Post # 1
So tonight I was watching a movie and there was a scene in a plane and all the sudden it hit me- I’m going to be flying for our honeymoon in three weeks. I haven’t flown in three years but I use to take trips at least once a year and it never really bothered me until three years ago. On the flight back I could feel the plane slowing down (or something? I don’t know it was weird) and it freaked me out. In the past couple years I have had some anxiety issues and I am now terrified to fly. I pushed it out of mind until tonight but I literally was in tears with my FI telling him I couldn’t do it. So bees I need some help, what should I do so I can actually get on the plane to head to Jamaica?
P.S. The “more people die in car crashes” argument doesn’t really do much for me.
Post # 3
I hate flying as well, but still do it fairly often – about 3 trips a year on average. I try to sleep through my flights.
I usually have one or two drinks before to get me to that “drowsy” state. Something mild, like a mimosa or screwdriver. I would take some sort of sleeping pill, but I never have before and the thought freaks me out a bit.
Post # 4
Go to your doctor and get some meds. I have to take anti-anxiety drugs about an hour before the flight. Once I am one the plane, I do alot of holding my husbands hand/clutching his arm and repeating in my head “everything is ok” and really focusing on my breathing. Bring things to distract you for the flight; books, magazines, download tv shows or movies onto an ipod, etc.
I completely understand your fear (the car crash argument doesn’t help me at all either) but everything WILL be fine. For me, this helps: Everytime you start thinking about the flight in the upcoming weeks and start feeling nervous, force yourself to change your train of thought to how awesome your honeymoon is going to be. Try not to think about the flight until the day of and then think of it in little steps; 1. check-in, 2. security, 3. boarding, 4. take off, etc and each time you get through a step you are one step closer to exiting the plane in Jamaica. It makes the anxiety more manageable for me and helps to keep me from getting overwhelmed.
Post # 5
I was going to suggest going to the doctor for meds too. Ask for something that will knock you out if nothing else, then take it half hour to an hour before boarding (make sure Hubs knows you’re taking it, and go minimal on your carry on) and let yourself sleep through the flight. You’ll probably be drowsy the rest of the day too, but if it gets you there that’s what’s important.
PS – Has anyone seen the movie “French Kiss”? She hates flying and goes to this training thing where they simulate flights and she freaks out. It’s a pretty funny scene, even though panic is never funny in real life.
Post # 6
When you say that you felt the plane feel like it was slowing down, that’s a perfectly normal part of flight! There’s a few reasons that this happens, namely:
-You had reached your cruising altitude, the pilot “trimmed up” and leveled the plane out. When that happens, they back off the engines (kind of like when you reach the top of a hill when you drive your car).
-Planes are designed much in the same way cars are with respect to speed control. Sometimes you need to go faster, sometimes you need to go slower, but in the end, as long as you maintain a minimum airspeed (a lot lower than you’d expect!) you’ll get where you’re going without a problem. 🙂
-You went into a bank (turn); these feel faster because the plane actually speeds up slightly when they turn (has to do with the speed of the air that you need to have over the wing to stay in flight) but once you’ve made the turn, you level out and “slow down”.
It’s been a while since I had to do aerodynamics, but those were the first things that came to mind. Also, a friendly reminder *not* to worry if you see the wings of the plane flex slightly during flight–they’re designed to do that! 🙂
I’m an aerospace engineer and I *hate* to fly. A lot of the stuff I mentioned above contributed to my fears; but once I understood why certain things happened, it helped a lot. Am I a great passenger now? No…but that’s why they serve booze on planes. 😉
Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions!
Post # 7
Sorry to hear that. I was just on vacation a few weeks ago and had all kinds of anxiety – and I used to not be nervous flyer, either. What part of flying causes you the most anxiety? For it’s the turbulence…honestly I just prayed whenever I felt it! I would investigate the anti-anxiety pill route. Or maybe half a sleeping pill?
Post # 8
I used to get very anxious during turbulence, and I fly 15-20 times a year. What helped me was reading the back columns of Ask the Pilot on Salon.
The author is a pilot and does a great job of explaining the mechanics of flying in understandable terms. Once I realized that turbulence to a pilot was like driving down a bumpy road, I felt better.
My fiance gets anxious, too. The meds helped him out for a while when he needed it, but they definitely knocked him out. Once he realized that the plane on Lost crashed because Desmond didn’t put the numbers in, not that it just fell out of the sky, he felt better too 😉
Post # 9
@lillyfaith- I’ve taken a sleeping pill with a glass of wine before, it’s not too bad and usually knocks me out, so that could work
@ aloweha-The little steps at a time might help a lot. I haven’t ever flown with FI so maybe having him around to hold my hand will help as well, he usually calms me down when my anxiety is bad 🙂 I do have a xanax script but I am out with no refill. I was thinking about going to the doctor but right now I don’t have insurance…maybe it would be worth it for the peace of mind, or maybe he would call it in for me without me having to come in?
@ Daydream- I have seen French Kiss and that scene cracks me up but also reminds me of how I feel. In fact after I read that I had to show FI, so maybe he could have a better idea of how I feel.
Thanks all, I’ll probably try to go to the doctor to get a refill on my xanax!
Post # 10
Haha, there were all sorts of responses added while I was typing up my response!
@ astromeg- that does actually help a bit, I guess the not understanding it does contribute to my anxiety, along with the not being in control.
@MissLLC- I think that it’s a combination of a lot of things- turbulance, not being in control, the noises and the feelings, the closed in space- one of those things at a time doesn’t really bother me but all combined it’s like AHH! I think the anxiety meds are the way to go.
@ Texican- Thank you for that article, I’m going to go look into it now!
Post # 11
i know exactly how you feel. i flew for the first time last march and it was awful (nothing wtih the plane or anything just me). but then when i got a promotion at work i found out i would have to fly back and forth every week for 2-3 months…i was mortified!!! and i would have to be by myself.
i took my Sidour with me (a book of prayers) and there is a Wayfayers prayer and i said it during EVERY lift off and if there was any turbulance. it was a godsend….literally. i am not sure if you are religious but if you are this is something to look into. even just holding that little book made me feel more safe. 😀
that is what helped me bc i dont drink or take meds (if i dont have to) and this was for me. but honestly i really debated on drinking bc i am sure that would help too.
you will be just fine. 😀
Post # 12
More people do die in car crashes, but then again, at any given moment way more people are in a car than a plane… And even if you do it %age wise…I think with all that goes into the TSA and regulations for airlines and the fact that companies want a good rep to sell tickets…it’s just common sense…so I totally get why that doesn’t work for you!
Sleeping pills or have a drink would be my best answer. I mean honestly, it’s out of your control so there’s no point wasting your time worrying about it… I know sometimes it’s hard to control our thoughts/emotions.
Post # 13
Last year I flew a lot. And in that, there were a few flights that were over 15 hrs!
I’ve honestly only been terrified once… and it can be really scary! Especially when it’s a red eye flight and you feel like you’re the only one who knows that something seems off 🙂 In the end though, flying is safer than driving. Take some meds, lay your head on your FH’s shoulder and come to in paradise! 🙂
Lol- sorry, just saw the car crash stat thing… But, I’ve been in multiple car accidents. Never in a plane crash 🙂
Post # 14
I don’t mind taking off or flying but I hate landing!!!
I usually chew a lot of gum, have a drink and maybe take a sleeping pill if you want to sleep during the flight. Reading mags me feel sick so I don’t do that…I do listen to my iPod though 🙂
Post # 15
I pretend im not on a plane! I try and clear my mind of everything during takeoff, and then when any turbulence develops. It isn’t perfect but it helps me get through flights and I probably fly 5-6x a year.
Post # 16
Ugh I feel your pain I do not like flying but I do want to go to bora bora for our honeymoon but that flight is soooo long kinda freaks me out! : /