**Update*** The way I feel on an airplane…

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I am a very relaxed flyer, but I usually don’t sleep the night before a trip (even a long car trip) mostly from excitedness/not wanting to be late etc.  Sometimes I only sleep two hours before a trip because I just can’t stay asleep.

I usually end up sleeping a lot on the plane, I also have to take motion sickness meds which make me drowsy on top of not sleeping much the night before.  I have been known to fall asleep within minutes of getting to me seat, sleep through taxi and take off, and wake up an hour or so later.

Did you try reading a book or magazine to try and focus on something other than the flight?  I can still get nauseous through the meds I take, and that can be quite uncomfortable, I usually pick something off in the distance and just stare at it.  Not looking around out the window, but picking one place to just focus on for a while.  Not sure if that would help with flight anxiety though.

Post # 5
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@BellaDee: Aw I’m sorry. I hate flying too but have gotten a little better over the years.  Sounds like you were having a panic attack.  

Post # 6
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@BellaDee:  Sounds like a panic attack to me. I never thought I was having them – I actually thought I was having medical emergencies. I was wrong and they are now being controlled. If you already have anxiety it’s very possibly a panic attack… especially since you were returning to ‘real life’ after what I assume was a nice vacay it could have subconsciously triggered something you didn’t even know existed and that dread turned into a serious case of panic.

ETA: I also saw a cardiologist.. had EKGs… had a catscan for PE… all negative. I spent so much to rule out all these awful things and it was actually psychological. It’s amazing what the mind can do.


Post # 8
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@BellaDee:  I know that “lead” feeling. Not sure what causes it but it’s weird.

Post # 9
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@BellaDee:  I’m really similar to this when I’m on a plane.. I don’t know what it is, everyone I talk to about it just says “have a shot and you’ll feel better, or better yet have a couple and you’ll fall asleep” Umm.. I don’t think so.. When I’m on a plane, for the most part I can’t move, well I can, but if I do, I feel horrible, almost like there is an ever fizzing can of gingerale in my head..and that my arms and legs feel like they’re 30,000 lbs.

I have to focus the whole time I’m on the plane on keeping calm (as in keepling my stomach calm) the whole length of every flight I’ve been on (except one) I felt like I was moments away from barfing. I can’t even have a conversation.. FI always trys to talk to me, and I always shush him because I can’t be distracted lol.. I feel like a total nut job on planes, and forget about looking out he window if I do tat its puke-central lol, I take anti-motion-sickness -pills (they’re CVS brand) and they DO help a little.

All in all, I get how you feel.. I don’t really have any suggestions but, I feel your pain.

ETA: I have ZERO anxiety when it comes to thinking about flying, getting on the plane, buckling in, taking off, but like, 10 mins into the flight I go into this weird mode of almost like, paranoia? I don’t even think thats the right word for it? Ugh its so hard to describe how it feels! Its like no word is the right word to describe how I feel after take off..

Post # 10
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

I really DON’T like flying.  I’ve only flown for business and my SO…because his family is soo far away that honestly, flying is better than driving 16 hours lol.

I’ve had to fly so much because of him and now, well, we are moving cross country so we will be flying even more because of this. 

It wasn’t until about my 20th time flying that SO and I had a NIGHTMARE of a flight.  Took off in a storm, had a bumpy ride the entire time, and I was sooooo scared that honestly, I don’t think I will mind flying any other time as long as it’s not like that.  It helps me to listen to music when I fly and when possible…..have a drink lol.  Just calms me down!

Post # 12
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@BellaDee:  That sounds like a very intense panic attack.  Some flights I am fine, others I am tearing at the armrest to keep myself from freaking out and scaring the passenger next to me.  I now refuse to fly without Xanax or Valium to keep me calm.  My attacks usually occur during descent or when there are abrupt changes in the cabin (i.e. turbulence).

Post # 13
27 posts
  • Wedding: December 2017

I feel similarly during take off — It reminds me of how i feel on a roller coaster… my brain gets heavy, my eyes get a bit fuzzy, even if I don’t feel “anxious” as in “really afraid of the flight right now”.


For my honeymoon flights to and from Italy, I had a prx for Xanax and never felt that way, although I ALWAYS feel that way on takeoff, so it is now confirmed that it is purely and anxious reaction.


*ETA Xanax didn’t help me during turbulence mid-trip (i.e., halfway over the ocean). My anxiety peaked through even a double dose. So it helps a LOT but I still had moments of anxiety. So much better. Plus, I slept on the flight!


I agree with beachbride– I wouldn’t fly without medication! I kept saying to DH “Is this how most people feel about flying?? Just annoyed but otherwise completely calm”? And yeh, apparently people don’t feel like their head is leaden and don’t feel every turn and change in altitude the plane makes!


Post # 14
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@BellaDee:  The “heaviness” feeling is not anxiety. I think it’s a real thing caused by a real thing. I just don’t what the “things” are.

Post # 15
1036 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@BellaDee:  It sounds like you may have been experiencing a panic attack. Often they dont feel like “anxiety” or like a mental thing at all. The experience is very much a physiological one. Sweaty palms, racing heart, feeling like you can’t control your body’s reaction to the situation…


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