How to get rid of “aerophobia” and enjoy your flight

We can’t change our destiny, but we can choose how to enjoy and live our life. Travel for some people is the most interesting thing ever, for others it’s the most terrify thing to do. Air travel is the most important and safe mean of transport. People travel for the purpose of study, work, and go on holiday. “Aerophobia” is the fear of flying by air, known also as “Aviophobia”. It is described as an extreme avoidance of planes, or anything associated with flying, including airports. Researches indicated that between 2.5% to 40% travelers experienced flying related anxiety each year. But nowadays everything has a solution. Even aerophobia, where big part of it depends on psychological reasons related to the person’s childhood or previous experiences. Here are it’s causes, symptoms, and ways of treatment.  

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Causes

  1. There is no definite reason for aerophobia but, may be it caused of some conditions as: listening to bad news and accidents of plans’ crash, having bad experience in travel tripe, or surrounding environment as father or mother’s fear of flying which affect their sons’ believes.
  2. Aerophobia may also result from related types of phobia like; fear of enclosed spaces “claustrophobia”, fear of crowds “agoraphobia”, fear of heights “acrophobia”, fear of vomiting “emetophobia”, the anxiety of not being in control, or Social or germ phobia; Those with social anxiety disorder or a fear of germs often develop a fear of flying because they will be forced to spend long periods of time with strangers.
  3. Also some other physical disorders can contribute to a fear of flying:

A. aero-otitis media, which can cause pain or dizziness during flight.

B. Having a cold, nasosinusitis , or conditions such as ear disorders can cause a very real fear of developing physical discomfort.

C. Cardiovascular disease that increase your risk of blood clots, which can prompt concerns about developing deep vein thrombosis during a flight.

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Symptoms

People who have aerophobia could feel some of the following symptoms:

  • Shudder
  • Asphyxiation
  • Clouded thinking
  • Disorientation vertigo
  • Flushed skin
  • Intestinal upset
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Cold hands
  • Nausea
  • Choking sensation

Some people may have panic attacks, which is described as a feel of anxiety and fear with physical reactions with no definite cause. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. On the other side some people may feel the symptoms as soon as arriving the airport before getting in the plane.

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Ways of treatment

There are many ways of treating aerophobia – medication and therapy, or both of them. Therapy contains many types of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which depends on getting rid of bad thoughts about flying, reading more about air travel and pilot training, also setting travel goals and people to meet may help. Also Virtual Reality (VR) is a way of therapy, which was also used in recovering mental health. This kind of treatment is used from mid-1990s, it helps the patient dealing with his fears directly such as fear of flying and getting rid of it. One course of treatment includes an estimated 10 sessions. Finally, there are group classes. These classes include two or three days, often over a weekend, and are sometimes offered by airlines.

Medication is given to reduce or prevent travel symptoms, that your doctor may give you before your flight to keep you off from nausea or anxiety or something designed to reduce motion sickness before your flight.

Last, if your fear is holding you back from something, whether it is flying, swimming, or whatever, just try doing it! We don’t want to look back when we are 80 years old thinking about all the things we should’ve done. Our life is very short, and there is no time to waste.

Sources

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