Fear of falling on ice is physical an...

Fear of falling on ice is physical and mental problem

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Elf Freak Inn

Jenkintown, PA

#1 Jan 25, 2014
Try moving to Arizona, Pinheads.

Although she doesnt consider herself a slip-and-fall person, Schmidt already has tumbled twice on the ice, including when she was on the way to buy nonslip shoes.

I wouldnt say Im terrified, but Im always worried, said Schmidt, 59, of St. Louis Park.

Thats understandable.

Over a five-year period ending in June, 89 percent of claims filed with the state for outdoor falls came between October and April. Nationally, falls are one of the leading causes of injuries treated in emergency rooms, according to the National Safety Council, with almost 9 million in 2012.

A winter such as this only makes things worse. After starting with an early-December storm that deposited an icy base, the seasons treacherous thaw-and-refreeze cycle only promises to continue.

Falling is one thing. Recovering from the psychological effects is every bit as slippery.

Being wary of ice is a healthy adaptive response, said Kent Smallwood, senior clinical psychologist at Hennepin County Medical Center.I want to be scared if a grizzly bear is running at me, just as I want to be scared when Im walking on slippery ice.

But sometimes, he added, that fear can overwhelm us, making us afraid to go outside, keeping us virtual prisoners in our homes until snowmelt.

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