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Author Topic: Fear of Vastness?  (Read 2914 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Fear of Vastness?
« on: May 12, 2012, 09:58:19 AM »
I'm having trouble finding the term for a phobia I have. I've had it for as long as I can remember (and I think it may have been exacerbated by a particular memory from a game when I was little) and the closest I can come to is Megalophobia.

In short, I'm afraid of vastness. I say it that way because something simply being large doesn't quite describe it. If I look at a massive crane or building, it doesn't do much for me. Standing on it, I'd be terrified, but I'm a mile in the air Dx For something to unsettle me, it usually has to be empty space of some kind. Like, if I'm walking at night and see down a hill a massive and completely empty car park. The huge space becomes a sort of void to me... it seriously feels like going near it could get me sucked in or lost. Its never been 'terrifying' for me, but it makes the hairs on my neck stand up if I need to go into a place like this.

Sports stadiums, halls, beaches, anything that opens suddenly to an empty, self contained area. Just being in a city is nothing, because there's so much happening, you could never forget your in a built up, populated area. But if the car park is in the right spot, it can make it seem like its own place, disconnected from everything else. Same with a field, if there's nothing else around nearby. It just sort of becomes... I don't know, a realm. One I'm not welcome in.

When I was visiting family, they were watching Journey to the Edge of the Universe on a very large HDTV. It's a CGI documentary about space, where you practically fly over the surface of the sun and comet tails and such. The sheer size and scope and emptiness of it (not helped by the MASSIVE TV) just made me feel so uneasy...

I'm just curious what you'd CALL this. Megalophobia doesn't really fit, and its as close as I've come.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 10:12:53 AM »
It sounds like a form of agoraphobia.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 10:22:47 AM »
Found the documentary.

http://youtu.be/wGCOmVQiRNY?t=1h2m52s

I've linked it to the part where I honestly considered leaving the room. That thing was like staring into Evil fucking Incarnate.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 10:35:34 AM »
I have a recurring dream of being alone in a vast field of wheat that stretches to the horizon all around me and the sky is the only thing above me.  There are no other features to the landscape, no contour or projections and no clouds or objects in the sky.  None of this affects me in the waking world but agoraphobia and aeroacrophobia would be the fears of these things.  There is also agyrophobia which is a fear of streets or crossing the street.  You may be experiencing aspects of several phobias rather than just one.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 02:16:21 PM »
None of this affects me in the waking world but agoraphobia and aeroacrophobia would be the fears of these things. 

I look up unfamiliar words as a hobby.

Aeroacrophobia is also known as:

    The fear of openness
    The fear of open spaces
    The fear of high places
    Phobia of open high spaces

This sounds a lot like what you're describing, which would roll it all down into one phobia again.

Offline Martee

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 10:15:13 PM »
I spent the first twenty-five years of my life in NYC, which is a pretty congested place to live.  From there I moved to Tucson, which is a world apart, in many many ways.

I can't say I ever feared standing in the open desert, nothing in any direction but wide open space, under a huge sky that stretched, visually, from horizon to horizon... but it certainly made you feel very small and insignificant.  There were many days when I drove out into the nothing and just stared up into oblivion.  It's an incredible feeling- overwhelming, lonely, powerful.  I can certainly understand someone experiencing that and having it trigger fear.

Offline Nexus1199

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 01:36:10 PM »
When I was a little kid, I would be terrified of empty spaces because I had that over active imagination that would lead to strange thoughts. I would almost involuntarily duck and start running across or around the place out of fear. I had this odd thought that a sniper was going to shoot me dead if they ever got a clean shot.

That weird fear has translated into something similar to what you described Sabby, but to a lesser degree. I do not even get my hairs standing up and it has to be a physical place- I become slightly uneasy and the slight compulsion to know where everything is.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 01:48:10 PM »
When I gave, I never enter the wider areas without exploring the fringes first... so much of my personality is reflected in how I game xD

So, Aeroacrophobia. Sounds quotable enough. Thank you ^^

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 03:21:54 PM »
The ocean gives me a similar feeling, but not quite fear. It's wonderment at the size and depth of it, and fear of the creatures in it moreso.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 03:33:15 PM »
Yeah, the deep ocean does it for me as well... had a dream once when I was young that I was floating in the ocean, a dozen or so meters under the surface, and it was during a storm, so the waves could be seen and felt, but it was relatively calm where I was, and near pitch black. Small rays of light made it through, but nothing else. There was this sensation of movement around me, like being blindfolded in the middle of a busy intersection, and with the roaring of the rain and waves, my senses were really confused... and then there was a crack of lighting, and below me, so large that I couldn't see all of it even if I were to turn my head all the way around, was a gigantic squid.

It's tentacles were thick like skyscrapers and thrashing cumbersomely, just this colossal weight crashing through the water and sending waves with it's passing, and directly forward and down was the centre of it, and instead of a beak, there was two gigantic, black, round eyes, and a low moan, echoing like a whales song, almost human, but impossible to mistake for it.

No, I never read Cthulhu in year 5 -.- I just got an early start on my unique flavour of fucked up, apparently.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 03:34:39 PM »
Didn't happen to get a glimpse of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, did you?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 03:36:04 PM »
I saw The Sphere. Does that count? ^^'

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 03:39:50 PM »
I saw The Sphere. Does that count? ^^'

Don't watch The Abyss!

I watched a special on the Giant Squid/Colossal Squid once, holy crap. If I ever saw that thing in person I might cry. Luckily it stays very deep in the ocean (usually).

I can go on whale watching and deep sea fishing trips though oddly enough.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 03:48:38 PM »
I saw The Sphere. Does that count? ^^'

Probably.  I listened to the abridged audio book for that one, so I don't remember it too well.

Offline Missy

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 06:12:15 PM »
Sphere, the book was better than the movie, but it's probably not a good read if your phobic of the ocean or aliens.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 09:10:53 AM »
Sphere, the book was better than the movie, but it's probably not a good read if your phobic of the ocean or aliens.

The book was much better, but then again I think almost all books are superior to the movies. Jurassic Park and The Lost World are this way as well, JP is much more brutal than the family-friendly movie.

Offline Nexus1199

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 10:40:55 AM »
The book was much better, but then again I think almost all books are superior to the movies. Jurassic Park and The Lost World are this way as well, JP is much more brutal than the family-friendly movie.

Unfortunately that is the case with a lot of books translated into movies, if you take a look at Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and put it up with the movie, it was a lot less orientated around the more adult/darker themes. Hell if you were to take the Hunger games or possibly the Bourne movies and compare them to the books, they are both worse and less gruesome.

It would be interesting if a movie made two cuts, one that is family friendly and then one that is much closer to the nature of the books.

The Space Oddessy books by Aurther C. Clark give a pretty good detail of the vastness of the universe.

Online Oreo

Re: Fear of Vastness?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2012, 01:59:26 PM »
I can understand the sensation and how it could overwhelm you. Having always been a person that likes valleys I was surprised at the feeling of being exposed when I (got married and) moved to the tip-top of a treeless mountain. I felt like a bug ready to have its limbs and wings pinned to a board for examination. It was very disconcerting and took quite some time to get used to. >_> I'm glad I am back living in the valley part of the mountains.