Have you wondered what it would be like to have a fear of driving over bridges. Like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and or the Sydney Harbor in Australia or that Hangzhou Bay Bridge in China?
All over the world, there are different beautiful and majestic bridges built to connect people, places and culture. Have you crossed one?
These beautiful bridges are not for everyone, just like your favorite food, it might taste great to you, but for others well it might taste horrible.
Some people have a phobia of driving over bridges.
They would prefer re-routing to longer roads or make up excuses than to cross bridges.
You know why? Because crossing a bridge while driving scares the hell out of them. Today, we will discuss a certain fear that connects with crossing bridges.
What is Gephyrophobia? What is a Phobia? How does it affect our daily lives? What are the symptoms of having one? Is it curable? How do we fight this kind of fear, Gephyrophobia?
Maybe you are like one of those patients that I came across dealing with it. The fear of crossing bridges to a phobia is a serious matter.
What is a Phobia?
- An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a phobia is an irrational and excessive worry of an item or scenario.
- In maximum cases, the phobia includes an experience of endangerment or a fear of damage. For example, those with agoraphobia fear being trapped in an inescapable location or scenario.
- There are many kinds of phobias. One of them is Specific Phobias that involve the fear of a certain objects/subject (such as spiders, snakes or rat).
- Such phobias typically fall into one of four different categories: situational, animals, medical, or environmental. Examples of these common fear subjects include, but not limited to; natural disasters, heights, water, and crossing bridges.
According to Science: Gephyrophobia
- Comes from a Greek word (gephura) meaning “bridge and (phobos) “fear”.
- Pronounced as ge·phyr·o·pho·bi·a.
- Is the anxiety disorder or specific phobia characterized by the fear of bridges. Such as driving over a bridge, seeing a photo or visualize a bridge from afar, and can include going under a tunnel. fear of driving over bridges.
Anxiety disorders are set of mental disorders categorized by substantial feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a fear about things/events that may happen, and fear is a response to current events.
These feelings may cause different physical symptoms, like as a racing heartbeat, trembling, and nausea.
People with this kind of fear don’t really fear the bridges they fear the fact that they could fall and die while crossing them, forgive me for being blunt and to the point.
They fear the moment they cross the bridge, the bridge may collapse and they might collapse with it.
Having such fear can affect a person’s personal and even the professional aspect of life.
It can prevent you from doing your everyday routine like getting to work or school or even having a relaxing ride/ walk with love ones.
With that scenario, we can clearly say that this fear resides in the person’s mind.
They fear the moment they cross the bridge, the bridge may collapse and they might collapse with it. Having such fear can affect a person’s personal and even professional aspect of life.
It can prevent you from doing your everyday routine from getting to work, school, or even having a relaxing ride/ walk with love ones.
With that scenario, we can clearly say that this fear resides in the person’s mind.
Here are common symptoms of Gephyrophobia:
- Trouble in breathing when driving over a bridge or nearing one.
- Pounding heartbeat and sweaty palms while holding the steering wheel. He/she might squeeze the hell out of the steering wheel.
- Feeling of numbness all over the body. Tendency to feel nothing at all, nauseated.
Ever wonder what causes this kind of fear? We’re all familiar with the saying “face your fears”, mostly present in every motivational book and blogs?
Why? Because, successful stories are produced of situational instances of one facing fear.
Therefore, the magic question is, What is your fear? What exactly is fear?
Fear is feeling that begins in your mind and goes down to your body, making your heart beats faster, trembling, sweaty, nausea and so on.
Because fear is an imaginary feeling that is so powerful that it can fill up your life, in some situations fear will overcome your life. This is not a healthy way to live your life, but for some people it is a reality.
Fear of driving over bridges what is the cause?
Generally phobias are known for a combination of external events and internal predispositions. Gephyrophobia as stated, is the fear of crossing over bridges.
Like other phobias, the source of the problem is said to be attributed to different factors.
Furthermore, the advancement of Gephyrophobia can be brought from feeling of other…
phobias which are claustrophobia (a fear of being closed in) or acrophobia (a fear of heights).
Many specific phobias can be outlined back to that particular triggering subject or event, typically from a traumatic experience at an early age.
It is said that factors like heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences portray a major part in phobias development.
How to cope up with Gephyrophobia?
Unpack your baggage.
Everything starts with knowing the origin of any circumstances that is happening to you. “What scares you, will free you”.
Generally, cases of Gephyrophobia are self-diagnosed. There are numerous treatment possibilities such as self-help techniques, relaxation techniques, and anti-anxiety medication for serious cases.
Admit to yourself that you have a fear of driving over bridges and it has to be addressed properly. Nothing is wrong with you. Remember, you are perfectly normal.
Once you internalize this, you can start working on dealing with your fear. Start by writing down everything that triggers your fear.
These particular subjects/objects that give you chills every time you come across them will give you ideas on how to cope up with it.
For instance, your fear of crossing bridges. Take down why you fear bridges? It could be due to an incident in your life or someone you know that happened before with traumatic damages affecting your life.
Which bridge causes you fear? Is it every bridge or just those long suspension bridges? Thoughts like these will give you progress in dealing your fear.
Be a passenger. Fear of driving over bridges.
Let someone from your family or friends drive you when crossing bridges. This part will make you feel a bit anxious, but with someone you trust controlling the steering wheel it will somehow take away your anxiety.
Listen to music you both love and sing along. Distractions while crossing the bridge will lighten your fear.
Having something happy to think about will help drive away some of the fear. Be occupied as you sit in the passenger seat and try to relax.
Take action fear of driving over bridges.
Exposure to your fear decreases the degree of your fear.
Try to start crossing small bridges. Every step will bring you closer to overcoming your fear.
Watch movies that have bridges on it. Familiarize yourself with your fear of driving over bridges.
Desensitize yourself to all forms of bridges, images, movies, even real bridges and to your fear of them. Make a list of your progress.
Every time you overcome this fear write it down. Inch by inch you will reach the other side of the bridge.
Explore all kinds of Therapy
There are different kinds of therapy out there. Try them and find one that works with you.
Talk therapy, exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the approaches that can be used for people suffering Gephyrophobia.
After building a good relationship with your physician as patient-doctor, you also request for professional referrals to other specialist that has experience in managing fear like yours.
Follow your therapist for all their recommendations, they are an expert.
Engage your fear of driving over bridges
Today, social media is a very powerful tool to socialized with like minded people. Join a group of person that has the same situation like yours.
Blending with these people will help you vent out your inner frustrations, can inspire…
…you how to deal with your fear of crossing bridges through real experiences.
You can also give/get suggestions on what to do in case your fear gets to you.
Things happen in our lives for a definite reason. Life experiences are said to be our best teacher.
Every feeling of joy, sadness, fear or excitement we feel are all part of our journey here on earth.
Our fears, If properly addressed through proper therapy, gradual exposure to bridges and applying coping strategies, anyone can effectively deal with gephyrophobia.
Spread the word…