Fear of Flying

drippy(7bAL)November 12, 2009

Looking for some resource help - or good tips - from any of you on this. I can't afford seminars right now, and would like to avoid drugs if possible (but I am actually considering asking a doctor for a sedative).

I actually worked myself close to a panic yesterday MAKING RESERVATIONS for a flight in December. !!!! My better self says "What's with that?" I've had a fear of flying much of my adult life, and although it hasn't stopped me from getting on a plane, I have to "drive" it along with the pilot the entire time I'm on it. I know it's probably compounded by the fact that I've been accident-prone lately - note that both the car accident in July and the walking/falling accident last week were both ON THE GROUND.

Common sense isn't helping, I'm afraid. I have to fly in small planes (like 13 rows of seats) from my home to connecting airport, and I worry about weather, ice in particular. Fear of crashing is definitely the underlying thing with me - and moreso the fear of pain and the fear of fear itself being my last thought(s) than fear of dying, even.

My last flight of length, in 2007 to the UK was without a hitch, and as good as it gets in terms of smoothness. As it was about 8 hours in the air, it would have been nice if I could have sat back and enjoyed it or concentrated on the book I was supposedly reading, instead of worrying the whole way and arriving rattled.

My web surfing hasn't turned up much of use. Any suggestions?

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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Drippy, if you haven't already researched this on your own, a good start may be to read this group of articles from Associated Content.

Turns out it's one of the more difficult phobias to treat because it's a combination of many phobias to varying degrees as listed in main article at link.

I have many of the phobias listed and currently don't "need" to fly so I just don't. Last time I flew was 1987 to Switzerland after qualifying for sales conference.

In '97 I drove straight through to Outer Banks (NC) for extended family vacation as plane wasn't an option for me. That was enough of a painful challenge.

Fear that I may have to fly to quickly reach a family member (particularly when my father goes to Florids for month or so in winter)due to serious illness or death is a genuine concern for me.

A few free online aviophobia "courses" are included at this link:

http://airtravel.about.com/od/educationandinformation/tp/Fear-of-Flying---Aviophobia.--Iv.htm

Doesn't hurt to read about it, do the free things first and then see where you are.

Even if you do need a sedative to get you on and off plane it would probably be better for you if you were prepared with every free assistance option used beforehand.

If you are as perceptive as your response to my "not sleeping" post then you understand why I'm having so much trouble sleeping...LOL.

It's not like you haven't had enough disturbances in your life over the last year or more to make you feel out of control over your life. Very often a latent fear can surface seriously when already stressed by other situations. The pump was primed for aviophobia to become more of a problem than something you could overcome before.

For those who believe "just do it" is sufficient to overcome phobias and anxiety disorders it's just not that simple. It's largely a cascading internal chemical reponse to a cluster of stimuli and there's no sense in not dealing with it in a manner than suits the individual.

Good luck, drippy. I feel ya. :)

Leslie

PS...if all else fails the use of a mild sedative and a little something like "kahlua & coffee" on the plane should get you through the actual flights. Not long term solution but it could do in a pinch.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aviophobia Articles

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 1:55AM
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drippy(7bAL)

Thanks, Leslie - I will check into this. I am going to this event in NY; it's too important to miss. I literally spent hours trying to figure out if there was any way I could do this besides flying, but there isn't. DH, who unfortunately can't fly with me at this time, is a fearless flyer and has been trying to give me lots of encouragement.

Kahlua & coffee sounds good, but these are both early morning flights, and I wonder about being loopy that early, LOL - I'll be trying to avoid the sedatives if possible. As I couldn't fly non-stop, there are 2 flights each way, both relatively short (under 3 hours each).

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 9:51AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Drippy, you have my sympathies. I have gone through periods of time when I have avoided flying. When I was young, I loved to fly. Then I had a flight coming back from the West Coast that was so turbulent, it was white knuckles all the way home. I found myself more anxious before flight after that.

In looking back over the years, I can definitely see a pattern though. During stressful times, when things were not going well on many fronts, then flying would seem more fearful to me. I did start to feel like, 'what was going to go wrong next'. [g] When things were going well, I didn't find my anxiety about flying was a major factor and didn't stop me from going where I needed to go. So I would tend to agree with the idea that it is more than just about flying sometimes.

I've always been told, that flying is safer than driving. I'm sure everyone has heard that one. It never seemed to make me feel better though. When push comes to shove, I hate the feeling of anxiety and fear and will find a way of looking at things that will release me from it somehow. Either avoiding something or taking the approach that 'what will be will be'.

To tell you the truth, I enjoy driving and riding in a car. I hear such unhappy stories of people having to endure stopovers, delays, security at the airport. It sometimes takes as much time to fly as it does to drive. [g] Not to mention, not being exposed to a plane full of people who might have H1N1. I also LOVE train travel and would really look forward to that. :-)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 12:14PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Oh, just a follow-up - I made the trip. The weather was windy and rainy, so yes, there was turbulence, but nothing that made the flight attendants have to take their seats. I still had to help the pilots fly (LOL), but I think I did a pretty good job. I was actually able to watch some of the approach to Huntsville - even though that was the bumpier part (smaller plane), I'm a little less stressed when I can see the ground (I know that doesn't make any sense). So thanks for all who prayed & sent good wishes my way - it worked!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 2:33PM
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brandymulvaine

Congrats!
-B

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 2:57PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Thanks, Brandy - I just keep continually - like a mantra - reminding myself that most circumstances are not in my control, whether on the ground or in the air, and death is a part of living. It comes to us all someday; I just hope I can go gracefully when it does. Oh yeah, and that it's not anytime soon. :)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 11:20PM
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wendy2shoes

I flew to Zurich from Toronto in September. No Problem. Connecting flight to Nice was over the Alps. Beautiful as it was, I could not look out over those mountain peaks that looked like they were just below the plane. (An impossibility..we were at 20,000 feet.) My idea of flying is safe involves the plane being able to glide down to a safe landing spot if anything went wrong.
The Matterhorn is not included in my vision.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 12:47AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I don't fly. Everyone thinks I'm nuts. Screw'em.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 8:16AM
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drippy(7bAL)

Bakemom, I don't think you're nuts. I absolutely avoid flying whenever I can - in March, I am making a 2-day trip on a Greyhound bus instead of what would be a 2-3 hour flight (2 planes, though) because I can stay on the ground.

I only fly when there is no other alternative than either flying or missing out on something very important to me. Even when I went to the UK in 2007, I scoped out boat travel, but simply didn't have the time to take. Ditto for this past trip - I could only be gone for the one day, and you can't get from AL to NYC in a day on the ground.

I am waiting for my husband to invent the transporter so I can beam myself wherever I want to go.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 9:37AM
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