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Climacophobia is the fear of climbing, especially using stairs. Climacophobia is distinct from bathmophobia, the fear of stairs themselves. Climacophobia is usually traced back to a negative experience, like falling down the stairs or having difficult time to climb stairs. The fear is also triggered by others, like witnessing somebody falling down stairs (in person or through media) or the other people he/she knows is suffering from climacophobia.
Sufferers of climacophobia, if left untreated, end up limiting their activities and avoiding occupations that require the use of stairs or ladders. Sufferers tend to rely on elevators or disability-access ramps rather than stairs. Like acrophobia (fear of heights), sufferers of climacophobia panic when getting high up. Climacophobes tend to suffer from dizziness resembling vertigo when looking down stairs.
Climacophobia can be treated using cognitive-behavioral therapy, either independently or in tandem with other techniques. CBT can help sufferers stop negative thoughts about climbing while changing behaviors. Other treatment options include relaxation techniques, talk therapy, and medication for people who suffer severely from climacophobia.