To ask desperately what really worked for you with fear of flying?

(84 Posts)
hippowithsuncreen Fri 15-Jan-16 12:34:25

I have flown several times. It terrifies me. I need to know what really worked for you.

Only going to the Channel Islands but had a panic attack last time blush

barnet Fri 15-Jan-16 12:40:11

I have not got first hand experience, but have heard from several people that noise cancelling headphones work very well. They block out all the noise and isolate / insulate you from the situation.

lostheloveofmylife Fri 15-Jan-16 12:41:35

My doctor gave me beta blockers for this and it did really help.

NorthernRosie Fri 15-Jan-16 12:41:57

Valium and propranolol from the doctors. Turned a massive fear of flying into something I don't mind doing!

nowtygaffer Fri 15-Jan-16 12:42:55

Try Glenn Harrold hypnotherapy cd. I've been to Australia twice after using it!!

SnootBoop Fri 15-Jan-16 12:50:20

cbt

in particular, realising that no amount of my worrying was going to change the outcome.

I have to check my evidence (most flights take off and land perfectly safely, the odds are greatly in my favour) and realise that I didn't want to stop flying and limit my life.

I still have anxious thoughts when I'm flying, but they don't upset me anymore.

If you really are desperate and can throw some money at it, then some airports do fear of flying courses where you learn about how planes get in the sky (and stay there!), learn some CBT tricks and then go for a short flight. I know two of my colleagues who have done this and been 'cured'.

LeaLeander Fri 15-Jan-16 12:52:09

Short-term Valium. Works wonders.

Long term learn about avionics and the physics of flying and the safeguards on modern airliners.

A plane on air is like a boat on water. You just can't see the air as well as you can see the water so it looks like nothing is holding up the plane. But it's there.

Really an astounding feat. I wish Wilbur and Orville could blast off in a huge jet. Imagine how they would love it!

Bookeatingboy Fri 15-Jan-16 12:52:23

Don't know but watching with great interest...

I have flown all over the world pre children, both for pleasure and work, and would be highly stressed throughout, convinced that every movement was the plane going down. Have never been on a plane since.

The last ever flight I did suffered terrible turbulence and I had a major panic attack. I've tried everything, various medication from the GP, getting drunk, CD's and much more.

ShesGotLionsInHerHeart Fri 15-Jan-16 12:56:25

For my friend, it was her husband being on the other side of the world and getting ill. She had to fly, so she just got on with it, and can do it now no bother.

WavingNotDrowning Fri 15-Jan-16 12:57:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Fri 15-Jan-16 12:58:35

What helps me is thinking about how many flights there are every day:
www.garfors.com/2014/06/100000-flights-day.html?m=1
Yes being on a plane is not a fun experience but with the statistics in mind, I feel a lot calmer.

JasperDamerel Fri 15-Jan-16 13:01:57

Valium. Also breastfeeding, which totally suppressed all my anxiety for around 2 years per child. I was completely cured of my dog phobia by spending time with dogs while I was feeling ok, but I didn't do enough flying for that to work, so I started taking Valium again.

FatherReboolaConundrum Fri 15-Jan-16 13:04:17

A plane on air is like a boat on water. You just can't see the air as well as you can see the water so it looks like nothing is holding up the plane. But it's there.

Yes, having this explained to me by a pilot helped a lot.

Mostly valium, though with a glass of wine. The first time I had valium, we flew into the tail of a major storm with lots of turbulence and a load of drunk Cubans laughing and shouting "We're all going to die!" I thought it was hilarious; without the valium and wine I'd have been curled up in a ball under my seat, weeping. After a few valium-assisted flights, I stopped getting stressed about it and don't need the valium now but still have the wine just in case.

madsaz76 Fri 15-Jan-16 13:07:33

Fear of flying courses are excellent.

Distraction and breathing exercises can help. I do a wierd combined one that I sort of settled on after a bad flight:

Essentially I imagine I am one of those long balloons you blow up where you have to sort of pull the far end to encourage it.

Long deep breath in. Slow breath out through pursed lips while visualising myself slowly inflating - starting at my toes, then feet, ankles, calves etc. Haven't got past my knees and I'm usually ok once in air.

The deep breaths and pursed lips slows heart rate down and the balloon stuff distracts you from noise etc.

FredaMayor Fri 15-Jan-16 13:11:29

It's not a fear of flying but a fear of the plane crashing, and bearing in mind most people don't fly every week or month I think it's understandable.

I fly several times a year and still don't enjoy plane journeys, especially when there's prolonged atmospheric turbulence, and the most I can say to encourage you is that I've got a little more used to it.

Have a read of the encouraging literature that's out there about plane safety, don't watch news items about disasters or any movies, e.g. 'Flight' which was showing on a TV in an airport lounge I was once in - the barman's little joke perhaps?

VocationalGoat Fri 15-Jan-16 13:15:01

Valium
And I never take it in any other circumstance, only when I fly- and I have an enormous fear of flying. It all started when an AeroMexico DC-9 had a mid air collision with another small passenger plane over my cousin's Los Angeles neighbourhood. I was 14 at the time and having a sleepover. That was 1986 and I haven't stopped shaking since.
Sorry about the rambling back story!
Valium. That's my short and sweet solution. grin

Epilepsyhelp Fri 15-Jan-16 13:19:16

I did a fear of flying course and can recommend it, not a miracle cure but lots of helpful info and statistics. I also had some sleeping tablets with me for the last long haul we did but didn't end up taking them.

The most interesting thing to come out of the course for me is that turbulence is not dangerous, however severe. It's like a car going over cobbles. Planes are stress tested to absolute extremes, much much more stress than turbulence can cause.

Hassled Fri 15-Jan-16 13:21:48

I have ridiculous little routines/superstitions. I have to sit on the left hand side, aisle seat, in the front third of the plane. I have to have a gin and tonic (this applies even when it's a 6am short Ryanair flight). And I know that when I've done all those things and worn my lucky necklace, the plane hasn't crashed - it has a 100% success rate. So that makes it sort of OK - and my anxiety has massively decreased over the last few years just because I indulge my superstitions.

SayAGreatBigThankyou Fri 15-Jan-16 13:24:15

this book helped massively, and the valium even more so.

hufflebottom Fri 15-Jan-16 13:45:55

I got better when I leant how they fly etc. Some airlines do a fear of flying course. Or did do. But also let the cabin crew know, they may techniques to help

I was an air cadet (yes who didn't like flying) but I learnt how they flew and it kinda helped as if I go abroad now I mentally tell myself what is going on at what time and that turbulence is normal etc.

teeththief Fri 15-Jan-16 13:50:20

turbulence is not dangerous, however severe. It's like a car going over cobbles Is that true? The turbulence is what scares me the most

timelytess Fri 15-Jan-16 13:53:57

Meditation and realising that I enjoy flying.

Fractiousfractions Fri 15-Jan-16 13:57:55

Alcohol. It's Valium all the way for the next flight though.

nmg85 Fri 15-Jan-16 14:00:50

Hypnotherapy helped me to some extent.Went from waking up in hot sweats just thinking about it to actually do a 7 hour flight. Now booked to do 2 short haul trips this year. Don't enjoy flying but has made it bearable.

MaelstromOfLunacy Fri 15-Jan-16 14:01:55

I also did the BA fear of flying course. I still don't enjoy flying, but I can manage it now - the course was excellent and really informative, I'd really recommend it

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