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To be so scared of flying

(25 Posts)
AlletrixLeStrange Mon 15-May-17 09:18:31

Posting here for traffic and a as desperate plea that someone will come along with wise words.

I am going on holiday on Wednesday but I am absolutely petrified of flying.
I've cancelled a holiday before because of my fear (we made to the airport but I had to leave), I managed to get on a plane last year and it was worse than I'd imagined.
Every time I think about it my heart races and I feel sick, I've barely slept the past few nights and I genuinely feel like crying.

I know you'll tell me planes are safer than cars, I've been in a serious accident and if emergency services hadn't got to me I wouldn't be here today but if a plane crashes it's a different story (that's my reasoning).

Is there anything I can do/take to help? I'm so scared I'm not going to get on this plane again.

BeyondThePage Mon 15-May-17 09:31:06

What I find the most reassuring thing - and it sounds daft - is - the pilot, the flight crew, everyone on that plane, does this for a living, they have chosen to do it, they go home to their families every day.

they are the ones trained to fly the plane, they are the ones with all the power, they are not going to be affected IN ANY WAY whatsoever by me - personally - worrying about them doing their job.

What your worry does is suck the joy from every moment - those are your moments, ones that you should be enjoying - but all that worry has NO EFFECT on the actual outcome of the flight - NONE.

Be aware. The biggest thing you can do for your own safety on a plane is count seat backs between you and every exit and stay alert.

ajandjjmum Mon 15-May-17 09:36:01

I feel for you - I'm fine with flying but my fear of snakes stops me travelling to places that I would love to visit.

I've just had a session of hypnotherapy - second one this week, and the hypnotist is fairly confident that I can crack it.

Might be worth a shot?

Teddy6767 Mon 15-May-17 09:36:24

How long is the flight? You could ask for some Valium from the doctor to calm you down and make you really sleepy during the flight. If it's a short flight then you'd only need like 1/4 of a tablet.
Do some really long, slow, deep breathing exercises too as they can help keep me calm enough to board the flight.
Keep your focus on how amazing the holiday is going to be when you get there and how much fun you'll have.
I also tell the air hostesses when I board that I'm terrified and they always come and check on me every half hour and fill me in on everything that's going on. They also pre warn me that there's going to be turbulence so I'm prepared for it.

Areyoufree Mon 15-May-17 09:39:06

Look up 'The Breakthrough Expert' on YouTube. Yes, I know it is a dumb name, but his videos really helped me. I am terrified of flying too, but after watching his videos and doing some of the exercises he suggests, I found my fear was much more manageable. Good luck though - it's such a horrible feeling! I have to fly in a couple of weeks too, and am not looking forward to it.

CrowRoad Mon 15-May-17 09:41:48

I can't really help as I suffer myself and I know it's sucks, but I'm determined to get over it in the next few years.

I flew loads in my youth but since having kids, my anxiety has gone through the roof and the more I put off big scary things like flying, the more the anxiety has filtered down to lesser risks - trains, boats, city centres. I feel like my world is closing in. I'm awake for nights beforehand too.

I do know that diazepam helps In the moment and the dr has prescribed them to me before. It's worth doing a test run to see how much you'll need as everyone is different. It's not a long-term solution though. I believe the best thing to do is get through it and not to avoid it. I'm also looking into specific phobia therapy.

Good luck on Wednesday. Keep busy in the run up, distract yourself and breathe! You'll have a fab holiday once you're there. x

AliciaMayEmory Mon 15-May-17 09:43:00

I have been where you are now. I know how you feel and the fear is so exhausting. There isn't time before this flight, but I went on the flying without fear course run by Virgin Atlantic as it has honestly changed how I view flying. DH is an aerospace engineer and would constantly try to explain just why the plane wouldn't suddenly drop out of the sky/combust/wings fall off/engines all fail simultaneously/insert any other irrational and illogical fear here, but it never went in. The course was fabulous and other airlines run them so many to chose from. I would highly recommend going on one in the future as I had tried hypnotherapy, Valium, the lot but this has actually worked.

In the short term, a low dose of diazepam (Valium) works and doesn't turn you into a zombie as some people fear. It just takes the edge off the fear.

I hope that once the flight is over you have a fabulous holiday.

mummymeister Mon 15-May-17 09:43:57

go now and speak to your gp and ask for a sedative. your gp will realise it is a one off sort of thing and should be helpful. Mine have been brilliant and over the years I have gradually weaned myself down from 20mg to about 1 or 2. without it, I just would never have flown.

telling me not to worry, the professionalism of the crew and all the other stuff made absolutely no difference. Chemical intervention did and has. I have even now done two flights without anything, something I wouldn't have dreamt I could have done 20 years ago.

I take the diazepam about an hour before take off and then used to top it up during the flight if needed. speak your gp. its too late to book in for hypnotherapy so you just need to get through this next flight then sort out something for the future.

ExplodedCloud Mon 15-May-17 09:49:49

I have diazepam for flying. Takes the edge off the panic.

Tequilamockinbird Mon 15-May-17 09:52:29

I also take Diazepam to fly, the fear goes completely for me. Your GP should be able to prescribe it.

Neverknowing Mon 15-May-17 09:56:17

I know it's more long term and a bit late now but I definitely second hypnotherapy. My dad had a deathly fear of planes and the underground, after a few sessions he was fine, the difference was crazy! He now works in London, so on the tube everyday.

AlletrixLeStrange Mon 15-May-17 10:01:43

Thanks for all of your replies.
It's a short flight (2.5 hours ish). How long does the diazepam effect you for? Does it make you feel sleepy all day? As we'll be arriving at 10:30am and I want to make the most out of that day.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one, although I know how awful it is and wish none of us had it.
My fiancé just takes the mick out of me about it, because I'm so chilled out about everything usually and my job involves me being in my car every hour or so he can't understand why I'm so scared of a different form of transport but he doesn't get it, there's nothing beneath me and I'm completely out of control (probably for the best, I'm not a great driver).
When we landed at our destination last time I honestly thought the plane was diving into the sea, nothing subtle about that descent!

sonjadog Mon 15-May-17 10:04:52

I developed fear of flying a few years back, having flown happily for years. My Mum bought me this book before a trip to Australia last year, and it really helped me a lot. Now I can fly in reasonable comfort and relaxation. I'm a person who can read my way out of problems, but if you aren't I have heard that the courses they run are excellent.

sonjadog Mon 15-May-17 10:07:40

I also find it easier if I have an aisle seat, as it isn't so obvious to me I'm way up in the air. One thing I learnt from the book mentioned above which really helps, is that turbulence is like driving on a humpy road - it isn't scary and out of control. I always have my seatbelt on just in case it happens. Also, as the poster above mentioned, I can calm myself by thinking that the pilot and flight attendants also have families and lives they want to live, so they aren't going to do anything to risk those.

toolonglurking Mon 15-May-17 10:11:45

Go to your GP for something to take on Wednesday, I found Diazepam made me woozy for about 5 hours, but it took the edge off.

Then, when you get back from your holiday find someone who practices NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). It completely changed flying for me. I used to be as bad as you sound, if not worse, and now I'm fine. Still a little anxious but I can manage.

AliciaMayEmory Mon 15-May-17 10:24:19

Ask for a low dose age of the valium as you can take a small amount and topup as needed. I don't feel woozy or sleepy on it. Takes about 30 mins to start working. I take one the night before and then one every 4 hours on the day of the flight or more as needed when on the flight. I feel great when I get to my ddestination as not only is it all over, but the calming effects of the valium stop all my other anxieties so I have a really lovely relaxed first day of my holidays! wink

user1487671808 Mon 15-May-17 10:30:19

There is an app called Sky Guru which gives you real time information on what's happening on your flight. It works in flight mode. It's £19.99 on Apple (don't know about android) and might be worth it for you.

Apart from that is there any way you could get to meet one of the pilots at boarding? Don't know if they can do this any more but I think you would find it reassuring. They are real people with lives and families to go home to. They are very serious about safety and don't mess around.

Latenightreader Mon 15-May-17 10:49:55

I know exactly how you feel - I was there a few years ago. I went on the fear of flying course run by Virgin and though I was very sceptical, it really did help. I didn't notice it much at the time, but the next time I flew I was very calm.

These are some of the things which help me:

When planes take off they rise at a particular angle for a few minutes, and then the angle lessens and the engine noise changes. This always made me really tense as I thought something was wrong. It is a standard noise abatement practise and happens on every flight.

I always felt unstable and off balance on planes. I keep a glass or bottle of water/other liquid in sight and this reassures me that we are flying on the level. I also find that standing up and taking a couple of steps (even on the spot) helps me to feel more stable.

If I start to feel tense I watch the cabin crew. They will be finely tuned to what is normal on a flight, and if anything was wrong they wouldn't be selling duty free/handing out drinks/collecting rubbish.

A calming technique they gave us on the course was to picture something that makes you feel happy and confident and let it fill your mind. Mine was my favourite vase, and if I can focus on that, and concentrate on my breathing, it gets me out of jitters.

I also have a gin before I board.

MorrisZapp Mon 15-May-17 10:55:49

Temazepam. Every time. I actually need it the night before flying too.

I also wear a big thick hoodie on the flight, with the hood up. I keep my eyes closed if I can, and try to zone out.

I feel absolutely fine the moment I feel the plane start to descend. It's like 'oh OK, we're nearly on the ground' and suddenly I become mildly euphoric.

The mind is a funny thing!

allegretto Mon 15-May-17 10:56:05

I agree that diazepam really helps. It doesn't really make me feel woozy, just normal rather than a ball of nerves. I also find it really helps to fly more often. If I haven't flown for years, it just seems all the worse.

allegretto Mon 15-May-17 10:56:48

I feel absolutely fine the moment I feel the plane start to descend. It's like 'oh OK, we're nearly on the ground' and suddenly I become mildly euphoric.

Me too!

TheGrumpySquirrel Mon 15-May-17 11:06:52

I take diazepam and used this resource in the past. Captain Keith phoned me personally to talk me down the night before a flight I was freaking out about.

TheGrumpySquirrel Mon 15-May-17 11:07:32

Btw I'm now almost "cured" and only take diazepam on long haul or with bad turbulence

PatriciaHolm Mon 15-May-17 11:16:19

I did the Virgin course too, which was great.

What I find helps is being distracted - doing Suduko or something from the moment I sit down.

Excitedforxmas Mon 15-May-17 11:21:19

Diazepam and also download BBC player and watch some tv. I save all my soaps for the week and put on headphones and completely zone out.

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