What is Coasterphobia?

A coasterphobia is a type of phobia of people having the fear of roller coasters. LaMarcus Adna Thompson invented roller coasters in 1885, and throughout the years roller coasters has been upgraded to it being bigger and faster than it ever was before. Roller Coasters are much more advanced now since people have become more creative with their inventions. This research paper will be talking about how people start suffering from coasterphobia as well as their experiences with roller coasters, how scientists studied our brains in terms of how it works during the ride, and how people can get rid of their coasterphobia.

Coasterphobia usually occurs on people based on their awful experiences with roller coasters as a child. Childhood experiences will create barriers that will leave memories for people in adulthood because, it is a way of remembering what gave them the horrific experiences in the first place. Experiences such as being stuck really high up during the ride or breaking down. Roller Coasters can be too thrilling, scary, overwhelming, and uncomfortable for people. Not only that, but people begin to suffer roller coasters when their family and friends are forcing them to ride them. Forcing people to ride instead of motivating them will cause a huge impact on how they take on roller coasters. As well as when their family and friends laugh at them for being scared and when they don’t take them seriously. Coasterphobia can also occur when they felt dizzy during the ride because of the sharp turns, drops, and loops, which also can cause them to throw up. This type of phobia can make people feel dizziness, sweat [their] hands, armpits, hair, and back – also imagining their outcome which is death (Says et al., 2014). They may also gain this phobia while watching videos of roller coasters crashing and people getting stuck on rides for hours. According to Lisa Fritscher who wrote an article called Roller Coaster Phobia, there are other phobias that can lead to having coasterphobias such as: acrophobia which is fear of heights, illyngophobia which is when people are afraid of looking down, claustrophobia when people are uncomfortable with tight spaces so while waiting in line with a lot of people, social phobia which is when people are afraid to be judged from screaming too loud or cringing, mysophobia which is fear of germs, and lastly emetophobia which is fear of vomiting (2018). Roller Coasters can be fun and exciting, but it is not for everyone.

During every roller coaster ride that people experience throughout their lifetime, our brains are working to help us cope with the sensation of the ride. The brain is processing the action so that it knows how to react and activate during the ride. Philip Palumbo who is a psychologist researched that each of our central core structures of the brain are activated while riding a rollercoaster such as the medulla controls the breathing, maintaining heartbeat, and a steady blood pressure (2012). As well as the cerebellum by regulating body motion, basal ganglia by sending cues for people to grip the handlebars, hypothalamus by preventing people from vomiting or fainting, broca’s area by allowing people to scream, or visual cortex where its help is to measure the speed, factors of the environment, and height. As for suffering coasterphobia people, the most brain function that is occuring while thinking about roller coasters is happening in the amygdala. Amygdala controls and creates emotions, so when it comes to having coasterphobia – the feeling of extreme fear, anxieties, and terror are taking over people’s thoughts and feelings. It will be hard for them to calm down as they only focus on being scared, and the only way they can calm down will probably be leaving the amusement park.

Memories during childhood can benefit us for our future in terms of happiness, regret, or fear. Having bad experiences with roller coasters as a child, will taunt people as they grow older. As human beings, people learn what they want to avoid and what they are most feared of and once they find what it might be, they will try and shunned that memory as long as it might take. An experiment study about a woman named Katrina Clarke who wanted to try out exposure therapy. As a young girl, she had moments in her life when she went to the amusement park and would be on rides and it would leave her unsatisfied and scared. She was eleven years old when she experienced her first bad memory with rollercoasters, she didn’t like sensations that she was feeling during the ride. When she was thirteen years old, she went with her friends to Canada’s Wonderland, and she was just holding her friend’s bags and she still got shaky legs from watching how the roller coaster went. When she was 28 years old, doing the experiment – she went on Leviathan at Canada to see how her phobia is, and she was glad she got through with it saying I faced my fear. That doesn’t mean I liked it (Clarke, 2016).

Overcoming a fear or phobia that people are struggling with can be hard to get rid. People have to have a strong motivation and determination to be able to conquer their most feared situations. Being able to overcome coasterphobia might take time to getting used to, as all phobias are gone through time. Being motivated and not forced to ride roller coasters is the first best step. Families and friends who are going to keep you pumped up, who will reassure you that you will survive and it will be fun, and overall motivating you until you are done riding the rollercoaster and feel completely satisfied. It’s just the matter of time, effort, and building confidence will help people succeed through roller coasters. Based on wikiHow, ways to defeat coasterphobia is by building confidence, learn what to expect, talk to other people about their experience, understand that roller coasters are supposed to be scary, start small, breathe deeply, and go with [motivational] friends (How to Overcome Your Fear of Roller Coasters, n.d). Facing people’s fears are extremely hard to overcome, starting somewhere small instead of rushing to conquer them will not help. Through time, people will learn how to take in roller coasters and be able to control their emotions for the future amusement park visit.

Having a fear of roller coasters is not a joke. Coasterphobia needs to be taken seriously as people can get negative symptoms, life experiences, and dreams about it. Roller coasters are built for thrill, fun, and exciting. Years has passed, and a lot of new roller coasters have been built all over the world. People designed it to be better, faster, taller, and bigger. There are a lot of opinion out there in the world about people fearing roller coasters and managing people’s time to get rid of that phobia. And it can be a challenge. Overall of this research paper, the information that were discussed was about how people began to suffer from roller coasters, how the brain is activated while riding roller coasters, and lastly how to be able to conquer having fear of rollercoasters. It is not always easy, but with time and patience – people will be able to defeat their most feared phobia that they have been suffering from.

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