My *VERY* irrational fear of flying….(step by step) *must read* help!

posted 4 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
2868 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Do you remind yourself that you’re not really hypoxic, but rather experiencing an anxiety attack? That might help. 

My mom flys a lot for business, and when I started flying and got anxious about it, she would say: “Honey, just remember the pilot is just as invested in making sure you get there safely as all the passengers are. If the plane goes down, he goes down with it, so remember that there are two people up there with a WHOLE lot of motivation to get you there safe and sound.” 

I guess I would just keep that in mind – the airline certainly doesn’t want its passengers having altitude sickness, so they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that there’s enough cabin pressure to keep everyone safe and healthy. Even when something goes wrong, they have those masks as a second line of defense. Almost every potential safety risk is something they’ve considered and made plans and backup plans for. 


Post # 4
10521 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@BellaDee:  When you say anything above 2000 feet, do you mean you would have trouble walking around in a city above that elevation?

Post # 6
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Is there a specific reason you won’t take something just for flying? I take xanax…really helps take the edge off.

Post # 7
10521 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@BellaDee:  Maybe spending more time at locations with higher elevation would help?  I’ve never heard of a tourist at Stampede passing out because of AMS.  Drinking, yes 🙂

Maybe reminding yourself of all the people who travel back and forth experiencing large elevation gains would help?

Post # 9
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@BellaDee:  I regret reading your post because I am also an anxious flyer. Here is my thought process when flying.

1) Waiting to board. Feel anxious and eat a lot.

2) Get on plane. Start telling myself I can do this. Maybe read Skymall (because what is better than the Skymall magazine)

3) Look for a barf bag because Skymall only took me 3 minutes to get through and now I’ve gone from momentarily entertained to psyching myself into sickness.

4) Plane starts doing that wing adjustment thing. Heart beats faster.

5) Plane readies for take off. I take hold of the arm rests, close my eyes.

6) Get in the air, panic as we drop alititude and then go back up. Because, you know, that is a clear sign we are going to crash.

7) Pray to cheesus they bring the damn drinks soon because my mouth is dry, and after all the shit I ate, of course drinking soda is going to help lol

**At this point I go the whole flight pretty ok except I tend to look around and make sure there is no one suspicious. If so, I watch them like a hawk and think of every irrational crime they look capable of and have a panic attack.

8) Plane comes in for landing. I will either hold the hand of the person beside me (if I know them) or place my face in my hands, pray, and breath a huge sigh of relief as we slow down.

*I also want to note that I am flying TOMORROW and the above outline is with a non-drowsy Dramamine in my system. Because I am 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant tomorrow, I will be staying as far away from Dramamine as I can even though it is a Schedule B drug and perfectly safe for pregnency according to my doctor.

So doing this without any for of medication—we will see if the barf bag gets used for the first time ever. My only saving grace is I am going with all medical professionals, so if something happens I am in good hands.

If you would like to further discuss irrational fears of flying feel free to PM me. I completely know what you are talking about on so many levels, girl.

Post # 10
3636 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Watch some Denver Broncos football.  You have a serious issue, and I wish you the best of luck with it, but maybe you can try to make light of it a little and spend some time with your husband watching football.  🙂  Peyton Manning wins a lot of football games at 5,000ft.  I’ve spent 2 weeks there for work, and I did get winded walking up stairs the first couple days, and got a wicked sunburn, but that’s it – I was fine. 

Post # 12
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@BellaDee:  Haha thanks. I don’t have motion sickness actually. I have been in a helicopter and do just fine. It’s just the airplane. It’s being on a big thing in the middle of the air when so much can go wrong but so little ever does. I just work myself up to getting so anxious that I make myself sick and usually not barfy sick. Usually I get pounding heart beat, tingly face, sweaty, and I feel like I am suffocating to death.

I have been through some terrifying flights, the last flight being the worst. We came in for a landing in over 75 mph winds, and I truly thought I was going to die. This time, the weather is fabulous in both places, so I shouldn’t have to worry, but I am still a worry wart.

Post # 13
6220 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Honestly, your fear goes far beyond the usual fear of flying, to the point that you’re going to be much better off focusing on your therapy than asking strangers on the Internet for advice. Most folks only know the kind of fear/anxiety that is soothed away with a couple of cocktails and a good movie, but yours is more irrational and more crippling, and it’s not going to do you much good to have various random suggestions and tips coming your way, especially if they may conflict with what your therapist says.  

Post # 15
31 posts
  • Wedding: September 2014

If it makes you feel any better I’m an engineer and studied mostly aircraft design in school. You are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY safer on a plane then in your car and for commercial jets there are only 1-2 major accidents a year (which are usually not fatal).

Best of luck to you Laughing

Post # 16
2079 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@BellaDee:  I use to be a flight attendant. There is nothing I can say or do to change  your fear of flying. I can tell you it’s highly unlikely pressurization or depressurization will hurt you, unless you have a sinus/ear infection. Chewing gum will help with the popping sensation you feel in your ears as the aircraft ascends and descends. I would recommend taking Dramamine or Benadryl. They are both OTC medications and have a fairly short half life.




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