Basiphobia (or Basophobia) is a term used to define the fear of walking or standing up.
The origin of the word bas is Greek (meaning stepping) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear).
Basiphobia is closely related to:
- Ambulophobia, Stasibasiphobia, Stasiphobia – the fear of walking or standing
- Bathmophobia – the fear of stairs or steep slopes
- Barophobia – the fear of loss of gravity
Symptoms of Basiphobia
As with any phobia, the symptoms vary from person-to-person, depending upon the level of fear.
- Grasping for something to hold on to
- Panic attacks
- Rapid heart rate
- Shallow breathing
- Chest pains
Basiphobia victims experience deep and uncontrollable anxiety at the idea of walking or standing. They display irritability and anger toward family or loved ones who encourage them to walk. In extreme cases, the individual concerned simply refuses to walk or move.
Many patients end up being bedridden due to their condition and as a result may be unable to use the bathroom or do other necessary tasks. This phobia can severely impact the sufferer’s daily functioning as they become dependent on caregivers. Sufferers of the phobia know that the fear is irrational, but are powerless to overcome it.
Causes of Basiphobia
In most cases, a person experiencing the extreme fear of falling has either been injured or immobilized due to an accident or disease such as arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis. These are all medical issues that can lead to intense pain while walking. Even though the body is healed, the mind of the phobia sufferer continues to lack confidence.
Fear of bone demineralization can also lead to Basiphobia. The individual experiences negative thoughts of excruciating pain that the mind has learned to develop as a response and it becomes difficult to unlearn these thoughts. Apart from traumatic experiences, an individual might also develop the phobia due to heredity or genetic predispositions. In many instances, an adrenal insufficiency can also lead to this phobia.
Elderly patients with severe cases of Parkinson’s disease experience tremors or shaking that lead to falls and broken bones. They tend to develop the phobia because of these experiences.
Advertisements for emergency alarm devices (made for the elderly) often depict elderly people who have fallen and are unable to get up. This can instill fear in the mind of an older person living alone especially if s/he is prone to anxiety. Movies and news reports about death of elderly people due to bad falls can also instill the phobia. A disabled wheelchair bound person might have seen another disabled individual trying to stand up and subsequently fall which can also instill a deep fear in the observer’s mind.
People of all ages can develop Basiphobia. It is common in individuals working in construction industries or even sports professionals where the person may have faced a debilitating injury while on scaffoldings placed at a great height or during a game.
How to Overcome Basiphobia
Physiotherapy is the most effective solution to overcome the fear of standing or walking. Other mental therapies include talk therapy, counseling, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) which can be used in combination with physical therapy.
Hypnotherapy can also help get to the bottom of the fear to help the individual relearn ‘responding’ to his/her fear. Family and loved ones play an important role in encouraging and boosting the confidence and morale of the person experiencing such a fear.
Many drugs and medications can also be taken to overcome anxiety linked with this condition. However, these have several side effects and are only effective for short term purpose rather than being a long-term solution.