People with barophobia fear gravity. They worry that gravity will cause a fall that leads to serious injury or death. Or they fear that gravity may topple a heavy object onto them. A person with barophobia may also be frightened of images of outer space where gravity doesn’t exist. A traumatic accident may cause a fear of gravity. Psychotherapies can help.
People who have barophobia have an intense fear of gravity. The word combines two Greek words: “baros” means pressure or weight, and “phobos” means fear.
A person with a fear of gravity may be afraid to do certain activities or go certain places. They may be fearful of:
People who have phobias, a type of anxiety disorder, develop an extreme fear of something that isn’t harmful. Barophobia is a specific phobic disorder that causes a fear of something in the natural environment.
It’s hard knowing exactly how many people have a specific phobia, like barophobia. Many people may keep this fear to themselves or may not recognize they have it. We do know that about 1 in 10 American adults and 1 in 5 teenagers will deal with a specific phobia disorder at some point in their lives, though.
You may be more likely to develop barophobia or another specific phobic disorder if you:
Many people have more than one phobia. These phobias are often connected. Someone who has a fear of gravity may also have:
A traumatic experience may cause you to fear gravity. Potential barophobia causes include:
People with phobias typically recognize that their fear is irrational. But this doesn’t make it easy to control their physical reactions when something triggers their fear.
Symptoms may include:
There aren’t any tests to diagnose the fear of gravity. Your healthcare provider can diagnose the condition based on discussions with you about:
You may have a specific phobic disorder if you have:
A mental health professional can help you overcome this fear of gravity. Treatments include:
An extreme fear of gravity may make you afraid to leave places that you deem safe. This can trigger another phobia called agoraphobia. Your need to feel secure may cause you to stay home to avoid falling or encountering phobia triggers. This avoidance can cause you to miss out on fun or necessary parts of life.
Phobic disorders also increase your risk of:
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A fear of gravity can make you afraid to venture out and try new things. You may excessively worry that gravity will make you fall or make a heavy object fall on top of you. A previous traumatic incident involving a fall or another accident may lead to barophobia. A mental health provider like a psychologist can use treatment like talk therapy and exposure therapy to help you overcome a fear of gravity.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/22/2022.
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