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Old 03-30-2011, 08:00 AM   #1
kaffinito
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Fear of flying....

Long story short, due to some really horrible flights I have a massive fear of flying. I've been working on my fear so I can fly to WDW - it's easier and cheaper than driving, but am scared witless

I have Ativan to take prior to the flight, but with my flight coming up in a little over two weeks, I've been having nightmares and panic attacks over this, and am now worried that I'll get on the flight and totally freak out.

Has anyone else on here dealt with this? If so, what did you do? I would really appreciate any help/advice anyone could give me.

TIA
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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I have had panic attacks twice on airplanes. The first time took me by surprise because I actually don't mind flying all that much. Still, sometimes you can't control it when you brain starts sending your body messages to fight or flee. Not too much fleeing going on up there in space.

My suggestion would be to talk to your doctor *now* so he can advise you about medications. If you're really having a hard time with this, perhaps you need to be medicated *now* rather than waiting to see if it will happen in the air. The only thing I would say about being medicated on the plane is be sure someone else is driving when you get on the ground. You don't want to drive under the influence.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
kaffinito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minkydog View Post
I have had panic attacks twice on airplanes. The first time took me by surprise because I actually don't mind flying all that much. Still, sometimes you can't control it when you brain starts sending your body messages to fight or flee. Not too much fleeing going on up there in space.

My suggestion would be to talk to your doctor *now* so he can advise you about medications. If you're really having a hard time with this, perhaps you need to be medicated *now* rather than waiting to see if it will happen in the air. The only thing I would say about being medicated on the plane is be sure someone else is driving when you get on the ground. You don't want to drive under the influence.
Thanks! I did get a prescription for Ativan from my doctor. I was told to take as many as I needed. And I have ME picking me up from the airport so I won't be driving.

I'm just freaked out at the thought of flying again. I used to fly all the time, but the last flight I had in 1988 was so bad that I quit. But I'm tired of being hemmed in by where I can go by car, KWIM?
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I have a horrendous fear of flying. This is something relatively new for me. It has developed over the past 3 or 4 years or so. My therapist calls me her xanax flyer.

The number of xanax I take depends on how long the flight is. A non stop flight from CA to the east coast, I take 2 xanax. On our liast flight in december from LAX-MCO, we had a stop in vegas and i took 1 or 1 1/2 xanax before the first leg and another 1 or 1/2 before the second leg.

I have to be completely asleep before we even take off or I will have a panic attack and end up in tears regardless of how much xanax is in me. If I am not asleep before we take off, I can't fly so I make sure to take my xanax about 30 minutes before we board the plane.

The difference though is that I am prefectly fine in the days and weeks, even hours leading up to the flight. It is just once we actually get on the plane that I started freaking out. I would talk to your doctor NOW about maybe taking something to help with the panic attacks that you are having now.

My doctor also wanted me to try the xanax before we travelled to see how much I could handle. Part of that was to see my tolerance level but for me part of that was also because I have asthma so she wanted to make sure that my body could handle it. We learned that I can handle 3 xanax before my breathing gets too shallow which I'm very glad we found out BEFORE we were in the air.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:08 PM   #5
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I have the same fear. When my MIL was ill I had to constantly fly back and forth from TX to AZ. But it had to be done. I did lose it once and got out of the boarding line while at my layover (Albuquerque). I just sat down and didn't board. Long story short, DBro had to drive me home.

But I get through flights with deep breathing techniques (like the ones we teach patients for pain control) and music.

My mom uses Ativan and it helps her quite a bit.

It is hard to be at peace with something that makes you so fearful. Sometimes, I dont think it's the fear of flying as much as it's the fear of not being in control. So I control the things I can (my breathing, for example) and focus on that. Plus, a lot of prayer and meditation.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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one of my SILs uses Adivan for flying along with bring with her a comfort kit.For her that includes headphones, pictures of where she is going to help her not focus on the flight and focus on where she is going,and a stress ball.

Think about what would calm you aside from being back on the ground.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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something not suggested yet is see if you can try to play devils advocate with yourself. every time you think of something that can/will/might/won't go wrong, think of what might go right.

also you said the last flight was in 88?? Remember that A LOT has changed technology wise since the 80's. Remember that this experiences will be NOTHING like your last one. it is impossible for many reasons. I don't even know what happened last time but I doubt that you will have: the same plane , or even the same pilot. I doubt you are flying to and from the same locations either. all these things can make your experience different than last time. chances are you will have a great easy flight.

I am not scared of flying, but tell me I have to see a doctor? that is when they need to medicate me... tell me they have to use a scalpel and they have to put me out. (even for something that can be done under local) So, I totally understand the over-thinking things and working yourself up.

My one councilor says 'don't feed the bears' the bears in this thought are the panic inducing thoughts. try to either ignore them, or (what I do) counter them as best as possible with pure logic. I can't really argue with logic (although I have tried!)


if you want to 'rant' about it, feel free to pm me. sometimes it helps to 'share' your fears with others, to kick those 'bears' out.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disfan07 View Post
I have a horrendous fear of flying. This is something relatively new for me. It has developed over the past 3 or 4 years or so. My therapist calls me her xanax flyer.

The difference though is that I am prefectly fine in the days and weeks, even hours leading up to the flight. It is just once we actually get on the plane that I started freaking out. I would talk to your doctor NOW about maybe taking something to help with the panic attacks that you are having now.

My doctor also wanted me to try the xanax before we travelled to see how much I could handle. Part of that was to see my tolerance level but for me part of that was also because I have asthma so she wanted to make sure that my body could handle it. We learned that I can handle 3 xanax before my breathing gets too shallow which I'm very glad we found out BEFORE we were in the air.

Thanks! That does help. I can take 2 Ativan's and still feel ok, but not tired. I was thinking a Bendryl/Ativan combo might knock me out for the flight. I'm like you in that way - if I'm out then I won't be able to panic over the flight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriABil View Post
I have the same fear. When my MIL was ill I had to constantly fly back and forth from TX to AZ. But it had to be done. I did lose it once and got out of the boarding line while at my layover (Albuquerque). I just sat down and didn't board. Long story short, DBro had to drive me home.

But I get through flights with deep breathing techniques (like the ones we teach patients for pain control) and music.

My mom uses Ativan and it helps her quite a bit.

It is hard to be at peace with something that makes you so fearful. Sometimes, I dont think it's the fear of flying as much as it's the fear of not being in control. So I control the things I can (my breathing, for example) and focus on that. Plus, a lot of prayer and meditation.
Thank you! I think it's a control thing too. That and fear of falling and a fear of heights. Anything over four stories has me

So I plan to control what I wear, and what I do while on the plane. That should help a bit I hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post
one of my SILs uses Adivan for flying along with bring with her a comfort kit.For her that includes headphones, pictures of where she is going to help her not focus on the flight and focus on where she is going,and a stress ball.

Think about what would calm you aside from being back on the ground.
Being unconscious would help quite a bit IMO!

Seriously though, I think the pics are a great idea. Maybe I'll Disboard while in the air to help me focus on my trip. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singledad View Post
something not suggested yet is see if you can try to play devils advocate with yourself. every time you think of something that can/will/might/won't go wrong, think of what might go right.

also you said the last flight was in 88?? Remember that A LOT has changed technology wise since the 80's. Remember that this experiences will be NOTHING like your last one. it is impossible for many reasons. I don't even know what happened last time but I doubt that you will have: the same plane , or even the same pilot. I doubt you are flying to and from the same locations either. all these things can make your experience different than last time. chances are you will have a great easy flight.

My one councilor says 'don't feed the bears' the bears in this thought are the panic inducing thoughts. try to either ignore them, or (what I do) counter them as best as possible with pure logic. I can't really argue with logic (although I have tried!)


if you want to 'rant' about it, feel free to pm me. sometimes it helps to 'share' your fears with others, to kick those 'bears' out.
I like the "bears" that's a good way of thinking about it. And thanks for the invite to pm to rant. I might just do that.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:22 AM   #9
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Have you thought of making a tape of music that either calms you and or makes your happy (disney music). I have my meditation music (calming water and birds music). I take my Xanax and a Pseudophed from behind the pharmacy counter for my ears and it seems to help me.

Also, make sure that you continue to drink water while on the plane if you are awake or during the times you are awake. Visualize yourself walking to the bathroom and be ready if you have to go. Don't forget the bathrooms are small.

Aisle seats with the air on full blast.

Someone who comforts you sitting next to you if all possible.

As silly as it sounds, remind yourself how safe it really is. Also a mantra is very good in flying. Mine is: I am 3 hours from riding Peter Pan with the man I love. Silly but saying it over and over again, does help.

Make sure you are breathing. Check yourself on and off throughout the flight.

If flying JetBlue, you can watch TV for free or if you have a portable DVD player you could watch a movie that will hold your attention. I don't know your age but something that is fluffy. We watched The Great Outdoors today with John Candy and Dan Akroyd. I had felt icky all weekend and the movie just upped my spirit 100%.

Enjoy your trip, I am sure you will do just GREAT!!
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
kaffinito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker'n'Fun View Post
Have you thought of making a tape of music that either calms you and or makes your happy (disney music). I have my meditation music (calming water and birds music). I take my Xanax and a Pseudophed from behind the pharmacy counter for my ears and it seems to help me.

Also, make sure that you continue to drink water while on the plane if you are awake or during the times you are awake. Visualize yourself walking to the bathroom and be ready if you have to go. Don't forget the bathrooms are small.

Aisle seats with the air on full blast.

Someone who comforts you sitting next to you if all possible.

As silly as it sounds, remind yourself how safe it really is. Also a mantra is very good in flying. Mine is: I am 3 hours from riding Peter Pan with the man I love. Silly but saying it over and over again, does help.

Make sure you are breathing. Check yourself on and off throughout the flight.

Enjoy your trip, I am sure you will do just GREAT!!
That's great advice! My favorite part is bolded. It sounds silly, but you do need to make sure that you're breathing correctly instead of shallow panicky breathing.

But why have the air on full blast? That one I don't get.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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For my kids we put the air on full blast as well because it helps them breath
easier.It can also lessen motion sickness in some.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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Well I'll try it!

I'm also bringing along my stuffed pink pig for the flight, and have my headphones and some good music loaded on my phone.

And that should do it.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:08 PM   #13
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Glad you are bringing your flying piggy

Just remember your piggy is medical equipment.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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Glad you are bringing your flying piggy

Just remember your piggy is medical equipment.
I shouldn't laugh, but in my case she really is.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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We have to laugh sometimes. I have had stuffed animals listed as medical equipment more than once for our family. Most of our are stuffed with frozen icee packs for cooling propuses.
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