panicky when flying

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panicky when flying

Postby stellar » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:28 am

Hi everyone,

After being bullied at work I started to get panic attacks every so often, mostly in places where I felt a bit claustrophobic e.g. cinemas etc. I'm not usually claustrophobic, but in times of stress I think this exacerbates the problem.
The last time I flew, as we were taking off I started to feel myself panic and when we were in the air every so often I would start to feel very afraid and my heart would start racing. This is really annoying as I'm not really that scared of flying but my body just doesn't want to listen to me! I wondered if anyone else gets panicky in the air and whether herbal remedies e.g. kalms, quiet life etc are any good for flying?
I've since left the job with the bullies so I'm not generally suffering any more, and I don't want this one time to affect my ability to fly and go on holiday etc. Any advice or similar experiences?

Thanks
Stellar x
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Postby Pwif » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:23 pm

Well, we have an expert PP pilot who can help you. :P (Where are you, CF??)
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Postby captainf » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:19 pm

Hi Stellar

Sorry to hear of your problem. I am limited for time right now but I promise i'll post a reply to this topic tonight. I trust you're not flying at some point today nor tomorrow so I hope that me posting a reply later this evening when I can help in more detail will be okay.

Oh and thanks pwif ;) haha.
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Postby captainf » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:48 pm

Okay I have more time now so I can reply.

I can understand you're nervous of flying now due to the panic attacks that you keep having. To me, it seems like your panic attacks dont really relate to flying anyway because you stated that you feel they were brought upon you by the bullying you recieved in your last job and also interelated it with the panic attacks happening while you're in confined spaces. Maybe you could have counselling sessions and see if this helps relieve you of your panic attacks?

However, what makes you panic inflight? Is it down to not understanding how an aeroplane works, or is it just a general thing in your mind that you feel unsafe? Quite often its more of a question of mind over matter really.

Its best to remember that flying and planes are not designed to scare you. Planes are just big machines that are used to transport you on holiday. Alot of work goes into the design of each plane, the pilots train for years before being able to fly them and are tested to their highest ability. Its also worth remembering flying is the safest method of transport too.

I'm not sure if any herbal remedies really work, you could try them though. When on the aeroplane try taking deep breaths, slowly. You can often calm yourself with them and think of nice thoughts. Its worth telling the air hostess that you're a nervous flyer too as they can then keep a check on you. Some people find it nice to visit the flightdeck and speak to the boys upfront - they can often comfort you with their information. Its dependant on airline whether you can visit the flightdeck or not though.

Some airlines (like british airways) have a fear of flying course which is for nervous flyers. Its normally includes a talk by the pilots, they explain how the plane works etc and at the end of the day they take you on a flight in the plane - I believe it only heads out over the channel and then back to Heathrow. Its worth looking in to.

If you have any questions feel free to ask here or PM me.
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Postby stellar » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:48 pm

thanks Captain Flynn for your reply!

I flew to Majorca about 5 years ago for a holiday and loved it - loved the taking off, the views and the landing, and just generally thought flying was great. I was looking forward to my flight this time around but as the plane started to turn to head to the run way my heart started pounding and I had this sudden urge to run off the plane! Then when we were on the air I was just really aware that all that was between me and falling thousands of feet was the plane...! On the way back I'd sort of mentally prepped myself but I could feel myself sort of teetering between normal and panicky. I suppose what I'm worried about is it happening again when I get on a plane next - I don't want this one time, which was at a difficult period of my life (which I'm over now) to affect me in the future. I want to be able to get on a plane and love it as much as I did the first time I flew! I think maybe a short flight, like London-Edinburgh or something would probably help to boost my confidence, what do you think?
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Postby captainf » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:55 pm

Hey

I think you're more worried about panicking again and that maybe what causes you to actually panic. Remembe what it was like 5yrs ago, you loved it. Also remember, you wont fall thousands and thousands of feet. Planes never drop out of the sky (take last weeks accident for example - glided and landed)

Maybe try the short flight - Heathrow to Manchester (you can do that on british airways or british midland) and see how you get on.
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Postby stellar » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:08 pm

thank you :)
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Postby captainf » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:54 pm

No worries, I knew my flying would come to use here eventually. ;)
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