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Posted: 1/1/2006 4:45:18 PM EDT
Ok, I've been afraid of height almost my entire life. When I get on a roof top, by knees get shaky and am generally uneasy. We'll I've been making my way into the sign industry and really need to be able to install signs also. That involves heights. If I can't get over this, I stand to lose a lot of money since I'll have to sub-contract out the installation part of the sign. So, is there any good way to get over the fear of heights? Hypnotizing maybe? I know I'm going to get the normal goofy responses, but I'm hoping to get some real answers since this is quite the burden. So, any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Kris
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:46:18 PM EDT
Skydive. Biggest thrill you'll ever have with your pants on.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:47:05 PM EDT
Go skydiving with a trained professional that hooks you to him or her. You basically are along for the ride.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:48:26 PM EDT
Graduated exposure to the thing you fear.
Eventually, you'll become desensitized to your phobia.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:48:31 PM EDT
Wow, I can't believe me and a Californian were on the same wave length. What are the odds.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:50:08 PM EDT
Tell yourslef to stop being an Fing P#ssy and just get your jog done, dont think about anything but doing your job. At least that is what worked for me...... I am in construction and work on scaffold took me 6 months of everyday fear to get over it
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:50:45 PM EDT
Same way I got over my fear of spiders. Stay the hell away from the evil little monsters!!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:51:08 PM EDT
Only thing that helped me was practice.. When I built a building in my back yard last spring, I was hainging onto the ladder for dear life.. after a few days of doing it , and wearing the correct footware I was climbing around hanging off the side without thinking twice about it..

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:53:51 PM EDT
Refusing to cross an exposed, yet completely safe bridge is a fear of heights. Being concerned about standing close to the eave on a steeply pitched roof with loose shingles is called having a proper read on your circumstances.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:59:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Refusing to cross an exposed, yet completely safe bridge is a fear of heights. Being concerned about standing close to the eave on a steeply pitched roof with loose shingles is called having a proper read on your circumstances.



I'm kinda in between the two exapmles you gave. If I'm in a tall building, going up to the window and looking out gives an initial shock, but after a few seconds of realizing where I'm at, I'm fine. When I'm on a rooftop, even though it's safe, I'm in constant fear. I really hate it!!

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 5:01:52 PM EDT
stay low
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 5:02:25 PM EDT
Build an underground house.

Makes roof repairs far less stressful.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 5:03:04 PM EDT
Go to a "rock gym". Harness up and do a little climbing. Look down a lot after your first few tries. Learn to trust your rope and belayer.

This worked for my wife, YMMV.

efxguy
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 9:50:44 PM EDT
ttt
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 9:59:40 PM EDT
Systematic Desensitization - Gradually expose yourself to heights and stimuli that produce anxiety about heights. Work your way up until you no longer have the anxiety associated with heights.

Do some internet searches on it.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:00:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rwinn625:
stay low



best solution to the problem.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:01:11 PM EDT
Climb Mountains. That's what I did. Lots and lots of mountains.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:01:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:04:40 PM EDT
I went to Airborne school.

I'm cured. (as long as I have a parachute on).
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:08:46 PM EDT
Don't look down and be sure that your safety stuff works. Fear comes largely form lack of understanding and security. So be sure, and you're a lot less likely to be afraid.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:11:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:14:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MTNmyMag:
Tell yourslef to stop being an Fing P#ssy and just get your jog done, dont think about anything but doing your job. At least that is what worked for me...... I am in construction and work on scaffold took me 6 months of everyday fear to get over it



this is how man has dealt with scary shit for the last 50,000 years.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:16:07 PM EDT
Just remember, it is not the fall that kills you
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:22:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 10:23:20 PM EDT by Daytona955i]
I see you live in MI so this idea might not work for you, at this time of year but it's how my brother got over a fear of heights.

I took a chair, and put it on the roof, and tied it to a tree that was on the other side of the house, and I made him sit up there (if you were to fall off one side off the roof it's a good 60 foot drop to the ground).

Then I took him rock climbing at a big indoor place.

Then I punched him and told him to stop being such a pussy.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:22:48 PM EDT
Ask this guy.....







Now read this.....
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:26:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 10:44:10 PM EDT by KnobCreek]

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Refusing to cross an exposed, yet completely safe bridge is a fear of heights. Being concerned about standing close to the eave on a steeply pitched roof with loose shingles is called having a proper read on your circumstances.



I'm kinda in between the two exapmles you gave. If I'm in a tall building, going up to the window and looking out gives an initial shock, but after a few seconds of realizing where I'm at, I'm fine. When I'm on a rooftop, even though it's safe, I'm in constant fear. I really hate it!!




That's me exactly. Closed in structures, regardless of height, no problem at all. It's out in the open, on a roof, near the edge of a cliff. Shit, I literally can't move my feet...I just freeze.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:27:05 PM EDT
I used to work as an electrician, and while I could climb ladders without a problem, I was terrified putting in the 2'x4' florescent drop-in lights. They're heavy and awkward to get into the ceiling grid while holding above your head. I was afraid for a good reason. After I decided I just couldn't do it, I later saw two bigger and stronger guys than me fall off of a ladder when doing that. I was afraid for a good reason. Don't ignore the fear. You could be afraid for a good reason. Just go slowly and carefully. Take things in small steps. It takes some learning to safely climb a ladder and work. Don't assume that if your fear just magically disappears that it will suddenly be safe for you. The guys that you see make it look so easy have a lot of practise. You just need the same. I suggest you hire help the first few times. Pay attention to how they position their ladders, how they hold the signs, how they carry the tools and parts up the ladder, and how they reach to the left or right.

Another suggestion I have is to buy the heaviest ladder you can. It will be safer and more stable. I was much more comfortable on the extremely heavy fiberglass type III (or whatever they were) ladders than the cheap aluminium ones.

If you think your fear will cause you to make a mistake that will get you hurt, then we're talking about a different problem that maybe, as others have suggested, something drastic like skydiving or rock climbing might help.z
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 11:22:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 11:51:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fallingwrench:
I went to Airborne school.

I'm cured. (as long as I have a parachute on).

Im afraid of airborne school, but I want to do it. Fucking dilemma I have...
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:00:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:10:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
How to get over the fear of heights?



Become an Ironworker Seriously though, it takes time. When I started working, I was affraid to walk the steel, now it's second nature. It's not uncommon for us to walk a 3" beam that wobbling like a mother. It took me about 6 months of walking beams mon-fri to somewhat overcome my fear. I still have some "moments" though
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:22:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 4:29:17 AM EDT by captainpooby]

Originally Posted By 4v50:
Skydive. Biggest thrill you'll ever have with your pants on.



I have to disagree here. I'm a professional skydiver and I still have a fear of heights. I get nervous on apartment balconies and I cant go near the edge at Niagara falls.
As far as the height of an airplane goes, it's so high it's more abstract than real but it still gives me the willies. Under canopy, where it's more real I've just learned to be comfortable in that one specific place but again, if I think of it, it still gives me the creeps. I've just kinda learned not to think of it as what it is.
I could never really get over it and a lot of my colleagues agree.

One BASE jump I did off a 450' building was kind of funny. I was ready to jump, pilot chute in hand and my buddy was ready with the camera. I had one foot on the 6'' ledge at the roof edge but I could'nt lift my second foot up to step on the edge. My buddy had to come over and I held his arm while I made that step up. Then I jumped.

ETA: It's the black one on the right with the blue lights.

Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:27:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Yankee1911:
Graduated exposure to the thing you fear.
Eventually, you'll become desensitized to your phobia.



I would agree with this.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:48:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jvic:

Originally Posted By Yankee1911:
Graduated exposure to the thing you fear.
Eventually, you'll become desensitized to your phobia.



I would agree with this.



I agree with it to a point. I have a very large fear of heights, can't breathe, move etc. I had a job where being on ladders and hanging out windows was routine in the daily job. I never overcame my fear, but I was able to overcome it enough to do my job. I think the fear being there made me more cautious, I only fell of a ladder once. Quit my job a few short months later after having done it for 3 years. I don't get to the point anymore where I can't breathe, move etc, but I still avoid being to close to the edge as much as possible.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:21:03 AM EDT
Was talking about this to my son last night. He is in 82nd Airborne and still has a fear of heights. No real relationship between skydiving and fear of heights. He can skydive all day. Seems to be related to being connected to the ground. Every good climber has a healthy fear of heights. They also trust in their skills and equipment to keep the fear at a healthy distance. Close enough to stay focused and far enough not to cause panic.

Fear of heights is a legitimate thing. While gravity is not harmful, sudden stops are.

People in hot air balloons have repoeted being ok until they drop the rope to the ground. One the rope goes down, they suddenly become aware of the height.

If you want to try to conquer it, try rock climbing. A rock climb can be a simple as climbing a house sized boulder. You don't have to be 500 feet up to have a tough climb. I have seen people climbing 10 foot tall boulders with tough faces to practice their skills and build strength. You also get to learn cool rock climbing terms such a "peeling" and "cratering".
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:10:51 AM EDT
Only 1 way to get over that fear of heights you got, buy a car that you can't afford. Then you will have no choice but to get your ass up in the air and install those signs!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:17:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:24:50 AM EDT
+1..........I am in the same boat as well. Working a construction job during a summer break, I was on the front of a building about 12 ft up, and standing on a board when one of the d.a.'s that worked there pulled the board out from under me without looking to see who was on it, and I hit the ground pretty damn hard...........after that, I am extremely careful about heights, and have battled the fear all my life.


Originally Posted By David_Hineline:
I just can't do it. I am in the same boat, In high school I got to where I could walk up a ladder with bundle of shingles on each shoulder and right up onto the roof. There was no problem with single first story houses, then I got away from it and it comes back. Now I just avoid it or have my wife do it. For my day job I do have to work on 6-8ft ladders inside and I get by but am not good at it.

If the job is going to be a good one what's wrong with just hiring an employee with talents you do not possess,

My father had no problem working on the ground while I climbed shit as a kid.

Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:32:31 AM EDT
shop_rat45 I was uneasy with heights for awhile too. My job wouldn't allow me that luxury. I work telco & ladders, poles & hooks are how we do our job.

I've been taught to "keep three solid". Three points of contact while moving. Two feet & one hand on the ladder or two hands and a foot until you reach the place where you are working. Watch your feet & hands make solid contact with the rungs of the ladder.

Make sure your ladder is on solid surfaces.

Sudden movements are not a good way to maintain balance.

Focus on the immediate task at hand. If you have to drill into a brick face to mount an anchor point, focus on drilliing. DO NOT worry about what is around or below you.

As your legs strengthen you will have better balance also. As previously stated, time & practice will improve your skills.

My job now as a switching systems tech doesn't require me to climb much more than an 11' ladder but I still keep up my pole & outside ladder skills. It is good practice.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 9:11:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 9:11:50 AM EDT by BASE-RIGGER]
I agree with Captain Pooby,
Skydiving won't cure you. Heights and altitude are way different. When your'e at 14000' it just doesn't seem to be that bad but when I'm at 50', my knees shake. I've got about 400 BASE jumps from stuff as low as a 130' water tower and 2000' communication towers. As long as I have a rig on I'm fine but without it I'm petrified. Last year I went to Colorado to jump from a 1200' tram that crosses the Arkansas river so I thought I'd ride out first just to check out the landing area. When I got in it, I couldn't even look out the window I was so scared but when I came back with my parachute I didn't have any problem opening the door and jumping out. To this day I still have a extreame fear of heights and all the skydiving and Base jumping in the world hasn't help cure it one bit.
Remember God in the Bible said "Low, I am with you always" (not high),
Base-Rigger,
BASE 516
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 9:31:10 AM EDT
I am terrified of hights. When I was younger I did alot of indoor climbing, it seemed to help but the fear has gradually retured. The last time I climbed I thought I was going to crap myself once I got about about 15 feet.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 9:39:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Yankee1911:
Graduated exposure to the thing you fear.
Eventually, you'll become desensitized to your phobia.



+1

I also have a fear of heights. First time I got on a ski lift I almost freaked. By the end of the day, I was able to actually keep my eyes open and enjoy the ride. I'm not quite ready to go skydiving yet though.

Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:23:24 AM EDT
I was always affraid of heights and never liked ladders and rooftops.

One day my AF unit did some rappeling for fun. We were going off of a 7 story fire tower and I didn't want to do it. Problem was I was a senior NCO and I knew I needed to set a good example for my troops. Besides, my guys would have given me hell for it if I chickened out.

I started on the third floor and worked my way up to going off the seventh. I found that I didn't like hanging out on the ledge. As soon as the rappel master said the "G" in GO, I was already half way down.

Now, I'm better and I can climb the ladder to get up on top of my house with no problems, but I'm still very cautious.
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