Fear of flying. Need help.

Feb 17th, 2002, 06:06 PM
  #21  
just curious
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To Db; Believe it or not Xanax was recommended by a Psychiatrist for the fear of freeway driving. To be taken before driving on freeways to desensitize me so that in future I could drive without it. I don't like how I feel on medications so opted for more natural means. He never mentioned a thing about drowsiness!!!
 
Feb 17th, 2002, 06:06 PM
  #22  
Db
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My apologies to Shiela...was reading too fast and misunderstood.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 04:01 AM
  #23  
anon
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I apologize, perhaps "Everyone is AFRAID" was the wrong choice of words. What I should have said was "CONCERNED." When a loved one gets on a plane, don't you say "Have a safe flight?" and aren't you even the least bit relieved when they arrive at their destination? I don't think being concerned, or even afraid, in light of world events, is anything to be ashamed of.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 08:54 AM
  #24  
fof
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I'll offer a different angle to this discussion. I also had a fear of flying long time ago. As I got older and had seen friends and relatives pass away from cancer; especially after attending to family members during their last days, I have gained different views of my last days also. Seeing their agony from pain that go on and on for months, years; not knowing if today is the last day, and a tablet of morphin beeing the the only hope for deliverance; I had come to realize how trivial my fear of flying compared to what they were going thru.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 11:20 AM
  #25  
ja
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Hmmmm. I, too, dislike intensely being "cooped up" in an enclosed space, with total strangers waaayy too much in my personal space, no control of the vehicle and no ability to get off the plane if I don't like it. However, I've never viewed this as a fear - doesn't feel like that to me, y'know? I just call it a "strong dislike" of flying. That said, I would never NOT go somewhere because of this trait of mine - I look upon the flight as a necessary evil, and I try to make it as comfortable (and short!) an experience as I can.
ja
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 12:46 PM
  #26  
Capo
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You're welcome, Db; good luck!

Good comments, fof. I think that going quickly, instead of suffering for a long time, is a real blessing. I much rather have anyone I love go quickly, than watch them suffer.

In my opinion, what terrifies people about a plane crash is not so much the brevity of it, but the fact that it's not brief *enough*, not immediate (like a car crash would be.) In otherwords, it's those few minutes of falling -- of knowing your life will probably end -- that, I think, must be the most terrifying part.

If anyone gets anxious hearing all the different, and mysterious, sounds on an airplane, here's an article from the Minneapolis StarTribune that be reassuring, entitled "Knowing the noises helps fear fly away."

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1631/857547.html

The article mentions a retired Northwest Airlines captain named Tom Roberts, who works with Northwest Airlines' fear-of-flying programs, teaching nervous passengers what's behind every noise during a typical flight. (On the program I saw on TV a few years ago about people who are afraid to fly, I remember them mentioning Northwest's program, and I'd guess that other airlines may have similar programs.)
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 03:34 PM
  #27  
lookoutbelow
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Capo darling; Thank you for that gruesomely graphic description of what you think we are afraid of about a plane crash. I am sure that was a great help to db. I know I loved it!
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #28  
Capo
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You're welcome. Anytime. :~)

Hey, how better to overcome one's fears than to confront them, right?
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 06:48 PM
  #29  
ja
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Amen, Capo.
ja
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #30  
Margaret
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I too don't enjoy flying and found that a website called (I think) anxiety.com helped a lot. It has a specific section about fear of flying and provides lots of interesting information, not only about how to deal with the fear but also about what's actually happening on the plane when it makes all those noises (or worse yet, suddenly seems too quiet!). Good luck.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 07:23 PM
  #31  
margaret
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The website name is "anxieties.com" but I just went there and found that it's become a website selling books to help one get over one's fear. Sorry about that. In times past, it actually provided the info without our having to purchase it... good luck!
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 07:39 PM
  #32  
Db
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Hello all. thank you again to all who have offered help. I was just out to dinner with a doctor friend of mine and was discussing this issue. he said that I could be "re-programmmed" through therapy to abandon this fear. Has anyone done this before? Sound scary.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 07:59 PM
  #33  
r
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In my post I referred to being reconditioned--but reprogrammed is the same thing. Take a look at the book I recommended. Find yourself a really good Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist who has been trained in the work of Drs. Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck. If you are in New York contact the Center for Cognitive Therapy or the Albert Ellis Institute and ask for referrals. Make sure that you always interview potential therapists to see if you feel comfortable and safe with them and that you find them competent. Having a degree and a license to practice does not a good therapist make.

I have done a lot of cognitive behavioral work-- it is very helpful and not at all scarey. You will be glad you've done it and will find that it positively effects many other aspects of your life besides flying. Best of luck, r
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 08:00 PM
  #34  
Capo
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Thanks, ja!

Hi again, Db. Not sure about it being scary but I'd bet it will be costly. :~)

If you don't mind, what, exactly, is your fear? Is it, like someone else mentioned, being confined in the airplane, or of crashing, or both, or something else...?

I doubt this will help you with your problem but I saw a program on TV about a year ago about people who had survived disasters. One segment was on some people that were on a Greek ferry that sank a few years ago, but the one that really struck me was on a guy in the music business who flew a lot and who had been on a plane that crashed on takeoff from the Taipei (Taiwan) airport. Not only did he begin flying again but, to confront his fear, he actually went back to the same airport, same airline, same flight, and took it again. I really admired him as I don't know if I could do that.

Anyway, best of luck to you!
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 08:22 PM
  #35  
Db
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well, my fear is of crashing. I'm not claustrophobic or afraid of heights but when I get in a plane I cannot stop myself from panicking and thinking that every bump is the beginning of the end. I know all about turbulence, but even on a perfectly smooth flight I am panic stricken the whole time. I can't sleep, read, eat...sometimes I can watch the movie...I usually just stare at the flight attendents...if they are calm I feel better. I think I fear knowing the plane will crash more than the crash...I just don't want 30 seconds to think about my family that I will never see again and how painful it will be for them. I'd rather just not know what hit me...maybe that's why I'm not afraind to drive even though I know that driving is what I should be fearing. It's really awful to feel like this because travel is a passion of mine. I'm surprised I travel so much given my fear. My friends laugh when they fly with me. They try to get me drunk but I think I'd be hysterical then, at least sober I don't bother anybody on the plane. I'm so envious of the people around who laugh at the movie and sleep like babies on planes. anyway, thanks for listening.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 09:21 PM
  #36  
Capo
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Db, that's my fear too, and you & I also seem to share the same specific fear, the "knowing" part (not that I'm thrilled by the dying part, mind you :~), but, if it was going to happen, I'd rather it happened in the blink of an eye.)

As you mentioned for yourself, I think that's why driving -- even though, statistically, far more dangerous -- doesn't frighten people like flying does, because car crashes happen almost instantaneously. (Another part of it, I suppose, is the fact that one has control of one's car, whereas one doesn't have that in a plane.)

Turbulence can get to me, too, so I understand that. But one to thing to bear in mind, if this helps at all, is that planes are at their safest while they're cruising. Very severe turbulence can be harmful if you hit it and you don't have your seatbelt on ("Ms. Head, meet Mr. Overhead Compartment" :~), but, as far as feeling that every bump is going to be the beginning of the end, those bumps are just not going to knock the plane out of the sky.

I think you really need to give yourself a lot of credit. After all, you DO fly. You've been to Europe five times. Good for you! That's something to be very proud of. As this airline executive said, there's a lot of people out there who are too frightened to even get on an airplane and, if they'd love to go to Europe, they've probably never even been there once, let alone five times. You say you're surprised you travel so much given your fear; I'd say that's because you're much braver than you think.

You're very welcome and, again, best of luck to you!


 
Feb 19th, 2002, 04:17 PM
  #37  
Faye
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I am always nervous on planes and have always thought they were either going to crash or be taken over by hi-jackers as soon as I board one. I have always checked out my fellow passengers looking for wildeyed terrorists, and with every bump of turbulence I panic.
So, in a perverse way I will go on traveling like I always have, with white-knuckles. But traveling none-the-less.
 
Feb 19th, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #38  
Db
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Thanks for the encouraging words Capo. I do feel brave when I fly because I have to muster up a lot of courage at the airport. Thank God I've never really freaked and demanded to be taken back to the gate during taxi. I thought about it once flying the Delta shuttle between DC and NYC when the pilot went down the runway at full speed and aborted take-off three times before we actually took off. Anyway, people ask me why I travel if flying is such an issue...then I show them my pictures of the amazing things I've seen. The more I travel, the more I realize that there are so many outragiously beautiful things to see in this world and the only way to set there is by plane (unless I quit my job and take the QE2 across the atlantic). So I feel drawn to Europe but at the same time plagued by this awful fear. I wish I were a homebody and could care less about the world abroad, then i wouldn't have to worry about it.
Thanks again for your support. I think I will call this therapist at NYU and get "de-programmed"
 
Feb 19th, 2002, 04:43 PM
  #39  
Marilyn
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My 19 year old daughter is terrified of flying. We travel once a year but no one in the family wants to sit next to her...her apprehension is contagious! She takes xanax and usually falls asleep before we take off. We are considering hypnosis.
On a lighter note, we both enjoy the movie French Kiss with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan. Watch how she deals with her fear of flying. Maybe you could find a HOT Frenchman to sit with you!
 
Feb 19th, 2002, 05:22 PM
  #40  
ginny
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Db-I have been reading all the posts. I really feel for your problem. I have only felt 1/10th of what you are describing and it was unbearable-but it doesn' happen all the time to me.

May I suggest a diffent angle? You live in NYC. Are you familiar with Homeopathy? There are several good homeopaths in NY that could very likely help you with this. If the proper remedy were given to you, it should help you with this phobia and other problems you might be experiencing. Hard to explain the concept....

Anyway, there are several remedies: aconite, argentum nitricum, hydorphobinum, calcarea and phosphorus among others, that might be of help with your problem.One has to find out which one best corresponds to your whole picture.

If you think this might be of interest to you, please post a reply and I will try to help out.
 

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