Morbid fear of heights, especially when it is irrational (for e.g. when one is not particularly high up or is safely secured) – is often and incorrectly referred to as vertigo – perhaps, at least in parts, due to the popularity of Alfred Hitchcock‘s psychological thriller film by the same name.
Vertigo which comes from the Latin verto (meaning: a spinning movement) actually refers to a type of dizziness in which a person inappropriately experiences the perception of (spinning) motion.
Extreme & irrational fear of heights is more accurately referred to as acrophobia – a term coined by Italian physician Dr. Andrea Verga in 1887 to describe a condition he himself suffered from! Acrophobia comes from Greek akros (at the highest point) or akron (summit, edge) and phobia (fear).
Incidentally, acrophobia is also related to the word acropolis.
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