Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Fear of Crossing Bridges with Coping Strategies

Expert in mental health identifies common diagnosis of bridge phobia

People who are afraid of crossing bridges are not uncommon. The fear of bridges, also known as Gephyrophobia, can be debilitating for some individuals. This anxiety disorder became 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 explained that witnessing such an event can trigger confirmation anxiety, where a person’s worst fear is confirmed right before their eyes. Powell emphasized that this diagnosis is common and 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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