sudden fear of tube escalators

(40 Posts)
movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 22:39:10

That's just it. I've travelled on th einderground on and off for years and years with no issue at all. Suddently when on the "up" escalator a few months ago, i staet4d to feel dizzy, and like i was going to fall and had to keep staring at my feet and was clinging for dear life to the handrail - I honestly wondered if i'd make it to the top. I tried to disregard it and put it down to tiredness, but then a few days ago the same thing happened again. I'm ok on the "down" escalator but the "up" one has now become a big issue. I've got another trip to london in a few weeks and i'm panicking about what to do...

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movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 22:45:05

I should add that I'm fine with the shorter escalators in shopping centres both going uo and down. I wonder wif there's anything i can do to stop this panic and dizziness on the underground?

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BigPawsBrown Thu 01-Jan-15 22:48:10

Anxiety made you feel dizzy for whatever reason (anxiety is not always logical). Your body squirrelled away that up escalators are a dangerous situation so anxiety reared its head again last time. You need to keep exposing yourself to the "danger" and keep battling the thoughts until you can do it no problem. Your instinct will be to avoid, ignore this instinct.

BertieBotts Thu 01-Jan-15 22:50:52

Can you use the buses or stick to ground level stations? There's a list somewhere for wheelchair/buggy users.

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 22:55:36

Thanks, yes it must have been a bit of an anxiety attack. I've no idea where it's come from though. I've had no issues before, no bad experiences in the tube, etc. I know buses are an option but being so unfamiliar with that form of travel the tube is the easy (well was the easy) option and much quicker. I have to travel to Norht Greenwich from waterloo soon and but have not spotted any stairs at waterloo - anyone know if there are any or a lift? Same a NorthGreenwich?

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VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:09:05

Could you get a clipper boat?

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 23:13:39

I'm not sure ! I'd be travelling back late - after 11pm not sure if they'd run that late? Are there any stairs or a lift to and from waterlo main and the underground? Are there escalators at north greenwich? I'm realy telling myself i should just get on the escalator and deal with it but wonder if there really is a chance i will pass out? Or is it just a feeling of anxiety?

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VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:15:02

TFL says North greenwich has a lift

Waterloo has a lift to the jubilee line which looks like the one you'd want.

BertieBotts Thu 01-Jan-15 23:15:13

It has a lift:

PinkSquash Thu 01-Jan-15 23:17:02

This is a PDF of the accessible stations so you could avoid the escalators.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:17:29

It sounds like anxiety but people can sometimes be so anxious they make themselves really dizzy which wouldn't be good on an escalator. Take the lifts this time and see if you can build up to going back on the escalators.

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 23:17:31

Oh thank you so much! I'd tried to find the info online but without any luck!

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VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:18:32

No problem. Good luck.

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 23:19:19

Just wondering also if there are stair or a lift to other lines as i sometimes have to use others, eg when going to areas around covent garden/leicester square? I really just want to be able to travel without this irrational fear and make myself go on the escalator but also don;t want to fall!!!

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WineCowboy Thu 01-Jan-15 23:19:26

Agree with bigpaws, sounds like an anxiety attack and you now have a flight or fight response.

Maybe if you are aware that you might feel anxious when you are about to go up one of the big ones, you could listen to music or be on the phone, something to take your mind off it? Deep breathing maybe or making a list?

I had this when I used to get the tube, I used to think that I would throw up on the train. I didn't realise it was anxiety though so it went on for ages.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:22:31

Covent Garden has lifts. Also has stairs but it's the deepest station so I woudlnt take the stairs! No idea about Leicester Square but it's only like a five min walk to Covent garden from there.

Phoenixfrights Thu 01-Jan-15 23:24:30

That actually sounds like classic vertigo to me.Have you had any ear problems lately?

There are lifts all the way down from main line trains at waterloo to tge jubilee line. I think there is also a lift at greenwich but not 100% sure.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Jan-15 23:27:31

Wouldn't vertigo happen when going down an escalator as well? In fact more so as you can see more?

FlorenceMattell Thu 01-Jan-15 23:30:26

Leicester square doesn't have lifts/stairs I know a I have the same fear. Worse with down escalators. I fear I'm going to fall and knock into other people. Have tried to overcome it but legs literally go weak. So irrational.
I now use the buses, they run frequently.
Think the advice to keep trying is the best. But personally can't do it.
You can go on travel for London site and when you put in your journey tick no escalators. Then it will tell you best route.

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 23:31:13

No not had any ear problems at all! From what i've research more people seem to have a fear of going down than up. I'm ok going down. It's just started to look so high up from the bottom. In shops, etc I have no issues at all... I just can;t understand where this has come from.
I've alos noticed in the last year or so I have trouble going on some fair rides with my son - i used to quite enjoy them.

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Phoenixfrights Thu 01-Jan-15 23:37:53

It's probably something to do with the length oc the escalator and the moving billboard/ screen things on each side. There's sensorially a lot going on.

Can only speak from experience as I also get vertigo going up stairs and escalators but especially the latter.

movingonishard Thu 01-Jan-15 23:40:16

Can i ask how you manage it then Phoenix? I'm so reluctant to avoid using them but don;t want to put myself or anyone else in danger!

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Themoleandcrew Thu 01-Jan-15 23:43:28

No advice on the anxiety but if you have an iphone there is an app called mumderground which lists the access to all tube stations so you can plan routes in the meantime

Phoenixfrights Thu 01-Jan-15 23:51:31

I usually stare down at my feet smile Avoid head swivelling and looking at the screens out the corner of my eye.

EssexMummy123 Thu 01-Jan-15 23:54:36

I get like this on some escalators, normally going down rather than up - sometimes i think the handrail can be a bit out of sync with steps which makes things worse.

If you do a search on the metro's website they had an article on this - a couple of people found hypnotherapy useful.

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