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Fear of flying


Lana73
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Leaving in a week to see my parents. Not sure when it all started, but I am terrified of flying. I get so scared and become so anxious, that every time there is a turbulence, I think that the plan is going down. I am very excited to see my family again, but starting to think that I will die. I am not afraid of dying, there is just something awful about dying in a plain crash. I heard that people usually die before the actual impact due to a fast decrease of pressure....

Does anyone can relate to this? Any tips on how I can avoid being so anxious and scared?

Meditating and breathing won't help.

Thanks.

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Lana, I can most definitely relate. I also have a fear of flying. I once went 11 years without flying. I am able to fly now if I'm highly motivated to, but it does bring up a lot of anxiety and fear. I would talk more about that, but I don't know if it would be helpful to either of us. A friend once sent me some links about how safe flying is. If you are able to keep logic to the forefront, maybe something like this would be helpful? Are you flying alone?

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Yes, I am flying alone. I usually take anti anxiety meds and mix them with few drinks to relax, which is I guess not a good idea. It is just the thought that you trust your life to a person/people you don't even know. You don't know if the plane was maintained well, what about dispatchers who supposed to guide pilots, etc... I know I sound rediculous.

I am going to see my therapist before I leave. She said that she will help me relax.

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It doesn't sound ridiculous at all. It's hard giving up control like that. I know where you're coming from because I struggle with similar feelings. If there's a time when they allow you to text, you can always write to me in flight if it might help. Try (if you can) to think about your parents and how nice it will be to be with them again. I hope your therapist can help.

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My h doesn't like flying too much either. Once during a flight we sang children's songs to each other for the entire time. Must not have been pleasant for those around us come to think of it :o, but it helped us through. Another time I was flying to the south (after an 11 year break from flying) to visit a friend. She called me at the airport and offered me encouragement. "You can do this, Beth." I needed the reassurance. You aren't alone. I'll be waiting for your message and looking forward to many more. In the meantime, try to occupy yourself with other matters. Be gentle with you, Lana, if you can.

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Lana, I think that "anti anxiety meds with few drinks" is not a good idea, but appropirate meds (w/o the alcohol) could be a good solution: Could you ask a doc for a sedative? I don't mean that you have to seep all the long time, but sleeping for some hours and being "calmed down" for the others would be fine, wouldn't it? Fear of flying is pretty commun, I'm sure your doc could recomend you the right med...

BTW, when you say "you trust your life to a person/people you don't even know", I have to add that you do this all the time, just the image of being in the air and so on makes it scarier in case of flying. You eat food prepared by others (how can you know there isn't a poison, some bacteria, ...? - That happens, too!), you drive a car and there are other drivers who can put you in danger, ... - many examples... In the case of flying, you know at least that the people involved are very well aware of the risks and are doing their best to keep them as low as possible. They know they're responsible for many people's lifes! And those who're on board - would they put their own life in risk, too?

I know that rational arguments can't really "do it", but I think it's also good to keep them in mind and remembering them during the travel, when you begin to feel scared.

I can tell you what I do during a flight, mainly when there's a turbulence: I tell myself that in a global perspective, it's unimportant what will happen - if we will die now or not, if it will be an awful death - the moments before death surely have to be awful, but then, everything would be gone and I won't be even able to care anymore. This can help me when I begin to think about possible crash: To be reconsiliated with the worst possibility. And also to trust the people that they'll do their best to avoid it. I'm not in a cheery mood, of course :P, but I'm not scared (or better: I have not yet been!).

I wish you a good journey, without problems and turbulences!!!

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