Fandango’s Provocative Question #172

Do you have any phobias? If so, have you had these phobias all your life or have the developed or evolved as you’ve aged?

Definition of phobia:” It’s an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. A phobia is not just being afraid or fearful of something. It’s extreme and/or irrational.”

Basophobia-Fear of Falling

Photo by Tim Grundtner on

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fear of falling. I used to think it was fear of heights but it isn’t. I’m fine in a plane or an elevator even going up to the top of a skyscraper. In fact I have enjoyed the view from several towers over the years. But, I’m scared of going down an escalator. I can cope with going up but getting on one to go down is very difficult for me. I can’t climb a ladder past the first two or three steps and not at all if there is nothing to hold on to. As I’ve got older this seems to have become worse.

There are a lot of things that my fear has meant I haven’t tried. I never learned to ride a bicycle for example and I have never ridden in a chairlift. I’m fine with Observation Wheels and glass elevators though.

One of the observation pods on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

As you can imagine this makes everyday tasks difficult at times. Take changing light bulbs for example. The old house in Geeveston had high ceilings in half the house while in the other half the ceilings were about a foot lower. I could change some of the bulbs in those rooms but only if the fitting was near a wall so I could put my hand on it. The other part was more difficult. I used to be able to climb up on a table to do it but later, as kneeling became more difficult I was afraid to do that. I didn’t feel safe standing on the table even though I was on a flat, stable surface. I worried about how I would get down. David tried to support me while I used the ladder but I became panicky and had to come down. If you are wondering why he did not do the job it is because the ladder would not support his weight. In the end I would ask friends or even random tradespeople who came to the house to change a blown bulb for me. Thank goodness for long life globes.

If I have to use an escalator the only way I can get on it is to count myself on out loud. I feel anxious that I might put a foot on the join and be tripped up. I try to avoid using them so of course now that I don’t use them as often they frighten me even more.


I can no longer enjoy the view from the top deck of a bus. I can get up the stairs but coming down, especially if the bus is moving is too scary for me. It’s even worse if there is a narrow stairway or ladder on a boat for example where it’s necessary to come out backwards.

When I worked for the railways I had to climb out of trains that way a lot. I could do it then although I didn’t really like it. Now I’m twenty five years older and heavier and I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t trust my body I guess.

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.
Redhen Railcars Wikimedia Commons. -Getting off one of these in the rail yard was a challenge.

I guess some fear or caution now that I’m older is not that unusual but I have been this way for most of my life. I haven’t had a full blown panic attack but I have experienced an increased heart rate, and increased rate of breathing when attempting any of these things.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. I know many people have many phobias or parts of phobias but the fear of falling…I think I have that. I love being up high if I know I am secured in. I love ski lifts, because they have that bar. But I don’t think I have it completely like you do. I can do escalators. I have a hard time with ladders but once I am up the ladder I am okay. I cannot climb down them! So, I don’t know what it is when you know you have an un-rational fear but you don’t have the “whole” thing. Is it still a phobia?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t really have a “fear” of falling, but now that I’m older and my bones are more fragile, I am more cautious than I used to be and when I do have to get up on a ladder (to change batteries in our smoke detectors, for example), I will engage my wife as my spotter. And I take my time to lesson the likelihood of taking a fall. Thanks for participating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is a good idea to have someone nearby when you are on a ladder. I find it hard to even watch someone else on one. We had a man come and fill the water tanks not long ago and I hated seeing him up the ladder because it looked so awkward manipulating the big hose.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fascinating read! I didn’t know there was a ‘phobia for that”, but recently I’ve come to understand very well indeed, your fear of it. Something undignified as well as potentially harmful in falling down. Not to mentioned the scare it gives a person. My sympathies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m afraid of falling, but it’s not a phobia. It’s because I have fallen a few times and damaged pieces of me. I’m specially afraid of going downstairs. Up isn’t so bad, but down I have a mental image of me falling and breaking any number of things. I don’t think mine is a phobia, though. It’s based on painful experiences I don’t want to repeat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is natural to be afraid of falling if you have had falls in the past or are vulnerable but when you get nervous watching someone else on a ladder that’s phobia I think.


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