Fear of flying...
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09-11-2015, 01:38 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
(09-11-2015 11:50 AM)Loom Wrote:  My family is planning a 7 day cruise trip to the Bahamas sometime next year. We've gone before, and aside from coming home looking like a lobster, it was very fun. We did a lot of outdoor excursions; kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, jet skiinig, hiking, exploring, screaming in terror while riding a bus weaving in and out of some of the craziest traffic I've seen (seriously don't understand how they do it down there), you name it. It was great. While I have my disagreements concerning religion with my family, and I'm the only open atheist within it, we still enjoy a wonderful relationship. I try to take every chance I get to spend time with my family, especially if we're going on an 'adventure' together.

But for me, there's a huge problem. I might have to fly home, alone.

The last time we'd gone on a cruise trip, I had to go on a three hour flight home, alone. It was the first time I'd ever done that.

I'm terrified of flying. Despite having flown dozens of times in my life (especially when living in Alaska where flying was one of the only modes of transportation), I can't bring myself to enjoy it anymore.

I used to love flying. Taking off was my favorite part as a kid. Flying over the cloud tops was my 2nd favorite.

But my last flight, after the cruise trip, was 3 hours full of terror. Of course, it was a completely normal flight. No turbulence at all. Probably the smoothest flight I've ever been on.

Yet, I spent the whole time gripping the armrests, eyes wide, heart racing. In my mind, at any second the plane could either explode, suddenly start diving, fall apart, etc.

I started hyperventilating as soon as the ground 'fell away' and was replaced with nothing but air when we took off. The sensation I used to love most in a flight petrified me. It took 5mg of Xanax to calm me down enough to whip out my iPad so I could listen to some music. Of course, when I saw there was a '$9 an hour for internet' option, I immediately bought it and started watching plane crash videos. I have no idea WTF is wrong with me.

3 hours later, we landed safely. I practically had to peel myself out of the seat, I'd sweated so much. I was exhausted and almost forgot my baggage. I think I grew a gray hair or two, and I was 19!

I swore up and down that day to never fly again.

This is what I may face next year. I might even forgo the whole cruise trip JUST because of how much flying terrifies me. With work and school, my only option to return home may well be flying, and if that's the case, I might just stay home. My anxiety is bad enough with nothing to trigger it. If I can help it, I want to avoid any and all triggers.

Any advice? Even though it's still about a year away I'm already fretting over it.

Holy cow! This is the thread for me. I've been afraid of flying for so long I can't remember when I wasn't afraid of flying. I was around 25 the last time I flew without total fear.

I've tried xanax. I took enough to overdose on but it had no effect on me whatsoever. My body reacted to the xanax by going into overload mode and killed the xanax or something. I've been to psychologists. I've tried computer programs that simulate flight. Logically I knew I was in the safety of my home so it did nothing. I've also tried getting drunk. It made it much worse.

The best I ever did was when I went to the airport everyday for a few weeks before flying and just watched planes take off and land. That was several years ago when I could actually go to the gate area and watch people get on and off and then see the plane take off and land from a pretty close view. They won't let me go to the gates anymore.

What I need is a fear of flying program given by airport officials that some cities have. Unfortunately I don't live in a city that has this! I know Chicago has a program for those with a fear of flying.

When I was about 15 I flew from Paris to NY to San Francisco all by myself with no problem except being super tired. I'm at a loss as to what to do.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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09-11-2015, 01:50 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
My wife loves to fly and the rougher the flight the better. We flew into an airport in Tibet that was nestled in the mountains in high winds and the runway altitude was over 12,000 feet. It was just like riding a roller coaster and my wife was pissed when we touched down. She told the pilot to take it up and bring it down again. The other people on the plane laughed at the crazy woman although several of them wanted to do it again too.

I am fascinated by these fears. They are often inexplicable and almost impossible to overcome. My son, who chases bears away from my fruit trees with a stick [I taught him how to do that] has a fear of spiders. I had a woman lawyer in my office who was afraid of the country. If she had to go to Denver for a case, she had to have somebody drive her because she freaked out at the open spaces. Whoever drove her had to carry a gun. She was afraid wild animals would come out of the mountains and eat her. Pastures scared her to death. She married a guy who loves to hunt and to go camping. She is beginning to conquer her fear. She was the trustee of a ranch in eastern Colorado and she was afraid to go out there. A couple of us from the office took her out there and as I was telling her there was nothing to fear and opening the back door to the ranch house, there was the largest, meanest, ready to strike, prairie rattler waiting for us inside the house. My credibility with her tanked.
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09-11-2015, 01:59 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
(09-11-2015 01:50 PM)Black Eagle Wrote:  My wife loves to fly and the rougher the flight the better. We flew into an airport in Tibet that was nestled in the mountains in high winds and the runway altitude was over 12,000 feet. It was just like riding a roller coaster and my wife was pissed when we touched down. She told the pilot to take it up and bring it down again. The other people on the plane laughed at the crazy woman although several of them wanted to do it again too.

I am fascinated by these fears. They are often inexplicable and almost impossible to overcome. My son, who chases bears away from my fruit trees with a stick [I taught him how to do that] has a fear of spiders. I had a woman lawyer in my office who was afraid of the country. If she had to go to Denver for a case, she had to have somebody drive her because she freaked out at the open spaces. Whoever drove her had to carry a gun. She was afraid wild animals would come out of the mountains and eat her. Pastures scared her to death. She married a guy who loves to hunt and to go camping. She is beginning to conquer her fear. She was the trustee of a ranch in eastern Colorado and she was afraid to go out there. A couple of us from the office took her out there and as I was telling her there was nothing to fear and opening the back door to the ranch house, there was the largest, meanest, ready to strike, prairie rattler waiting for us inside the house. My credibility with her tanked.

I have a friend who is afraid of bridges. I didn't know that and when we were going over a bridge, I was admiring the view and saying how pretty it was. He started having a massive anxiety attack/freak out on the bridge and he was the one who was driving. That was an experience!
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09-11-2015, 02:11 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
Dance, you and Loom have my sympathy and I wish there were some magic words I could give you that would fix this. I don't have them. These kinds of fears take a lot of work to overcome. I was company commander of an air cavalry company in the Army. I had several soldiers who were deathly afraid of flying and those UH1D helicopters have an open box for the troops to ride in. They scare the crap out of anybody with a fear of flying. I learned then that you cannot get angry and yell at these guys but you have to be very gentle with them. They would all get on the choppers but some of them had to puke first. Many of my soldiers made over 300 flights in these boxes and they never lost the fear of flying but they did manage to control it. I hope you learn to control your fear. There is a huge and wonderful world out there and airplanes make exploring it much easier.
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09-11-2015, 02:39 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
The odds of dying in a plane crash are 11 million to 1. Not sure if that will help, but it's highly improbable to the point where there's no reason to worry.
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09-11-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
RationalPoet...... I am not terrified of flying. I do get pissed at the marketing of "on time" which does put pressure on pilots to take risks and speed of turnover on flights because of business competition can cause mechanics to overlook something. I don't fly myself for those reasons. The comfort alone without the crash pisses me off. I don't like being a ping pong ball in a jar.

But the reality is that you are more likely to get injured in a car accident than an western brand name airline. But, it still isn't like you can pull over and fix a flat at 30,000 feet. It is still a safe form of transportation.

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09-11-2015, 03:25 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
(09-11-2015 02:39 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  The odds of dying in a plane crash are 11 million to 1. Not sure if that will help, but it's highly improbable to the point where there's no reason to worry.


Logically I know this. I'm sure Loom knows this too. If I had a dollar for every person who recited flying safety statistics to me I'd be able to.....I donno.....fly to Hawaii! Laughat That's the dumbest joke.

I think the best thing for Loom and I is the technique of slowly exposing ourselves to the environment which triggers our fears. I can't think what this is called. Any psychology students here?

The other thing about flying is that it's just physically more uncomfortable than it used to be even for people who like to fly. They stuff people in like sardines in a can. When I was a kid of 14 and flew on a plane the food was better (better?! hell, there was actual food!) and there was much more room. Just more freedom.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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09-11-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
(09-11-2015 11:50 AM)Loom Wrote:  My family is planning a 7 day cruise trip to the Bahamas sometime next year. We've gone before, and aside from coming home looking like a lobster, it was very fun. We did a lot of outdoor excursions; kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, jet skiinig, hiking, exploring, screaming in terror while riding a bus weaving in and out of some of the craziest traffic I've seen (seriously don't understand how they do it down there), you name it. It was great. While I have my disagreements concerning religion with my family, and I'm the only open atheist within it, we still enjoy a wonderful relationship. I try to take every chance I get to spend time with my family, especially if we're going on an 'adventure' together.

But for me, there's a huge problem. I might have to fly home, alone.

The last time we'd gone on a cruise trip, I had to go on a three hour flight home, alone. It was the first time I'd ever done that.

I'm terrified of flying. Despite having flown dozens of times in my life (especially when living in Alaska where flying was one of the only modes of transportation), I can't bring myself to enjoy it anymore.

I used to love flying. Taking off was my favorite part as a kid. Flying over the cloud tops was my 2nd favorite.

But my last flight, after the cruise trip, was 3 hours full of terror. Of course, it was a completely normal flight. No turbulence at all. Probably the smoothest flight I've ever been on.

Yet, I spent the whole time gripping the armrests, eyes wide, heart racing. In my mind, at any second the plane could either explode, suddenly start diving, fall apart, etc.

I started hyperventilating as soon as the ground 'fell away' and was replaced with nothing but air when we took off. The sensation I used to love most in a flight petrified me. It took 5mg of Xanax to calm me down enough to whip out my iPad so I could listen to some music. Of course, when I saw there was a '$9 an hour for internet' option, I immediately bought it and started watching plane crash videos. I have no idea WTF is wrong with me.

3 hours later, we landed safely. I practically had to peel myself out of the seat, I'd sweated so much. I was exhausted and almost forgot my baggage. I think I grew a gray hair or two, and I was 19!

I swore up and down that day to never fly again.

This is what I may face next year. I might even forgo the whole cruise trip JUST because of how much flying terrifies me. With work and school, my only option to return home may well be flying, and if that's the case, I might just stay home. My anxiety is bad enough with nothing to trigger it. If I can help it, I want to avoid any and all triggers.

Any advice? Even though it's still about a year away I'm already fretting over it.

Just imagine this. Every car crash on the planet everyday gets the same news coverage as an aeroplane crash.

Flying is very safe.

Just make sure you use an aeroplane.

Don't, I repeat "Don't" try flapping your arms after jumping off a bridge. That is NOT safe. Wink

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09-11-2015, 05:36 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
I love to fly...have since I was a small child. Even the rough flights and a couple bumpy landings didn't diminish my love of flying. Take off and landing my favorite parts.

What I hate now is the hassle of air travel. It's just a pain. I would rather take a road trip. If I didn't have to put up with the BS at the airport and the ever-changing rules for what you can and can't pack and take onboard flying would still be a thrill for me.

My husband has only flown a couple times and is an absolute wreck over it. He had to resort to medication to keep from having some sort of breakdown.

Talk to your doctor about something to take for the anxiety.

I don't travel much any more. But I love a long, long road trip...especially by myself.

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09-11-2015, 05:46 PM
RE: Fear of flying...
Never had a fear of flying. Do have a fear of my fatass sitting in a seat way too small for any period of time. I take sleeping pills. I don't care if the flight leaves at 0 dark thirty I'm still taking sleeping pills. My favorite flights are when I end up sitting next to another big fat guy. We both know we're gonna agree to put up the armrest and gradually blob morph into each other's space. And, in a pinch, we can feed each other with our one free hand.

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