Fay Nugent talks about how she developed a fear of heights in her 30s, when she had gone for an outing. During some adventure activity, when she had to step on ropes, she was unable to do it. She had a feeling of illness and panic take a hold of her. Gradually, the feeling worsened and eventually it became so bad that she was not able to sit on higher seats in stadiums.
Fay, who was 48 years old and worked in malaria research at Oxford University, was a severe patient of acrophobia, an irrational fear of heights. She got careful of fearful situations. The fearful situations also included taking escalators, and especially the ones moving downward, where she had a feeling of being pulled downwards.
After this, Fay came to know about some kind of therapy to treat such phobia, the trails for which were being conducted in the same university. She requested to be a part of it and was asked to join, where she was made a part of the control group and not the group which will be undergoing the treatment and will get to use the new innovation.
This new innovation involved use of virtual reality programs for treating the fear of heights. As a part of the treatment, the treatment group of 44 people was made subjected to five to six sessions of 30 minutes each, spread over a period of two weeks. As published by The Lancet Psychiatry, the results are substantial, with more than 70% of the group did not have any fear of the heights.
Fay, after the previous set of treatment ended, was offered to be a part of the treatment group and she became a part of it. She also has managed to get rid of the fear of height now.