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Fear of Heights or of Falling





Vrythramax
It is a fact that most people, even if you do or do not have a fear of heights, have an inherent fear of falling. Many dream of falling, but most seem to wake before landing. There is an "old wives tale" that says if you fall in a dream and actually land...you will die in your sleep".

How many of you out there have had these dreams (of falling)? Have you ever landed, or do you wake before?

How many *LIKE* that feeling of the tightening of the stomach and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it?

Too further...how many have a fear of heights?
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:

How many of you out there have had these dreams (of falling)? Have you ever landed, or do you wake before?

I don't dream that I fall often, but I once did, and instead of landing, I just flew away, since I was half-aware that it was a dream anyway, and flying is more fun than crashing.
Quote:

How many *LIKE* that feeling of the tightening of the stomach and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it?

Mainly, that's just the feeling of 0G...
From what I hear, nobody likes it at first, but most people eventually get used to it if they experience it enough.
Quote:

Too further...how many have a fear of heights?

Strangely, I enjoy being high up... It's a somehow comfortable feeling. If I'm at the top of a (steady) ladder, I often feel inclined to just relax a while at the top. It gives a new perspective on the world, I suppose.

As for falling, I've done my share of that, gotten my scars, but it still doesn't bother me.

(My only irrational fears are of spiders and wasps, which can both be traced back to a bad childhood experiences I vaguely remember. I suppose I could get rid of them if I tried, but why go to that much effort when it doesn't affect my daily life much at all?)
Blaster
I have had the dream of falling. It usually happens right as I am about to pass out and I jump a bit but like you sated never actually hit the ground.

For someone like me you may find it odd but I do seem to have a fear of heights. However I rock climb (indoor) and am also a fire fighter which requires things such as working off of ladders and climbing high ladders.

However I think I have just been able to set my fears away when the adrenaline sets in. I also look at my self and say I don't want others to think i'm a scardy cat. Which in my profession if you let them think that you better watch out.
Parkour_Jarrod
I have don't have a fear of heights, i have a fear of myself at heights because im a clutz... I also have a fear of falling...

but the old wives tale isn't true, unless im dead now... and this is nirvana... but uhh, yeah i hit the ground when falling, it was black for a while, dreamless sleep, then i woke up refreshed and energized... kinda creeped out i died in my dream but yeah...
missdixy
Ughh I hate those 'falling' dreams. I always wake up and sort of twitch it's so frustrating haha. I never hit the ground though. I always kind of wake up/startle awake when I am in the 'falling' state. It hasn't happened in a while though.
c'tair
I have a fear of heights. Some times it gets bad enough that I get dizzy when I step on something 2 feet high, so you can imagine how it sucks. It's probably something to do with my inner ear not doing a good enough job.

But this hasn't stopped me from ascending the highest peak of Poland, ap. 2500m high. I was somehow able to overcome both the psychological terror and the physical sensation - and I'll tell you that the first one was easy, but the second was hard as hell because it's not easy to climb when your spatial orientation isn't working properly, everything slightly spins and your head is thumping with adrenaline.
Vrythramax
I have heard it said that the fear involved with falling in a dream is a sense of loss of control, so is it possible that surviving the fall (opposed to the old wives tale) is a sense of regaining control?
standready
I have a fear of heights, actually like. I don't have a fear of falling but rather a fear of that sudden STOP at the end of the fall!
I have fallen in many dreams and landed. That explains my fear of the sudden stop - it HURTS!
The fall won't kill you unless heart attack but that stop has great potential.
Blaster
One of my fire instructors always said "its not the fall that kills you, Its the sudden stop at the end"

Just thought i would point that out
deanhills
I can't recall ever having a dream/nightmare of falling. I always seem to be up in the air and enjoying it. If there is a moment that is not so good is when I seem to have battles staying up and have to do a heavy breast stroke, really funny when that happens, but while that is happening there is never the feeling of the possibility that I will actually fall, or fear of falling. Flying is a normal state of being. Like being in a pool and there is never the feeling or possibility in my mind that I will drown.
menino
I used to have a fear of heights, and would feel queasy looking down from a 2 story rooftop, or even from top of a ladder.

But I got over it. I had to paint a high ceiling one time, and my boss sternly told me to do it, so I did it, coz I feared him more at the time, and after that I didnt feel queasy anymore.

Moreover on occassions, I used to sit on the ledge of the 3rd floor woth other friends, and we'd look down and talk and shout at other friends who were down.

I sometimes have dreams of falling, but wake up with a jerk of my legs, so have never landed, but sometimes flew, or caught hold of a pointy ledge a few times.
watersoul
It depends where I'm falling. We regularly cliff-jump into the sea where I live and with deep enough water I've done over 50 metre drops. I'll be completely honest though, standing at the top looking down, I still get shaky legs sometimes and have to really force myself to leave the edge. Thats the hardest bit for me, once actually falling, the rush is immense and getting back up to do it again is all thats in my mind.

As for falling dreams, had a few of them and wake up at the point of hitting the ground. Thats scary, but also an incredible relief that "it was all a dream" Laughing
Parkour_Jarrod
Vrythramax wrote:
I have heard it said that the fear involved with falling in a dream is a sense of loss of control, so is it possible that surviving the fall (opposed to the old wives tale) is a sense of regaining control?


Perhaps, i mean that dream happened a few weeks ago for me, and well, i was in a really bad state of mind and the world seemed terrible, but since then ive been good i guess... thinks have been looking up recently... so maybe you need to hit that bottom to gain control (wow that sounds a bit like Fight Club doesn't it?)
Vrythramax
Blaster wrote:
One of my fire instructors always said "its not the fall that kills you, Its the sudden stop at the end"

Just thought i would point that out


When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing
watersoul
Vrythramax wrote:

When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing


Ooh, that made really me think! Totally imagined that cool advice and just can't think of the brain-processing speeds needed to "grab grass!" ...even with the huge dump of adrenaline going on in that situation!

Good answer fella
Blaster
Vrythramax wrote:
Blaster wrote:
One of my fire instructors always said "its not the fall that kills you, Its the sudden stop at the end"

Just thought i would point that out


When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing


Well then to go on the same fire instructor he always said "a ladder bounces, You don't."

Which if you think about it when was the last time you saw someone fall and bounce?

And if grass stops this so called "Bounce" then i'd be amazed since you can usually pull grass out by its roots pretty easy.
watersoul
Blaster wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
Blaster wrote:
One of my fire instructors always said "its not the fall that kills you, Its the sudden stop at the end"

Just thought i would point that out


When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing


Well then to go on the same fire instructor he always said "a ladder bounces, You don't."

Which if you think about it when was the last time you saw someone fall and bounce?

And if grass stops this so called "Bounce" then i'd be amazed since you can usually pull grass out by its roots pretty easy.


What if the "bounce" is more of an internal thing as tendon/cartilage/organs etc?
Sort of like the second collision the brain has with the inside of the skull after an impact injury maybe?

Thinking of it, I've never seen any bodies actually bounce after falling (apart from the head), although I've never seen anyone fall from hundreds or thousands of feet onto grass either.
I fell from about 30 feet once onto my back in low scrub and didn't bounce, just laid there dazed and sore looking at the stars. I won't use that low level example as a position of knowledge from great heights though so would be interested to hear any eyewitness accounts.
Blaster
watersoul wrote:


What if the "bounce" is more of an internal thing as tendon/cartilage/organs etc?
Sort of like the second collision the brain has with the inside of the skull after an impact injury maybe?

Thinking of it, I've never seen any bodies actually bounce after falling (apart from the head), although I've never seen anyone fall from hundreds or thousands of feet onto grass either.
I fell from about 30 feet once onto my back in low scrub and didn't bounce, just laid there dazed and sore looking at the stars. I won't use that low level example as a position of knowledge from great heights though so would be interested to hear any eyewitness accounts.


Well if you think about what happend on 9/11 with the twin towers people were jumping from the top stories and flying through the sidewalk and the dirt. So I believe him when he says that the human body doesn't bounce.

However you bring up a good point. It could be that the insides of you become like a fuzzed up TV. What I mean is it scrambles your intestines and all of that fun stuff. I am an EMT and know that we are supposed to do what is called a rapid trauma assessment on people. You can feel when things arn't right inside the body by simply feeling around the body.
pll
Im not afraid of falling but I don't like it when I dream that I fall from a building and I wake up right before landing!!
watersoul
Blaster wrote:
watersoul wrote:


What if the "bounce" is more of an internal thing as tendon/cartilage/organs etc?
Sort of like the second collision the brain has with the inside of the skull after an impact injury maybe?

Thinking of it, I've never seen any bodies actually bounce after falling (apart from the head), although I've never seen anyone fall from hundreds or thousands of feet onto grass either.
I fell from about 30 feet once onto my back in low scrub and didn't bounce, just laid there dazed and sore looking at the stars. I won't use that low level example as a position of knowledge from great heights though so would be interested to hear any eyewitness accounts.


Well if you think about what happend on 9/11 with the twin towers people were jumping from the top stories and flying through the sidewalk and the dirt. So I believe him when he says that the human body doesn't bounce.

However you bring up a good point. It could be that the insides of you become like a fuzzed up TV. What I mean is it scrambles your intestines and all of that fun stuff. I am an EMT and know that we are supposed to do what is called a rapid trauma assessment on people. You can feel when things arn't right inside the body by simply feeling around the body.


I'm sure you really can feel when its "not right" with the experience of your job, I've felt it once myself with a friend after a road accident so completely understand, in my limited experience way, what you mean.

Only ever saw the horrifying initial "jumping from window" 911 footage on TV so couldn't comment on what happened after the poor souls started falling, my imagination was saddening enough. With all tragic world events I usually only read information about the stories, and "watch" the edited bits on mainstream TV - more than that can make me too sad about situations I can't change.
Blaster
watersoul wrote:


I'm sure you really can feel when its "not right" with the experience of your job, I've felt it once myself with a friend after a road accident so completely understand, in my limited experience way, what you mean.

Only ever saw the horrifying initial "jumping from window" 911 footage on TV so couldn't comment on what happened after the poor souls started falling, my imagination was saddening enough. With all tragic world events I usually only read information about the stories, and "watch" the edited bits on mainstream TV - more than that can make me too sad about situations I can't change.


I Just remember when 9/11 was going on (now mind you i was quite young at the time) that you could hear in the unedited versions bodies falling through the air and smacking into the cement. I remember the reporters saying on tv how people were jumping and that was the sounds you were hearing. Though you really didn't see the bodies falling I doubt that if they were going through the cement that they were also bouncing at the same time.

I kind of picture it like a dart into a dart board
Parkour_Jarrod
back to the bouncing thing, you do bounce but only a little, see if you watch it in slow motion you will see the bounce, the bounce is like when you get punched, your face goes all weird and stuff
Like that...

and when you bounce its like that for your whole body and you only move a few mill of the ground before landing again... It happens so fast its invisible to the naked eye.[/url]
watersoul
Swaying back to the original subject "Fear of Heights or of Falling", I think that anyone, anywhere who has jumped from many many stories up must be absolutely desperate to do so.
...and I can't imagine the horrors they must have faced to make the decision to jump, ever.

@Vrythramax, you seem to be right, perhaps we may all have that inner fear of jumping/falling/landing, but it appears that there are also extreme situations in any human life that clearly have a greater fear for some of us sometimes.
watersoul
Parkour_Jarrod wrote:
back to the bouncing thing, you do bounce but only a little, see if you watch it in slow motion you will see the bounce, the bounce is like when you get punched, your face goes all weird and stuff
Like that...

and when you bounce its like that for your whole body and you only move a few mill of the ground before landing again... It happens so fast its invisible to the naked eye.


Excellent image & really interesting theory.
Thats exactly the kind of bounce I'm thinking of, it's amazingly fast and not really seen by the eye in a conflict (or sparring) situation because everything else is going so fast.
I'm only guessing, but I would bet the initial impact with the ground does a certain amount of damage, but as the body recoils (internally etc) there's a whole lot of damage happens as a secondary effect.

...oooh, now I know why I fear falling/landing!
missdixy
Vrythramax wrote:
Blaster wrote:
One of my fire instructors always said "its not the fall that kills you, Its the sudden stop at the end"

Just thought i would point that out


When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing


That is freaking terrifying.

Also what? there is a jump school? really? I guess it makes perfect sense so that jumpers in our military don't all end up getting killed by jumping but I guess I never thought about it hmmmm.
Nameless
I can't recall ever have nightmares about falling from heights, although I've certainly had some involving tripping and falling while some monster or another chases me. Well. I've had a few dreams where I've slowly fallen from SHORT distances after my attempts to fly prove only partially adequate, but that might be representative of something else. Laughing

The whole dying in dream -> dying in real life thing is a load of crap, I've 'died' in dreams before and floated around as a ghostly figure for a while, and I'm still typing this. APPARENTLY FROM THE GRAVE if you believe them.
standready
Vrythramax wrote:
When I was in jumpschool my DI (drill instructor) told us that " forget your prior belief that the sudden stop kills you, in fact it is when your body bounces after the initial impact (which breaks every bone in your body) that sends bone fragments through your body...so when you hit the ground GRAB GRASS to stop that bounce" Laughing


Thank you, Max for that wonderful image. That will turn my next falling dream into a total nightmare.
ocalhoun
watersoul wrote:

Thinking of it, I've never seen any bodies actually bounce after falling (apart from the head), although I've never seen anyone fall from hundreds or thousands of feet onto grass either.

Well, actually, I have seen (a video of) someone falling thousands of feet onto grass.
It was a skydiver who's chute didn't open at all. I'm sure it's on youtube somewhere.
And yes, he bounced quite nicely... 4 to 5 feet back into the air, I'd estimate. He landed belly-flop style on the first hit.
ProfessorY91
I'm going to go ahead and respond to the original post. I think its fantastic that someone finally made a topic about the difference between the fear of heights and fear of falling. Whenever I try to explain the difference (no matter how subtle) between the two to any friend, its always met with confusion or askance.

At the risk of becoming too nerdy, I'm going to start quoting frihost topics (and providing links) in my emails now.

I have a fear of falling. Not of heights. I love heights, but things go downhill once I'm in a free fall or off a diving board. I can't flail around, can't flip, can't twist myself, can't do anything except freeze (and fal into the water or whatever medium I've jumped off into (i.e. air, bungee jumping / skydiving). It sucks. It means that I can enjoy the build up in suspense right up until such an activity, but not enjoy the activity itself.

At least now I've lent some legitimacy to my claims with this post. Meh.
ankitdatashn
I too have those kinda dreams, many a times I really end up shaking up my whole body in fear trying to resist the fall. I usually wake up after slamming on the hard earth. I may not be able to say whether I like that feeling or not but I can say its a different experience as compared to the usual dreams! Smile
Nameless
ankitdatashn wrote:
I usually wake up after slamming on the hard earth. I may not be able to say whether I like that feeling or not

Wait, so there's a good chance you ENJOY the feeling of slamming into hard earth? O_o

Edit: Fixed quote.
Parkour_Jarrod
Nameless wrote:
[quote="ankitdatashn"I usually wake up after slamming on the hard earth. I may not be able to say whether I like that feeling or not

Wait, so there's a good chance you ENJOY the feeling of slamming into hard earth? O_o[/quote]

everyone has their quirks...
mtorregiani
I have had those kind of dreams in the past, they're terrible!
It's like you're falling from nowhere... and you get that adrenaline rush that makes it so real Shocked
By the way, I've never landed in those dreams... I wake up before that moment...
deanhills
mtorregiani wrote:
I have had those kind of dreams in the past, they're terrible!
It's like you're falling from nowhere... and you get that adrenaline rush that makes it so real Shocked
By the way, I've never landed in those dreams... I wake up before that moment...
Maybe there is a lesson about dreaming in this that one can only really hit earth if the falling had not been that traumatic. If the falling was that much of a trauma in a nightmare then one would have to wake up from it before you hit earth?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
mtorregiani wrote:
I have had those kind of dreams in the past, they're terrible!
It's like you're falling from nowhere... and you get that adrenaline rush that makes it so real Shocked
By the way, I've never landed in those dreams... I wake up before that moment...
Maybe there is a lesson about dreaming in this that one can only really hit earth if the falling had not been that traumatic. If the falling was that much of a trauma in a nightmare then one would have to wake up from it before you hit earth?

Indeed... perhaps the terror reaches a level that will trigger waking up.
TurtleShell
I almost never dream of falling--I almost always dream of being chased or pursued, and sometimes I dream of attacking my pursuers. I tend to turn on my pursuers and use whatever force I can to drive them down, often using my teeth. It's weird--in my dreams, I'm usually chased and chased, but if they chase long enough and I start to feel cornered enough, I will turn and attack with great force, sometimes assuming that I'm going to die. But I don't think I've ever died in a dream, but that's odd since...I think I've dreamed of almost everything.

When I do dream of falling, it's usually something that happens very quickly, and I don't see the falling happening--but I do feel it. The falling never has anything to do with the plot line of the dream--in fact, the falling part is usually what happens after I realize that I'm waking up. It's like my body's way of jerking me out of sleep.

And then I really do jerk awake, and sometimes I then wake up the person in the bed with me, which she finds annoying.
[FuN]goku
Vrythramax wrote:

How many of you out there have had these dreams (of falling)? Have you ever landed, or do you wake before?
I have them quite frequently actually (couple times a week), sometimes I land, sometimes I wake up before I hit the bottom of whatever I'm falling from. Nothing usually happens when I land, since usually if I've fallen in a dream , it usually means I'm having an epic battle with someone (think Dragonball Z). If I do wake up, I usually have a huge adrenaline rush, which is awesome.

Vrythramax wrote:

How many *LIKE* that feeling of the tightening of the stomach and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it?

I love it.

Vrythramax wrote:
Too further...how many have a fear of heights?

It really depends on what's below me. Like, I remember when I was younger, I got to go inside a lumber mill, and see the different areas in it, and in one of the buildings, the floor was essentially a bunch of steel grates (you could see right through them), and below was saws and stuff, which was pretty creepy.
goutha
I also have that fear, but it's not a big deal. I just don't put my self in this kind of situlation... that's all.
iman
Unfortunately, I had no such dream.
I actually wanted to jump from a building before just to get the feeling, but I'd die Sad
Ghost900
I don't really have a fear of falling or of height that I know of, I dream more about flying than of falling. I do have a respect of heights though meaning I am very careful on heights but I don't really fear it. When I was younger I had a pretty big fear of heights and was terrified when I attempted to go up a fire tower when I was camping. I clean gutters as part of my work now so I am used to being two or so levels up (16 - 18 feet up) which is not that far down but if I fell I wouldn't be in to good of shape.
speeDemon
Quite frankly if there is some protective system(or in simple words a railing, in most cases), then I have no fear of heights/falling, but other than that, it does make my body shiver a bit.

About the dreams.. well, yes I've also had some of those dreams. But to add a little bit to it, I've also had some dreams in which I slip from the stairs, and I instantly wake up, finding my leg actually moving as if it slipped Shocked , sometimes I also have cramps. I also used to have kind of nighmares with ghosts in them, and they always ended the same way, me running, and then waking up, oddly enough, I could 'control' my waking up. Seriously, I could.
standready
I just went to the Willis (former Sears) tower in Chicago. The observation deck has a glass floor overhang so you can look straight down. Did not bother me. Pretty cool actually.
soljarag
i dont really have a fear of heights... but i do have a fear of falling..... if I know I'm pretty secure, I could be 100 feet in the air, and not care....


However if i'm on a ledge 6 feet in the air, not secured to anything.... thats not fun Smile
trung23
Maybe i have dreamt of it but after a dream, we usually forget what we just have dreamt. I think sometimes i landed but i don't remember.
And fear of heights? just 2 meters in the air makes me thrilled
icechild
I thought i was the only one with fall dreams but i guess i've discovered that i ain't!

In my case, i must confess i love the feeling of falling. Makes me feel like i'm sinking into my bed (which i sometimes wish i could really do).
I usually wake up just before i hit the ground and sometimes i wake with a smile on my face.
I really don't think i have fear a of heights but i do believe i have fear of falling.
I hve never fell from a high point before (don't pray to)! But who knows i might just turn out to be a falling andrenaline junkie.

Fear of heights is totally difeent from fear of falling.

Totally!!!
eneka38
I have never dreamt of falling from a great height, but I have had several dreams in which I wake up just before something bad happens.

But I kinda get excited when looking down from a very tall building. I get a mixture of fear and excitement but I think it is more of excitement.

Also, when I watch movies where people fall from great heights, I also feel as if i were the one falling.
deanhills
eneka38 wrote:
But I kinda get excited when looking down from a very tall building. I get a mixture of fear and excitement but I think it is more of excitement.

Also, when I watch movies where people fall from great heights, I also feel as if i were the one falling.
I also feel excited when I look down from a tall building or even a mountain. I feel totally empowered - almost like being on top of things .... Smile

I like the movies where the guys fall from a high building, but somehow miraculously make it to a swimming pool just below. But when they falls on terra firma, or hit a car on their way down, then I just feel sorry for the guys. I also like the movies where they use parachutes in very artful ways to drop down on buildings so they can rob whatever they have planned to rob.
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