Fear of Flying
At TBC Private Practice at Crediton near Exeter in Devon UK we understand how devastating a fear of flying can be for you and how it can affect the whole family.
A fear of flying has been deemed one of the most common forms of phobia after research from Hypnotherapy-Direct showed that an estimated twenty to forty percent of the population experienced anxiety and panic during a flight.* Usually based in a childhood experience, fear about flying is a learnt reaction, yet generally the fear is not related to the act of flying itself; rather, it tends to have a basis in claustrophobia, acrophobia (fear of heights), agoraphobia (fear of being away from a ‘safe place’, usually home) and anthropophobia (a fear of people) to name just a few. Generally, people find these other, more specific phobias become heightened during a plane journey due to the intense, close conditions and the lack of control over the situation, and so they naturally relate their fear down to the flying even though this may well not be the main cause of the panic, anxiety and worry.
For more serious cases, doctors will often prescribe anti-anxiety medication to people with a fear of flying prior to a flight, but it has been found that such drugs can end up aggravating the anxiety further still, and ultimately they prevent a person from actively dealing with their distress appropriately and in a more long term manner. Rather more dramatically and worryingly, people using these drugs regularly to enable them to fly showed that there was a “significant doubling of the hazard of death” ** This was backed by the World Health organisations’ own released research which states that the use of sedatives used on flights such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan or any form of sleeping pill can result in passengers increasing their risk of deep vein thrombosis, with the likelihood of it developing doubling over the course of a four hour flight and the risk remaining for around a month after a flight.
For regular flyers using such drugs, the risk is obviously dangerously compounded. Interestingly though, it seems it is not the safety aspect which causes the most fear of flying with a report done by the Boeing Company stating that only around 6 percent of adults generally found the act of flying to feel ‘unsafe’. In another study within the the same report, around a third of the people asked were said to be anxious due to the involvement of heights and the potential risk of death due to said height, but mostly, a sense of anxiety was affiliated to a far greater number of non life threatening issues such as bad weather, lost luggage and missed connections, although concern of flying over water and at night were also cited as caused for concern.***
The feelings associated with a fear of flying can be distressing in themselves, and can often become self fulfilling prophesies as the more someone with a phobia concentrates on the fear (and often, people can be worrying about taking a flight for weeks if not months in advance) the worse the it gets. The results of which can include, but are not limited to: • Tension in the muscles • Blurred vision • Stress headaches • Loss of sleep • Nausea or vomiting • Sweating • A racing heart and or hyperventilating • Panic attacks • Passing out • Dry mouth • Terror at the sense of being out of control There are several treatments for a fear of flying and its related concerns, one of which is hypnotherapy whereby hypnoanalysis can find the cause of the phobia and then enable the hypnotherapist to work with a patient to release and ultimately cure it.
Another method used to help those with such a phobia, is helping them to understand how safe flying is in reality. According to a US National Safety Council report, flying is 22 times safer than travelling by car with the average number of deaths in cars in the US alone over 6 months (around 21,000) being the equivalent to the average number of deaths occurring worldwide over 40 years. Such methods of treatment will also analyse the risk in a persons’ day to day life, such as crossing a road and walking up and down stairs etc and then compare those risks to that of flying. The outcome is generally deemed to be that a fear of flying is an ingrained, emotional response built up over time.
These responses can be changed with the use of Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques that we use at TBC Private Practice. We have helped many people to over come this fear so that they and their families can once again take greater enjoyment in life.
Make that decision now to turn your life around and open up your world – call us on 01363 775935 to make an appointment.