I am wondering if anyone else has experienced fear/panic that gets in the way of bouldering, and what their tips are for dealing with this. (There is a prior question on fear in lead climbing, but my issue is specific to bouldering. I climb indoors.)
Basically, I am a relatively new (1.5yrs) climber with a mental hang-up about bouldering. I am specifically scared of taking a fall off a boulder problem and hurting my foot. The essence of the problem is the fear of an uncontrolled fall. When a move at any height feels anything less than 100% sure to stick, I panic. The higher I am, the more certain I have to be the next move is completely safe. The top two moves or so of any problem are always really challenging because I panic even if they are straight up jugs. When this happens I get tunnel vision, rapid breathing, intense feelings of fear etc, and have to downclimb and/or take a controlled jump. The problem has just been getting worse and worse lately. Because of this issue, I have not just stopped advancing, I have actually regressed in bouldering ability. It has become bad enough that I just don't want to boulder anymore - I get anxiety just thinking about going on the wall, and would much rather spend all my time top roping (I don't lead climb yet).
I know where this originates: just a few months into climbing, I hurt my ankle when taking a fall off a simple boulder problem at an unfortunate angle. It didn't completely heal on its own, so after a few months I saw a physical therapist, with whom I worked for another few months. Now it has been over a year since the fall, and the ankle is finally getting up above 90% of what it used to be (though I still can't go running). I am completely mentally hung up on this happening again. I love going on top-rope walls, because even if I fall, I am not worried about landing wrong. I can top-rope 5.9s but the same moves feel impossible on a boulder wall. Lately, I have been unable to even top out v0 (on good days, when the panic doesn't visit, I can top v2). Even on good days, this issue prevents me from actually improving as a climber on the boulder wall. It's not clear to me why the fear is getting more intense as more time passes from the injury.
Things that don't work (for me): pushing through the panic (trying to defy it just seems like adding fuel to the fire). And taking more controlled falls has not been super helpful: the real issue is getting myself to take a risk at an uncontrolled fall, and it's like my body refuses to even attempt those moves.
Anyone had similar issues? What did you do?
Edit: Also, any general ideas on what I could try to overcome this?