Overcoming Gephyrophobia: Strategies for Coping with the Fear of Crossing Bridges

Expert in mental health identifies common diagnosis of bridge phobia

The fear of crossing bridges is a common phobia, with many individuals experiencing anxiety when faced with the prospect of traversing these structures. However, bridge collapses are extremely rare, and for some people, the fear of experiencing one is very real.

Gephyrophobia is a diagnosis for those who are afraid of crossing bridges. This phobia has become more prevalent after a ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing it to collapse and leaving six workers missing and presumed dead. Mental health therapist Jay Powell notes that witnessing such an event can trigger confirmation anxiety, where a person’s worst fear is confirmed right before their eyes. Powell emphasizes that this diagnosis can be challenging to cope with for those affected.

In Jacksonville, residents shared their feelings about traveling across bridges in the city. While some like Neil Weinreb don’t experience anxiety when crossing most bridges, others like Bernard Tebo express concerns about maritime traffic possibly causing accidents. To cope with bridge-related anxiety, Powell suggests focusing on a local point or listening to music to distract from feelings of nausea or dizziness. By adopting these coping strategies, individuals can navigate their fear of crossing bridges more effectively.

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