Flight phobia and fear of flying
Are you afraid to fly?
About flight phobia
The background for fear of flying can be scary experiences in connection with a flight or other fears such as fear of being trapped in closed spaces, of losing control and going crazy, of dying or of unknown sounds that flight generates. Common is that the fear can start long before the actual flight and destroy entire vacation. Are you an anxious person who is concerned about many things and situations in life which diseases, accidents, future, etc. one is often also afraid of flying.
Anxiety is the body’s reaction in response to a perceived threat. The threat is created solely in the person’s thoughts and leads to physical and mental tension. The body can not distinguish between fantasy and reality, and we react with anxiety (fear) in the wrong situation. It’s entirely appropriate to react with anxiety and fear in a truly dangerous situation. The so-called fight and flight system is activated, among other things can cause difficulty breathing, chest tightness, palpitations, faintness, dizziness, sweating, tunnel vision, nausea and light blockage. Thoughts, feelings and bodily reactions affect our behavior. To avoid flying or flying with fear reinforces the experience that it is dangerous to fly. It is therefore important to have knowledge of what happens in the body in distress.
Treatment of Flight Phobia
The treatment takes place primarily through therapy sessions with a duration of 50 minutes, but can also when clients have extreme fear include a flight together with the therapist. The number of therapy sessions and treatment approach is obviously dependent on the severity of the flight anxiety but usually requires 3 to 5 therapy sessions. During the course of treatment, you should put into action a prepared and training flight that could go from Stockholm to Malmö or some other destination at a similar distance. Two sessions with a duration of 50 minutes, which includes the history of how and when the fear of flying aroused, and what your symptoms are and what you actually do in the fear situation. Psycho education of what anxiety is and what happens in the body. The method is basically done by exposing to what you are afraid of and it will gradually loosen up the anxiety. This may involve working with emergency thoughts, memories, sounds and smells or other sensations that arouses anxiety. Relaxation exercises, breathing and acceptance techniques are reviewed. Homework is given between sessions. The treatment concludes with a meeting of one to two weeks after the flight. Here is the evaluation and development of a program how to maintain what you have learned and achieved. In more severe cases I can accompany the client on the training flight.