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Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

Overcoming Fear of Flying

Abstract: About 10-20 % of all people are afraid of flying. All of them do not quit flying. Fear of flying can be treated.

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Overcoming Fear of Flying

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler, psychiatrist and psychotherapist and Jacob Palme, Professor.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 09 Jan 2012.

I am afraid to fly. Is there any help? What is exposure therapy for overcoming fear of flying?

Answer:

About 10 to 25 percent of all people fear flying in airplanes. Not all of them avoid flying completely, but it is a very common problem that people feel anxious and very uncomfortable when the airplane cabin door closes. Even to think about these situations or visiting an airport can make these people feel shaky and anxious. So they try to arrange their lives to avoid any long journey with airplanes.

Fear of flying is probably a cause why people often drink alcohol when they are flying. For air carriers, this can be both good and bad. Alcohol may make their travellers calm, but it can also make them aggressive and difficult to handle. Social drinking can reduce high levels of stress and anxiety in the short term. But it can also cause severe addiction, if you have to fly more often for business. Another dysfunctional solution is using anti-anxiety tranquilizers. That can help, if you want to go for a holiday once or twice a year. But there are better solutions that can free you from your fears of flying and make your travel more pleasant.

Some aiplane companies offer special training for people with this type of anxiety. This will include basic information about the technical standards and procedures of start and landing. You get familiar with all the different noises in the plane and safety equipment on board. The next step wil be to teach some common strategies that might help you overcome you fears in the special situation.

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question:
Local help Info
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