Mini-Guide: What Is Escalaphobia (Fear Of Escalators)?

Last Update on June 14, 2024 : Published on June 15, 2024

Have you ever seen people struggling with escalators or elevators in the airport, malls, and other places? Some of them develop a fear of escalators known as escalaphobia. Escalaphobia makes people uncomfortable around escalators. Such people have an intense phobia of escalators that impacts their overall quality of life.

Thinking of escalators, hearing the sound of escalators, or being exposed to escalators triggers chronic stress and fear in them. Prevalence-related research of escalaphobia shows that around 10,000 escalator-related injuries are reported every year which might also result in the development of escalaphobia.

In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at escalaphobia, its causes, and more. So, let’s get started!

What is Escalaphobia?

Escalaphobia (fear of escalaphobia) is one of the common phobias despite its recurrent usage across the globe. Fear of escalators is a type of specific phobia which is an excessive and intense fear of escalators or elevators. Escalaphobia can be divided into two types based on severity, mild escalaphobia and severe escalaphobia.

Both types of escalaphobia can be treated and managed effectively with the help of therapy and self-help techniques. The main cause behind the development of escalaphobia can be the range of misunderstandings revolving around their construction and movement. Escalaphobia is not listed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition Updated Version (DSM-5-TR).

However, the diagnosis can be made through the help of a specific phobias list.

Other Related Phobias to Escalaphobia

In some cases, escalaphobia can also be related to other phobias such as:

  • Acrophobia: Fear of Heights
  • Bathmophobia: Fear of Stairs and Slopes
  • Basophobia: Fear of Falling
  • Claustrophobia: Fear of Elevators or confined spaces
  • Climacophobia: Fear of Climbing
  • Elevatophobia: Fear of elevators
  • Illyngophobia: Fear of Vertigo

Symptoms of Escalaphobia

Below listed are some of the important symptoms of escalaphobia:

  • Anxiety or panicking
  • Avoiding escalators at all costs
  • Feeling dizzy or nauseated
  • Shivering or trembling
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of Escalaphobia

Research shows that different factors are responsible for the development of escalaphobia:

  • Balance difficulties: The sensation of losing balance, dizziness, or confusion caused while stepping onto an escalator is known as a broken escalator phenomenon. This results in stepping onto an escalator inappropriately.
  • Lack of depth perception: Amblyopia also known as lazy eye causes vision loss in the weaker eye which reduces depth perception and can also result in the development of escalaphobia.
  • Medical vertigo: Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or motion causing dizziness. Lightheadedness is not related to vertigo; instead, it is the sensation of things spinning around them. Medical vertigo can also be the main factor behind the development of escalaphobia.
  • Myths related to escalators: Myths related to escalators such as escalators moving too fast or escalators may flatten out people can be one of the main factors behind the development of escalators.
  • Sensory troubles: Sensory-related troubles such as overstimulated senses may result in the development of escalaphobia.
  • Traumatic history or experience related to escalators: Traumatic history such as falling off an escalator, getting injured, and others can also play an important role in the development of escalaphobia.
  • Vision troubles: Vision troubles such as lack of proper eyesight can also be the main reason behind the development of escalaphobia.
  • Witnessing a negative experience related to escalators: Seeing a loved one falling from the escalators or getting injured can also be one of the major reasons behind the development of escalaphobia.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Escalaphobia

If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with fear of escalators, the first thing is to determine the severity of escalaphobia. In mild cases, escalaphobia can be effectively managed with exposure techniques; however, severe escalaphobia might need proper diagnosis and treatment.

In such cases, connect with a mental health professional or health practitioner to rule out the presence of other medical conditions. The diagnostic criteria of escalaphobia may involve:

  • The phobia must last longer than 6 months.
  • The presence of phobia must be so severe that it impacts the overall functioning and quality of life.
  • The presence of phobia must not correlate with the presence of other health conditions.

Coming forth to the treatment process, severe escalaphobia needs professional assistance for better recovery. In such cases, therapy options are used such as:

Quick-Takeaway: Self-Help Strategies to Overcome Fear of Escalators

Here is a quick guide to overcoming the fear of escalators:

  • While using escalators, keep your face forward and take the help of a
  • Avoid looking down; instead, keep your face forward.
  • Always wear comfortable clothes and shoes while using escalators
  • Avoid escorting strollers or carts on escalators
  • To overcome negative thoughts, start journaling.
  • Meditate to keep yourself fresh throughout.

I hope this blog helps you understand escalaphobia. Comment down and share your views on the same. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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