5 symptoms and experiences or fear of flying and 5 treatments
What is a fear of flying?
A fear of flying is called Aerobia. It’s a common fear that has intensified and often become a phobia. The fear of flying is a common modern-day problem that is related to stress and anxiety. It can happen to anyone of all ages and backgrounds.
It makes the person think and feel that there is a potential danger ahead and that they haven’t the coping mechanisms and resilience to overcome the negativity.
Who does a fear of flying affect?
A fear of flying can affect anyone at any time. Many people have already had an experience of flying, but some people have never flown before.
What symptoms and experiences do people complain of with a fear of flying?
Aerophobia, or fear of flying, can manifest through various symptoms and experiences. People with aerophobia may:
- Avoid flying at all costs, preferring other modes of transportation even if less convenient.
- Avoid media related to air travel.
- Become obsessed with learning about airport and aeroplane security measures.
- Experience panic attacks before or during a flight.
- Show physical symptoms like chills, dizziness, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath, trembling, and upset stomach.
What to do about a fear of flying
If you want to fly or need to fly and the problem won’t disappear, you need to seek help from a professional. You could see your doctor or a therapist.
What are the recognised treatments for fear of flying?
Recognized treatments for aerophobia include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps change how individuals think about flying. It may involve learning about aeroplane mechanics, reviewing air travel safety statistics, and learning techniques to manage anxiety triggers, such as deep breathing or meditation during take-off, landing, or turbulence. CBT explores thoughts, feelings, the physical body and behaviours together. We might identify triggers and past experiences that contribute to the cycle of fear and negative behaviour.
- Psychotherapy can be conducted one-on-one or in a group setting, with some group therapy programs being available at airports.
- Exposure therapy gradually exposes individuals to situations related to air travel. This could include visiting airports to observe planes or using virtual reality tools to simulate flights. It’s a step-by-step process.
- Medication: While not very effective for the long-term management of fear of flying, anti-anxiety drugs may be recommended by your doctor, especially if there’s a concern about panic attacks during a flight.
- Hypnotherapy: This helps the person to reduce stress and anxiety, to reframe or desensitise negative thoughts and emotions and to visualise a positive future.
Where can you get help?
If you have general anxiety or other health-related conditions and take medications, you could ask for a health check first, as some medical conditions and medications can make people feel generally more anxious.
Through the services of Awaken the Change, I provide hypnotherapy, counselling and coaching to address the specific issues that individuals bring. Book a free discovery call and find out more.