The fear of flying is also referred to as aerophobia or aviatophobia. It can be both a fear of flying or a fear of events related to flying such as a fear of airplanes, fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia) or even a fear of heights. It is often referred to as being a symptom rather than a disease and it is experienced in different ways depending on the individual.
Fear of Flying Symptoms
The fear of flying symptoms vary but the most common symptoms include:
• Vomiting and nausea
• Panic attacks
• Severe anxiety
• A fear of airplanes that is so bad that it prevents the individual from taking part in any kind of air travel.
Fear of Flying Treatment
For individuals suffering from airplane fear there are a number of ways to cure the fear of flying or at least make the fear more manageable. Some of the fear of flying treatment options include:
• Education – Quite often a fear of flying will stem from a fear of the unknown. By understanding what causes turbulence, how an airplane is flown and about other areas in aviation, an individual can learn to control their irrational fears. Some travel and airline companies run courses to help people overcome their fear of flying, as do medical clinics.
• Hypnotherapy – Surprisingly this has proven to be a very effective fear of flying treatment. It generally works by helping the individual to understand why they have a fear of airplanes and quite often it helps them to understand that it isn’t actually flying that they are afraid of. This can then be tackled on an individual basis.
• Behavioural Therapies – These focus on removing the fear of flying by working out what causes it in the individual. They work best in people who do not have a history of panicking but who panic unconsciously during air travel.
• Medication – Anti anxiety medication can also be prescribed to people who suffer from an irrational fear of flying. Although this doesn’t necessarily help an individual to overcome fear of flying it can lower their stress levels during air travel. The effectiveness of these medications will vary on an individual basis.
With air travel now being one of the main ways of travelling, especially when going on a holiday abroad, it is essential for people who have a fear of flying to overcome it or at least manage it for the duration of their trip. If you suffer from a fear of flying, it is advisable to speak to your doctor who can refer you to a therapist or clinic for the help you need.