Overcoming Bridge Phobia

Friday, August 03, 2007

A bridge on Colfax Avenue in Studio City is similar in design to the one that collapsed in Minneapolis.

Charles Haller crosses that bridge regularly, but on Friday he was a bit more nervous.

"When big trucks come over it shakes and is frightning," says Haller.

But he's not willing to walk an extra mile to avoid it. Yet, there are others who will actually pay for help to get across a bridge.

"I have tried it a couple of times and I have made it but I'm always afriad I'll panic and stop in the middle of the road," says Paulette Magarik.

The National Institutes of Menal Health reports fear of bridges is one of the top ten phobias. Ahead of fear of public speaking and fear of strangers.

"There's a whole range of fears about what can happen on a bridge," explains Dr. Suzette Glazner-Edwards.

UCLA Clinical psychologist Dr. Suzette Glasner-Edwards says with this week's collapse, she expects real setbacks for people who already struggle with this fear.

"When you see something like this happen that's what comes to mind when crossing a bridge now," adds Dr. Glazner-Edwards.

Even if you've never had a fear of bridges before, it's natural to feel little more anxiety after the collapse in Minnesota, but experts say it's important not to let your fears get the best of you and remember to keep the facts in mind.

"The reason why this is so highly publicized is because it is in fact a very rare event, it's highly unusual," says Dr. Glazner-Edwards

Dr. Glazner-Edwards says to take a deep breath and relax before you cross. Remember the many times you've crossed a bridge and nothing has happened.

Debbie Rubin feels the Studio City bridge is clearly reinforced.

"Even though it rattles when a truck goes over it, it doesn't break. It doesn't bother me," says Rubin.

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