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Need Help With Fear.


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I am 30 years old, and just this year I finally overcame my fear of coasters (some here may have read a write up I did about my experience). You could not be more afraid of coasters than I was prior to this year. I would get immensely nervous at the thought of being on a ride, and the times I was convinced to actually try one I felt that my life was about to end. No joke, I was TERRIFIED.

As for advice, what helped me was just starting off small. This year I rode Adventure Express and Backlot repeatedly until I could loosen my grip on the handles and enjoy myself. The more I rode them, the less scary they became. I went to The Racer next and the drop was really hard to handle. But of all the big drops in the park, it is the easiest (it was still really scary for me at first). Repetition is what made it easier to handle. The more you ride, the less scary it becomes. I then suggest taking it one big coaster at a time. For me I moved next to Flight Deck, then Flight of Fear. I would add one coaster to my daily rotation until that ride didn't completely scare me senseless. Then when I felt more comfortable I would try something new. Every new coaster will probably scare you a lot, but the more you do it the more likely you are to enjoy that rush that comes from being afraid. I just tried Drop Zone for the first time a couple days ago, and it was really scary for me, but I enjoyed it.

I'll echo the people here that say that you should not allow yourself to be pressured into anything. If you get into a seat and feel too scared to go through with it, get out and go on your way. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. I did that plenty myself well into my 20's.

What I think a lot of it comes down to is learning to trust the restraints. I still obsessively check and re-check my restraints on every ride, but if you trust that they will not open on you, and will do their job, you'll feel a lot more secure in the rides.

Good luck!

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^I completely agree with everything you said. I started REALLY enjoying coasters after I learned to take my hands off the restraint and just enjoy the ride. Sure, I rode most everything on my first trip, but I can't say I REALLY enjoyed it. I took it back to Woodstock Express, and started to try to ride where you could get the most airtime. I didn't hold the restraint at all. That started to seem like a Sunday drive to me, so I just started working my way up.

You could always try to start with the biggest coaster in whichever park you are going to. But if you think you are going to get really nervous and "make a scene," its better to not force yourself.

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I just thought of something else... What might help you stay on the ride if you get nervous before it starts is to go with a boy or girl that you have a crush on (I can't remember if eleven year olds have crushes yet! rolleyes.gif). If they aren't the type that would make fun of you (and if they are, they're not worth you having a crush on them) it can be GREAT motivation! You will want to be next to them, and you can ask them to hold your hand before it starts. Then when you get through the ride they will be so proud of you, and you can ask for a hug to calm you down. Seriously, it doesn't get any better than that.

I didn't mention this in my post above, but a big part of my progression with coasters is that my wife wanted me to go with her. She was very supportive, and I wanted to make her happy so I rode rides with her even though I was scared.

If you are too scared to talk to boys/girls you like... that's a whole different topic!

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So tlvtr, how many bases have you rounded on a coaster?

wink.gif

I'll try to keep things clean here, but let me just say that we've taken advantage of being in the back row of a ride with a dark tunnel. I'll let your imagination do the rest.

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Although that would make a fun off topic thread as long as it was kept clean, I have some dooseysss...

I'm counting down til I see this thread shouldn't be much longer now...

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My youngest who is 13 now had a hard time getting the nerve to ride big rides. He would say ok daddy I am gonna do it today. We would wait in line for an hour then he back out at the last minute, kinda frosted me but I never said anything. He over a summer finally took the plunge and now I cant keep him off them.

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I wonder what makes some scared and not others? Last time we were at KI we had 4 kids with us. My daughter (7) freaks out big time, but she will ride a couple of the small ones. Another child (9) would ride some but seemed scared of the big ones and didn't ride either. The youngest, my son (6) and a friends daughter (7 I think) have ZERO fear and will get on ANYTHING. The girl watched DB hit the water. Then she turned to me and said I WANT TO RIDE THAT, sadly she is too short.

The first coaster I rode (Wabash Cannonball-85) I could not get myself to open my eyes on the first drop and we rode it like 5 times. I rode Vortex the next year and my eyes were closed the entire time, my eyes were closed on Beast's drops as well. Even riding DB and Woodstock lat year I could not open my eyes on the first drops, lol. I finally got over that this year at age 35, lol.

Whatever the cause of your fear, if you remain calm and face it, you will eventually beat it.

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I will be there, I will ride it with you, one thing good about DT is the fact when you start coming down the wind and excitement keeps the people on either side of you from hearing me scream like a little girl...ha! then once it is over it is like the macho comes back.

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I used to Hate Roller coasters But there was one Coaster that got me to love what I do and have nearly ridden almost 300 different Coasters that would be Son of Beast that got me to ride Roller Coasters. Id ride Beast Its one of the Best Wooden coasters built and its the longest. Just ask Mr. Flaharty about his first Beast ride.

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I have a pretty intense fear of tall coasters that I'm going to conquer in a few days. My first coaster ever was The Beastie, which is now Woodstock Express. I suggest that you start there, and work your way up with rides such as The Racer and Adventure Express. I do this every time I visit the Park.

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Just throwing it out there...

I'm a therapist as well as Psychology professor at the University of Mount Union (Alliance, OH). This fall (September 26th) I am taking my abnormal psychology class to Cedar Point where I will be treating individuals wanting to overcome roller-coaster phobia on the spot. It's a research project called "Face your Fear"...

Good luck!

-KJM

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I too have a big fear of coasters, but I've pinpointed it down to the rides height/drops. I literally get scared waiting in line for rides THAT I'VE ALREADY BEEN ON AND ENJOYED. tongue.gif

I went to KI a week ago with the plan of riding Diamondback last but when we got there my friends wanted to ride it first because of the long lines it usually has. So I psyched myself into thinking "well the ONLY thing scary on this ride is the first drop, and it's now or never". We all got on, got off in one piece, and then had a chuckle of the picture of me holding onto both the seat and the restraint for dear life. The ride wasn't too bad and it set me up to ride every other roller coaster that I had previously turned down 2 years before with the same guys. The neat thing is that I wanted to ride every coaster again after finally conquering them.

My 3 step guide for conquering coaster fear:

1. Ride Backlot Stunt Coaster / Adventure Express (which I had liked 2 years before)

2. Ride the biggest ride to set you up saying "These rides aren't as big as the one I already survived."

3. Close your eyes while going up the lift hills (I do this on every ride until I'm at the top, somehow it helps)

Also remember that nobody ever dies on coasters unless they have health problems; they are designed to make you feel like you are going to die but you're gonna love it in the end. cool.gif

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...Also remember that nobody ever dies on coasters unless they have health problems; they are designed to make you feel like you are going to die but you're gonna love it in the end. cool.gif

Actually, most of the people who die while or after riding a coaster (and whose death is somehow attributed to the ride) did have pre-existing health conditions, but some may not have known it. The second biggest group of such deaths is caused by rider misconduct--standing up, loosening restraints, etc.

That all being said, and I know you are trying to help, a small number of people have died on coasters (and other rides) who had no known pre-existing health problems and did not in any way misbehave. Coasters are machines. They sometimes fail. They are also operated by people, not all of whom always do their jobs exactly as prescribed. And sometimes people DO die as a result...but this rarely happens in the USA. You can credit insurance companies and their requirements, state laws and regulations, insurance company prevention programs and most of all ONE SIMPLE FACT. Virtually everyone in the business treats safety as paramount...knowing full well that they don't want people on rides they would not put their own spouses or children on.

The simple fact is the leading cause of injuries in parks is falls...from people running on midways (a practice that used to be strictly forbidden and rigidly enforced...some large parks do NOT allow the "Running of the Bulls" in the morning, for example), and people getting in and out of ride vehicles.

And the two most dangerous rides most people take during the day they go to the park are the one to get there and the one to get home.

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Well said.

Both fear and phobias are propped up by irrational beliefs; in the case of roller coasters the belief is typically "I have a good chance of being the one man/woman this will happen to"...much like the a phobia of flying.

To eliminate the phobia, you need to start picking away at the irrational belief.

Now, the deal with coasters creates a paradox; part of the enjoyment (and rush) for many that like roller-coasters is in fact the fear or anxiety created; that rush that some feel is the "relief" or release of all of that adrenaline that your body just pumped out and your body resetting itself.

So I guess for some it's not about getting rid of the fear, but learning how to experience and process that fear in an enjoyable way.

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