edge of a drop.

    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    i experience acrophobia and i have no (out of the ordinairy) fear of pain

    in my specific case i can kind of/more or less overcome it by spending a lot of time doing the following, get a little closer to the height then back off to a safe place, then go back near the height, then back away, rince and repeat, and eventually after a while of doing that, its not "as bad" as the initial reaction, although i probably look like a rusty robot stuggling to move trying to pretend all is normal.
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    how would you know what is ordinary?
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    Suppose that A fears pain and B doesnt fear pain

    it isn't that A & B feel the same thing and one fears it and the other doesnt.
    A & B feel completely different sensations
    A feels scary pain and B feels nonscary pain

    the difference is not one of intensity.
    they are two fundamentally different sensations.

    scary pain is completely debilitating.
    if I am far enough above the ground then I am completely paralyzed with fear
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    "how would you know what is ordinary?"
    observation. (ex: I dont think people unusually fearful of pain practice full contact martial arts)
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    A feels scary pain and B feels nonscary pain
    from a scientific study ?
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    I personally have experienced both.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    Suppose that A fears pain and B doesnt fear pain

    it isn't that A & B feel the same thing and one fears it and the other doesnt.
    A & B feel completely different sensations
    A feels scary pain and B feels nonscary pain

    the difference is not one of intensity.
    they are two fundamentally different sensations.

    scary pain is completely debilitating.
    if I am far enough above the ground then I am completely paralyzed with fear
    Yeah.
    Still doesn't support your initial argument.
    You don't support a claim with more claims.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; April 3rd, 2014 at 05:51 PM.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    fear of heights = fear of pain


    you can't overcome fear of heights until you first overcome your fear of pain.
    Baloney.
    I worked as a scaffolder.
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    strangely I dont react when looking out the window when I sit on an airplane's window seat, nor in some amusement park rides that are going somewhat high while moving fast but the Ferris wheel is scary.
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    Don't agree. I have a high tolerance for pain. Never use novacaine, for instance, when having teeth filled. Yet I'm terrified on the roof.
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    I don't agree either, fear of heights seems hard wired completely separate from pain.
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    furthermore fear of pain seems to be unique to humans.
    Apes obviously aren't afraid of heights.
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    Citations needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I don't agree either, fear of heights seems hard wired completely separate from pain.
    the same for fear of snakes or spiders, which is a very common fear. how can those fears be related to fear of pain ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    furthermore fear of pain seems to be unique to humans.
    Do you just make this stuff up or is it beamed into your head from the orbiting mothership?

    Apes obviously aren't afraid of heights.
    Nor are human babies: it's acquired.
    Almost all of the research in this laboratory stems from the discovery that human infants, contrary to widespread opinions expressed in secondary sources, are not afraid of heights.
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    I just did a quick google search and couldn't find a reference to this. I "acquired" my fear of heights on one specific occasion and it lasted for decades. I couldn't even stand next to the office windows even though previously I'd happily worked on the roof of my house and leaned over balconies and rested against 15th floor windows.

    The item I'm looking for referred to ear infections. A lot of references talk about chronic ear infections leading to fear of heights from impaired balance. The one that stuck in my memory from several years ago pointed out that people can very easily have a sub-clinical ear infection or inflammation and the only effect of it is that the person may get an attack of vertigo at height. In my case, I'd run up an unfamiliar stone staircase - in the dark - and rushed to my designated position at the front row of a balcony and was overcome with dizziness and the fear I'd tip over the rail onto the marble floor of the cathedral below me. (I'd also presume that people wouldn't usually connect such events even if they'd afterwards developed a full-blown ear/sinus/URT infection.)

    For people like me, I suspect that the continuing fear of heights arises from a transient vertigo attack probably related to an otherwise imperceptible ear condition and that further exposure to heights reinforces that feeling even though there's no physical vertigo - only the fear remains.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I don't agree either, fear of heights seems hard wired completely separate from pain.
    the same for fear of snakes or spiders, which is a very common fear. how can those fears be related to fear of pain ?
    i just reread my post. i think that fear of pain and fear of spiders or snakes could be related because these animals can cause painful bites. so maybe these 2 bad examples. not sure now. i am not sure a baby would be afraid of spiders or snakes ?
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    A lot of fears are acquired learning ie I have no fear of spiders or bees because my parents were always calm around them and didnt scream and jump around. And as I got older I learned spiders in this country generally aren't venomous. I learned that bees can sting and it hurts but I still don't fear them and I still don't jump around screaming as it seems to me a sure way to get yourself stung. Not sure how I'd react to a tarantula/black widow but again my fear isnt around them per se but of what they can do same as if I encountered a crocodile. One of my nieces is equally calm around bees etc and her daughter also doesnt care - the other one however screams like a banshee if a something buzzes within ten feet of her and now so does her 20 month old son.

    As I see it granpa is spouting a load of old made up gumpf and calling it fact - when some evidence is provided I'll have another look at the claims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i am not sure a baby would be afraid of spiders or snakes ?
    I think a good way to look at it Chucknorium is that the nervous system of an organism in the womb cant possibly know what it is and what it will be when its born - so a fear of anything cant be hard-wired otherwise you might get a spider born with a fear of spiders..... Phobias are acquired and maintained through conditioning and as such can be unlearned although it can take some doing to overcome a phobia once its established.
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    I think that fear of spiders happens to not be hardwired in humans, but imo it is possible for a fear to be hardwired specially for non-human organisms were failure to react to a predator (or an element associated with) leads to natural selection to favour organisms that react to cues that are associated with the predator. For example some insects move in a way that imitates leaves in the wind, I suspect they have not learned this behavior from their parents, nor from insect school, nor from intelligently understanding that they better immitate their surroundings, but that over thousands of years individuals that behaved/moved/reacted in a way that reduced their mortality in a given environment multiplied more than those whose behavior/move/reactions lead to greater odds of being eaten/or not surviving or not reproducing.

    And the fear of spiders (in the way we are talking about here) is not so much with respect to the actual danger posed by a would be venomous spider since this would be a relatively reasonable fear, while imo we are talking more about unreasonable fear of spiders (that pose no more threat than an ant, a butterfly or a flower).
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    I think people are not afraid of heights. People are afraid of falling. They know they will die if they fall from that height. They're afraid of falling, not the height itself. If you show them a picture taken from the top of a skyscraper, will they be afraid? Probably not, because they can't fall down to their death if they're sitting safely at home looking at a picture. Can someone confirm this? Do they still feel afraid even looking at a picture taken from a high place?
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    I am terrified of heights. If I was any taller I would have to stoop. I get dizzy if I stand on a thick pile carpet.

    I am also afraid of pain. (Frankly, I'm a real wimp, afraid of my own shadow - I mean who knows what it might do!) However, I find zero connection between my fear of heights and my fear of pain. When I am being terrified by a height the thought of pain does not even enter my head. Nor is it fear of dying, were I to fall. It is simply a gut wrenching fear of the height itself.

    In short granpa your supposition is, for me at least, complete nonsense.

    And EugeneT part of the fear I have is that I want to fall. I want to plummet to the Earth. So, I discard your hypothesis as well, at least as it applies to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    For example some insects move in a way that imitates leaves in the wind, I suspect they have not learned this behavior from their parents, nor from insect school, nor from intelligently understanding that they better immitate their surroundings, but that over thousands of years individuals that behaved/moved/reacted in a way that reduced their mortality in a given environment multiplied more than those whose behavior/move/reactions lead to greater odds of being eaten/or not surviving or not reproducing.
    How is this behaviour a fear?
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am terrified of heights. If I was any taller I would have to stoop. I get dizzy if I stand on a thick pile carpet.

    I am also afraid of pain. (Frankly, I'm a real wimp, afraid of my own shadow - I mean who knows what it might do!) However, I find zero connection between my fear of heights and my fear of pain. When I am being terrified by a height the thought of pain does not even enter my head. Nor is it fear of dying, were I to fall. It is simply a gut wrenching fear of the height itself.

    In short granpa your supposition is, for me at least, complete nonsense.

    And EugeneT part of the fear I have is that I want to fall. I want to plummet to the Earth. So, I discard your hypothesis as well, at least as it applies to me.
    I have to ask, when you approach a very high position are you overly conscious of the consequences of falling? I've always found it similiar to the centipede effect.
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    I call bullshit.

    I can cross the street and a car can be 50 centimeters from hitting me and Ill feel no fear or stress.
    But I do fear hights, alot. The reason from the fear of hights is not related to pain at all imo. Because falling from a big height is probably painless (As youd die almost instantly).

    The fear of hights is in the dread of knowing you will die with no escape for the 5-30 seconds you are falling. The feeling of helplessly knowing you will die with nothing you can do to avoid your death.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    I have to ask, when you approach a very high position are you overly conscious of the consequences of falling? I've always found it similiar to the centipede effect.
    Not really. I am aware that a fall would be fatal, but that does not bother me at all. The fear is simply a fear of the height and the possibility of a fall, but not - I think - of the consequences.

    That said, I've sat in a helicopter immediately adjacent to an open door whilst flying several hundred feet in the air and not been remotely bothered. On another occasion I climbed out onto bamboo scaffolding on the ninth floor of an apartment building to talk back in a rather drunk girl who was clambering over it. I recall looking down the nine floors and not being even slightly disturbed by the height since I was focused on the fear that she might fall. I seem to be able to entertain only one fear at a time - that would be in line with my inability to multi-task.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    The fear of hights is in the dread of knowing you will die with no escape for the 5-30 seconds you are falling. The feeling of helplessly knowing you will die with nothing you can do to avoid your death.
    falling a long distance to death must be a terrible death but i can think of worse. i have been told that people go unconscious from the fear when falling to their death. i have never believed this. has anyone also heard this ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    The fear of hights is in the dread of knowing you will die with no escape for the 5-30 seconds you are falling. The feeling of helplessly knowing you will die with nothing you can do to avoid your death.
    I doubt even that that is the explanation.
    Would you get someone with a genuine fear of heights to take a parachute jump?

    BTW "fear of heights" and "fear of falling" are, apparently, separate things.
    I submit that, in the case of falling, it's more to do with the anticipated loss of "physical stability" - i.e. the fall itself and concomitant lack of control over the body and motion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i have been told that people go unconscious from the fear when falling to their death. i have never believed this. has anyone also heard this ?
    You could ask this guy... (Well, no, but you COULD have about 30 years ago).
    Or this guy: he was still conscious enough - and cool enough - to WAVE GOODBYE to a camera a few seconds before he hit the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i have been told that people go unconscious from the fear when falling to their death. i have never believed this. has anyone also heard this ?
    You could ask this guy... (Well, no, but you COULD have about 30 years ago).
    Or this guy: he was still conscious enough - and cool enough - to WAVE GOODBYE to a camera a few seconds before he hit the ground.
    interesting.

    i agree that falling to my death is better than burning up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i agree that falling to my death is better than burning up.
    And it does give you the chance to reinvent philosophy from the, er, ground up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i agree that falling to my death is better than burning up.
    And it does give you the chance to reinvent philosophy from the, er, ground up.
    i have read a couple of Douglas Adams's books. very funny. the movie was pretty good too i thought. it followed plot quite well.
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    How is this behaviour a fear?
    Its not, that is not the point, its just an example of behaviour that is mostly genetic as opposed to learned, showing its NOT impossible that SOME fear reaction in SOME animals/organisms can also be mostly genetic rather than learned. In addition to fear that is learned as can be the case in humans (and less so in insects for example)

    Fear of Heights = fear of falling to ones death
    Im not so sure about that, because there are instances where the fear of heights is triggered at non lethal heights ex: a ladder/ balcony where you might not even brake a leg if you fell



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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    How is this behaviour a fear?
    Its not, that is not the point, its just an example of behaviour that is mostly genetic as opposed to learned, showing its NOT impossible that SOME fear reaction in SOME animals/organisms can also be mostly genetic rather than learned. In addition to fear that is learned as can be the case in humans (and less so in insects for example)

    Fear of Heights = fear of falling to ones death
    Im not so sure about that, because there are instances where the fear of heights is triggered at non lethal heights ex: a ladder/ balcony where you might not even brake a leg if you fell



    hmm - maybe I misunderstand you but giving an example of a behaviour that is not a fear wont demonstrate that fear is hard-wired. There are many instances of animals adopting animals they would otherwise prey on including a lioness that adopted an antelope, another lioness adopting an oryx, cats have been seen to live with birds and mice and adopt rabbits and ducks - none of which could happen if the fear were hard wired/genetic to the prey animal. There are also many instances of animals routinely killing their own offspring.

    I would be interested to see some research showing a genetic component to a specific fear because I dont think it exists. There is a genetic component to an organisms fear response generally but I dont think there is any hardwiring or genetic component concerning the object of their fear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am terrified of heights. If I was any taller I would have to stoop. I get dizzy if I stand on a thick pile carpet.
    ...

    And EugeneT part of the fear I have is that I want to fall. I want to plummet to the Earth. So, I discard your hypothesis as well, at least as it applies to me.
    For me it's not so much that I want to fall - it's more that I feel almost impelled to fall or as though I'm almost being drawn or sucked over a railing or through a window.

    One thing that has helped a bit with that feeling, which is so strong I can't watch some films or TV. (Anyone else actually shrivel in their chairs when watching Idris Elba standing on that roof in Luther?) I used to have nightmares about falling which seem to spill over into things like watching films. I take lecithin and the dreams go away and so does the lurching stomach when watching various television programs - even scenes where people stand next to those floor to ceiling glass walls dozens of storeys above the ground. Found it on a list of links between specific problems and particular vitamin treatments - can't hurt, I thought. And it worked! So well that I often forget to take it for weeks at a time. Until the dreams/ reactions come back. It takes a few days to kick in, but it does work for me.
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