Monday, March 16, 2015

Fear of Falling

Lyn seems to have developed a fear of falling recently.  So far, it seems limited to falling from an upper level of a building to a lower level.  We're not sure the full scope but it seems to be triggered if she's able to see down into the lower levels, particularly if the railing is framing large plexiglass or glass panels which provide you with an unobstructed view down.

This came to our attention last week when the staff at day hab took a group of clients to the mall.  Lyn apparently told the staff that she was uncomfortable as they went upstairs but didn't elaborate on why she was uncomfortable.  Perhaps she was unsure of it herself.  Going into a store didn't calm her down and by the time they arrived downstairs, she was on the verge of tears.

The mall they visited has been renovated with more glass.  Lyn can't see the glass and is convinced there's huge open spaces for her to fall through.

Mom spoke with Lyn's behavior therapist to get her thoughts because that therapist frequently takes Lyn to the same mall when they need to do walking exercises.  She also commented on Lyn's increasing anxiety when they go further into the mall than the first floor.  She had not made the connection that the anxiety was a result of a fear of falling.

Currently, Lyn is refusing to visit the mall again.  Hopefully, the staff can help work her though this and let her just visit the bottom floor because it is a good place for her to walk if the weather is not conducive to being outdoors.

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