Elevators Terrify Me

I am new to the group. I am 47 years old and have a great family and hold down a decent job. Over the last several years I have developed an intense fear of elevators and avoid them at all cost. In my life I have been briefly stuck two times, once in high school when a bunch of us crammed an elevator on a field trip and got stuck for about 5 minutes and the other at a hotel with two of my boys. Neither lasted very long but I am sure it helped develop my fear. I get very tense when even thinking about having to ride one and always look for the stairs option no matter where we go. Recently, my mother was hospitalized and I knew I had to go see her. Embarassing as it is, my anxiety was not over my mother's heart condition but rather the fact that I might have to ride an elevator to see her. When we got there I found some stairs that got me to her 4th floor room but when I went to leave the stairwell was locked and alarmed. My wife actually had to go to a desk and have them call security to open up the stariwell and walk me down. Needless to say, it was totallly humiliated and envisioned the staff talking about me as I descended. I have to get over this and want so badly to be carefree when I ride. I hate feeling the way I do and could envision a panic attack if I am forced to ride one in the future.

rsd427 rsd427
3 Responses Feb 22, 2010

you are telling my story I am going to start seeing a therapist next week I want to overcome this... I can not find anyone to talk to about this because if you don't have it you don't understand.

Gooo for you. I wish you the best of luck. I have not taken any steps to cure my fear but I really need to whip this soon. I did ride up one floor last summer at the urging of my sons. I was scared to death but it felt so good to accomplish this small step. Keep me posted on yours progress.

thanks I will keep you posted.I believe there is a solution I hope I can find it.

I fully understand. Due to childhood and young adult experiences, I am severely claustrophobic. This past weekend I got stuck in a hotel elevator for almost 45 minutes and the fire department had to get me out. It seemed like a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is the second time I've been trapped in an elevator in the past five years. I have severe autoimmune arthritis and chose the extremely painful alternative of taking the stairs rather than getting back in an elevator this weekend. It makes me anxious to even THINK of getting in one again!

I have the same fear and have had it all my life. I totally hate it. I haven't been in an elevator since I was 14 and am now 62. I have avoided them all my life. When I was about 4 years old I apparently was locked in a closet by some kids and don't remember the incident. The fear is there, but I can't seem to get over it. I have tried all types of therapy, but have not been successful. I am now taking Effxor and it does help a little. Sometimes the stairway are hard for me to handle. I can't even go on an airplane and have missed out on so many vacations. I have a great husband who has been supportive all these years. Littlea1949

I am a producer at Anderson Coopers new talk show and am looking for people with fears of elevators. I would love to hear more about your story! please contact me- shana.slutsky@andersoncooper.com