For a surprising number of people, simply leaving the house can be a traumatic experience. Agoraphobia can strike at any time, without warning, and in the most extreme of cases leave a person housebound. A rare form of this phobia can manifest itself in the fear of crossing bridges.
In mild cases, the phobia can be manageable, and many people are able to control their anxieties and live a seemingly normal day to day life. This does not mean that feelings of being exposed and unnecessarily vulnerable are eradicated however.
Because of this variety of severity, people’s behavior can vary greatly. The most common symptoms are anxiety and depression which are easily treated through prescription medicines. However, many sufferers develop deeper psychological problems such as obsessive compulsive disorders and social phobias.
Where the phobia is a constant, sufferers can appear depersonalized and become aggressive. Despite this being a reaction to their internal fears; society sees a problem person and reacts in a negative, often violent way.
Whilst unusual, gephyrophobia, or the fear of crossing bridges, is quite a common complaint. It is more to do with the fear of being in a vulnerable position, with no ready exit from a potential problem, rather than one of fear of high places or dangerous falls however.
There are many treatments and therapies that can help in severe cases; ranging from drugs, cognitive behavior therapy and psychotherapy. Treatment prescribed will be dependent on the severity of the case, personal circumstance and the age of the sufferer.
Whilst worrying, agoraphobia and particularly the fear of crossing bridges does not have to rule the lives of sufferers. If you are worried you are developing such a fear, or any other phobia, it is highly advisable to seek consultation with your doctor who is best placed to advise the most appropriate treatment.