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iris
20 May 2017, 05:38
So... I'm terrified of flying. I'm not scared of crashing. Or particularly if being i the air. It's more of a losing control/scared of being scared/ feeling trapped based fear. The only thing that has ever helped was when I was a kid, they let me sit with the pilots. I've tried acupuncture which somehow felt even worse, and anxiety med which didn't take effect until I was safely on the ground. I haven't been on a plane for 10 years now, but my desired career requires me to be able to get around the world. I have anxiety, which I'm dealing with. But faced with having to go on a plane, the fear of fear starts really getting to me. It's holding me back - which makes the pressure higher and the fear worse, because why should it be easy.
Anyway. Does anyone have experience with treatments that have worked for them, or tricks to make it more bearable? I suspect the worst bit is dealing with the anticipation. But knowing myself, that alone could end up making me pass up on opportunities because the waiting will have me so wound up I'll be hysterical by the time I have to go and convince myself I can't do it (that wouldn't be a first).

Jembru
20 May 2017, 09:03
I didn't used to be, but thanks to the media I'm now scared of flying too. I haven't had to fly for a few years though, so haven't tried this technique on my fear of flying yet.

I have however, learnt to calm my anxiety in other areas by telling myself I'm excited instead of anxious (the physiology of excitement and anxiety is identical). In particular, this really helped me with my anxiety over speaking Japanese. Instead of telling myself I'm going to make a fool of myself and look stupid next to the smarty-pants students, I tell myself that I am excited because I get to practice the language I love, and to fix any mistakes I make so that tomorrow, my Japanese will be even better. This has honestly made a huge difference and prevented me from cancelling and pretending to be sick at the last minute (yes, my anxiety would get that bad at times).

I thought I'd invented the method, but recently got curious about Mel Robbins' '5 second rule' and discovered a video in which she talks about this exact method, and even describes how it can be used for the fear of flying. Maybe this could help you too?

Here's the video;


https://youtu.be/6n8i7ua0mSw

anunitu
20 May 2017, 09:11
When I was younger and in the service(Navy) I had to fly a LOT..one 25 hour flight was to Taiwan from Seattle(SeaTac) on a charted Military flight. My best nerve calmer was a few drinks of the alcoholic persuasion. Just enough to chill the nerves.

iris
20 May 2017, 09:41
Thanks Jem, that video is interesting I'm definitely gonna practice that. I know how easy excitement becomes fear, either of them can trigger a panic attack for me. And yea, I've done the cancelling thing too, still do sometimes.

Anu, I don't drink alcohol at all. And I would probably need to be functional for working pretty straight after landing... being tipsy usually doesn't display your best traits.

Hawkfeathers
20 May 2017, 18:37
I hate flying. I tell myself I'm on the train. It doesn't help much but it's something! LOL

Tylluan Penry
21 May 2017, 11:43
1. Don't sit near the window.
2. Eat a lot of polo mints.
3. Do crosswords or suduko puzzles.
4. Talk - preferably non stop - to the poor sod sitting next to you.

Works for me. And I really really hate flying. I mean - I have actually screamed on take off.

anunitu
21 May 2017, 12:11
I did at one time fly from Hawaii to California in a military cargo plane,a prop job. It had wooden benches to sit on,and an OPEN door in the side to look out of. We flew perhaps 500-1000 feet over the water. Did I mention the bumpy ride? Just saying..depends on your level of comfort..context I guess.

iris
21 May 2017, 12:19
1. Don't sit near the window.
2. Eat a lot of polo mints.
3. Do crosswords or suduko puzzles.
4. Talk - preferably non stop - to the poor sod sitting next to you.

Works for me. And I really really hate flying. I mean - I have actually screamed on take off.

The poor sod beside me is gonna be my husband, at least until I get used to it. He is kind of contractually obligated to bear it.... I need to get on the plane... I did once actually refuse to go on the plane at all... I was in boarding. And I left.

m00nst0ne
23 May 2017, 22:15
I experienced the same thing when I was a child and I went on full tantrum because the lack of leg room inside the plane didn't help calm me down. I felt the fear of flying and the irrational fear of being confined in a narrow space.

iris
23 May 2017, 23:46
Yea claustrophobia is a pretty common reason for people to fear flying (I had a chat to my shrink about it the other day).

As long as I can remember evem driving past the airport has made me panicky, even when I knew I wasn't going in there. Monday I packed a lunch and went there. I actually sat down in the airport to eat my lunch and I didn't feel scared. That's a good start I guess. My shrink says much of my fear is probably my mother's- she's hysterical and convinced the plane is crashing always. So freed of her I can make my own mindset, I could never do that before. Also... who wouldn't be scared of being locked in the aor for hours with the crazy **** that isbmy mother, only to land and be confined to a tiny hotel room with her for 2 weeks. I don't actually remember a family vacation that didn't end in my mother threatening to leave me on my own somewhere in the mountains... so my fear of the vacation itself probably rubbed off on the experience of flying.
Not that I'm cured now. But I was prepared for a full anxiety attack for even going to the airport and it didn't come... last time I was inside there I was picking my husband up, and although I knew 100% I wasn't going anywhere near a plane I was sweating and queasy and juat wanted to bolt. So there's progress.

Hawkfeathers
24 May 2017, 06:03
My knees go weak if I even stand on the couch. I'm fine on a tall building with a solid railing, etc., it's the "unsecured height" that gets me. I can go up a ladder if it's against a wall, but in the middle of a room....NO.