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Major anxiety about flying - anyone else?

(25 Posts)
CakeInMyFace Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:52

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but really struggling with a fear of flying that is getting worse. Problem is, I live in the UK with my DH and DD, but I'm from overseas, and we go back every 18 months or so. We're planning to go in just two months time, and since I've had my DD my fears have intensified.

I hate take off, I clench the armrest, heart racing, sweating, etc., and any time there is any kind of bump during the flight I immediately panic and often start to cry. It's absolute hell flying anywhere, and the only thing that gets me through it is usually alcohol. However, my DD will be nearly two, and this time I don't want her to see me panicking like this. I'm sure she'll pick up on my fears. I'm terrified the plane will crash, that we are doomed, etc etc.

Does anyone else suffer from this anxiety? How do you deal with the fear/panic? Any recommendations for any self help books? I'd love to do hypnotherapy or a fear of flying course but we just don't have the money for that. Even with two months to go I'm getting anxious already.

KevinFoley Sun 07-Apr-13 19:06:10

Me too, it's awful and really spoils my holidays. Drugs work for me, specifically Diazepam (I need a high dose to have any effect) and Propanolol (beta blocker). lovely GP gives them to me. Distraction didn't work for me, neither did thinking rationally about safety of airplanes, what noises meant etc.

CakeInMyFace Sun 07-Apr-13 19:11:55

Hmmm..thanks Kevin for your reply - it is awful isn't it? Totally takes the enjoyment out of holidays. I'm at the point where I would almost rather not go - but the thought of not seeing my family breaks my heart. Perhaps seeing the GP is the way to go - any side effects with the Diazepam? How does it make you feel and what sort of dose do you use?

mummylin2495 Sun 07-Apr-13 19:18:49

I too hate flying, but I love the holidays so I have to just get on with it.i keep my eyes on the air host/ hostesses all the time and if they look calm I am fine. I never ever get out of my seat but the last couple of years I have actually sat by the window and looked out which at one time I would never do. I don't thinks its the flying like you it's the fear of crashing that worries me .Strange thing is I love airports and all the hassle and bustle. I am sure you will be fine.go and have a great time. Is it a long flight ?

kazkiss Sun 07-Apr-13 19:26:40

I downloaded the virgin fear of flying app which is about £2.99 but it really help and is a lot cheaper than there course. It has a pilot taking you through a flight and lots of calming audio clips and stuff. Not flown since using the app as going in may but it has made me feel a lot calmer about it.

Mosschops30 Sun 07-Apr-13 19:36:17

I used to suffer like this terribly.

I came on here on Paul mckennas web chat and he answered me and said to try his download.

Having previously tried hypnotherapy, alcohol, medication, courses I was sceptical

But IT WORKED, gringrin you listen every night for 2 weeks and that's it.
I fly everywhere now, even been to Dubai this year smile

I've since done his sleep training and the and the smoking one and have been fag free for just over a year too smile

Crawling Sun 07-Apr-13 19:41:06

I hate flying I am going to Florida in September and im dreading the flight. Also dread when the air gets stale as I have panic attacks then.

CakeInMyFace Sun 07-Apr-13 20:07:44

The flight is to Toronto so about 7-8 hours. Some great things to try thanks for all your responses...Will try the app and the download. I really do wish there was a magic pill to take the awful anxiety away. Am really dreading this!

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 07-Apr-13 20:09:52

One word - Valium.

Can't take off without it and I fly up to 10 times a year blush

sailorsgal Sun 07-Apr-13 20:19:50

I use Paul Mckenna's download too. Its very good.

chibi Sun 07-Apr-13 20:26:48

valium is the magic pill.

i was afraid it would make me dopey, nope. just incredibly calm.

we had severe enough turbulence that the pilot told cabin crew to sit and buckle up, i though 'gosh that sounds serious' seconds before i fell asleep


still coherent though to entertain and manage children.

really, try all the hypno stuff, but let drugs be your copilot

Mosschops30 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:46:34

Chibi please don't talk nonsense you couldn't take enough diazepam to get you off to sleep in an anxious state and cope with your children.

I used to take it but my anxiety when flying was so bad it wouldn't touch me, then we'd land and I would be wrecked

CakeInMyFace Sun 07-Apr-13 20:48:15

How much valium do you take Chibi and Ophelias so I can ask my gp?

TequilaMockinBird Sun 07-Apr-13 20:50:09

I take Valium (diazepam) aswell. 5mg when I get up on the morning of the flight and then another 5mg tablet whilst sitting in the gate waiting to board (so about 20-30 mins before take-off)

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 07-Apr-13 20:50:13

I don't think Chibi is talking nonsense at all! shock

Anyway - 5mg every four or give hours. Sometimes 2mg is enough to help me deal with myself.

Mosschops30 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:56:44

Yes 2 or 5mg is fine to reduce your anxiety.
I'm just saying that making out you could drop off to sleep during a turbulent episode but be alert enough to deal with your dcs is bollocks.

It's one or the other I'm afraid

KevinFoley Sun 07-Apr-13 21:06:02

I need both diazepam and propanolol to ward off the sweaty palms and palpitations and feelings of panic. I take more than the usual dose of diazepam (talk to your GP about how much you can safely take) and tend to be scared during take off but no longer panicking. Once airborne I relax and tend to nod off unless turbulent. I would say it takes the edge off it. DH looks after DD as I try and sleep. i think the sleep is a mix of drugs and anxiety-fatigue. The effects of the medication wear off quickly on me but I think this would vary between individuals.

chibi Sun 07-Apr-13 21:57:53

i am not talking nonsense. i took my pills before the flight, and was able to fall asleep. i woke up to that announcement, and went back to sleep.

i still felt a bit anxious on takeoff and landing, but it was manageable- i could put my anxiety aside.

previously i would have been crying, shaking, needing to be sick. i wouldn't wish it on anyone. i have to fly if i am going to see my parents as they live outside the uk and there is no other way to get there.

i shared my experiences hoping it would help. it did not occur to me that anyone would accuse me of talking nonsense. i will leave you to it i guess sad

chibi Sun 07-Apr-13 22:08:36

it was night flight, mosschops. have you heard of them? it is traditional to sleep during them, even when you have kids!

this was the first night flight i had ever managed to sleep on, due to my anxiety. i was able to relax to the point where my tiredness could take over and let me sleep. like everyone else on the plane.

as to the turbulence, yes, the flight attendants were asked to take their seats. no, that does not mean we were crashing. taking the diazepam meant that i could be like all the normal people on the plane who were not worried about turbulence either. many of these normal people were asleep too. fancy that hmm. anyway, it was wonderful to be free of the anxiety, i would not wish how that felt on anyone.

when i was awake and under the influence of diazepam i was alert and 'with it'. i don't know if i could drive, for example, because i don't drive anyway, but i certainly felt competant to deal with my kids.

we are going back to see my family this summer and i am actually looking forward to it, not because i now love flying (i never will) but because i know i can cope.

good luck.

Mosschops30 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:22:17

Ooh good a drip feed thanks for that

I didn't know planes fly at night? How do they see?
And people sleep too you say?

Wow whole new world out there thanks so much for the insight

IWantATowel Sun 07-Apr-13 22:39:04

I'm terrified of flying too, I hate the fact that you can't just get off if you panic! oh bloody hell the thought of it is making me go all funny confused

Overberries Sun 07-Apr-13 22:52:45

Finding this thread has given me hope! Thanks for your experiences chibi, you and cake sound just like me. So unbeliveably terrified on flights that I'm shaking, crying, biting my hands (totally out of character) and as my oldest DC is getting to the point of starting to notice I think I really need to do something about it. I'm heartened to hear you feel comfortable taking BZDs with kids as I really think there's not much else that could help me!! I just wish I could make rational techniques work but seems beyond me in this situation.

I also wish people could give their insightful experiences to others without being unjustly flamed. But that's a separate issue

Good luck to all struggling x

dothraki Sun 07-Apr-13 22:57:14

I hate flying - but its not fear of crashing - its just heights. Even watching Skyfall I felt sick

chibi Mon 08-Apr-13 07:41:50

i did try hypnosis, it did not help me.

i would not suggest that mosschops is making it up though. different things work for different people.

the diazepam was prescribed to me by my gp

CakeInMyFace Mon 08-Apr-13 08:31:12

Chibi thank you for sharing your experience. Its given me hope too. Our return flight is at night and I would love to be calm enough to sleep instead of shaking and sweating at every little bump and noise. I think a visit to the gp is in order to get some valium. Will try it before we go to get the dose right.

Thanks for all the support Im so glad I posted about this!

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