How to overcome flight phobia?
Flight phobia; is one of the most common phobias today with the increasing use of airplanes. The fact that airplanes are a faster and less time-consuming means of transportation when traveling long distances, especially when making transoceanic trips or business trips, is the biggest reason why airplanes are preferred.
However, the same cannot be said for some people with fear of flying. For some people, even the idea of getting on a plane, let alone getting on a plane, causes them intense anxiety. Sometimes these anxieties are so intense that they cause flight phobia.
Traveling by plane is one of the safest ways to travel compared to other means of transportation. The risk of dying while traveling by plane is 1 in 45 million, while the risk of dying while traveling by car or bus is 1 in 14,000.
What Causes Flight Phobia?
Flight phobia is a learned fear and has no clear cause. The reason for the onset of flight phobia varies from person to person.
Even people who have been on an airplane many times and have never experienced any problems can suddenly become fearful during a flight. This can be caused by personal problems they are experiencing at the time or by turbulence, tinnitus, blood coming out of the nose, etc. during the flight.
Flight problems may also occur in people who try to be in control in every aspect of their lives and have control problems. These people may panic during the flight, thinking that they are not in control.
Negative words we hear from our environment about the airline may cause us to worry about getting on a plane. False suggestions from family members or friends that traveling by plane is dangerous can make us hesitant to get on a plane.
Another early cause of flight phobia is genetic predisposition. If one of our family members has flight phobia, there is a high probability that we will also have it.
Flight Phobia Symptoms
People with flight phobia may experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, trembling hands and legs, nausea, anxiety, and the inability to think of anything other than the possibility of the plane crashing.
What Can Be Done to Overcome Flight Phobia?
- People with flight phobia can try to overcome their phobia by getting professional support. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a highly effective method preferred by psychotherapists to overcome flight phobia. Virtual reality therapy is also one of the most effective methods. In this method, psychotherapists experience the flight experience with their patients and examine the patient’s reactions during the flight one-on-one. After examining what causes flight phobia, they aim to eliminate the causes of flight phobia and desensitize patients to this phobia.
- Reading books, watching movies, playing games can help to divert your attention and reduce your anxiety during the flight.
- People who are anxious about the sounds of the engine during the flight can relax and reduce their anxiety by wearing headphones and listening to music.
- Communicating with the cabin crew on the plane can also help you reduce your anxiety. You can share the reasons for your anxiety and fear with the cabin crew and get information about it.
- People with flight phobia usually do not want to travel by the window because they feel stuck. To reduce your anxiety during the flight, you can ask the flight attendant to give you a seat in the aisle when you buy a plane ticket. Also, if you want to have a more spacious journey, you can choose large planes with double aisles.
- Sleeping during the journey is one of the options that can help you. If you have difficulty sleeping, you can ask a doctor to give you a tranquilizer to help you sleep. Some people resort to methods such as alcohol to avoid fear of flying. However, this is not a recommended way of coping.