Fear of Flying. Help!

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by TahoeTennis, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. TahoeTennis

    TahoeTennis Professional

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    Background:

    Since 1998 I have had an extreme, crippling fear of flying. Have not flown since late 1998. I even had a return ticket to fly home but opted to take a 3 day bus ride instead of get on a plane.

    I do know that it is irrational, and all the statistics, etc...of how safe flying really is...however

    just thinking about it I feel myself starting to panic and have severe anxiety.

    Problem:

    My girlfriend bought tickets for us to fly to Vegas in a WEEK!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Xanax? Klonopin? Which is better? What if I get on the plane and freak out?

    furthur Background:
    Flew a lot in the late 80s and 90s. One bad experience in 1998 and that was it. People praying, kids crying, I was crippled with fear and never want to feel that again.
     
    #1
  2. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    That experience sounds awful, maybe it being last minute and coming up next week might be an advantage as you have less time to think about it.

    I personally don't like flying either, the sensation of my ears popping doesn't really do it for me.

    Hope it goes well!
     
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  3. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    tanqueray tonic with lime?
     
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  4. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    men werent meant to fly imo
     
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  5. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I am staying in New York this summer. Never know what to do with the 2oz or 3oz toothpaste - check-in, carryon?
     
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  6. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Think of it this way. Rarely would a person have two really bad scary experiences on a plane. You have had yours, so statistically speaking, you won't have another one. I live in Europe and fly home to USA occasionally so have flown over 20 times across the Atlantic. Had a really turbulent scary 20 minute flight to Santa Barbara from LAX and thought that was it!

    Bring some things to distract yourself. Continuing to be afraid is really irrational. If you google "headache" in the middle of the night, you are sure to start feeling symptoms that will match up with some incurable disease, so just step back, treat yourself to a coffee and something you like eating,and think how much fun you're going to have in Las Vegas!
     
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  7. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    Agree with Pacific Lefty. Get back on that horse!

    I used to fly back and forth across country for business (Newark, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Denver). I only had one really scary flight. After that, it was nothing but a bus ride.

    Are you going to chicken out in front of your girlfriend? This ain't "Final Destination".
     
    #7
  8. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    I used to be afraid of flying too until I had to go to TX with my college football team. Couldn't look bad in front of the guys so just tried to breathe and act normal. Since then the fear has been gone, I've flown across the country three or four times in the couple years since that happened.

    It sounds cliché but once you get on the plane and there's nothing you can do about it anyway, I found it alot easier to just deal with it. Also unless you've taken Xanax or Klonopin before I definitely wouldn't take them for the plane ride... if you don't know how you'll react to them it could cause more panic once you start to feel them. All you have to get through is the takeoff and the landing... the rest of the flight after that is pretty smooth unless you hit turbulence which typically doesn't last that long.
     
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  9. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes all good advice. Try the xanax before you fly on a night you can get 8 hours of sleep. It will help a lot. I have developed a fear of it, but I still fly anyway because I have to sometimes. I had a real turbulent flight in the mountains once where I came close to booting all over the floor from the sharp drops and ever since then I have thought way too much about the plane crashing.

    It sucks because you get on the plane and everyone is all relaxed and you are thinking it is like a movie scene from Fight Club headed to certain disaster. The only way I get around it is to just fly more..lol. I don't take anything or drink but it sounds like your phobia is a lot stronger than mine. I just bring my ipad loaded with some books and movies and once the plane lifts off and hits steady altitude I feel fine.
     
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  10. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I've treated many patients for this over the years, every one of them has gotten on the plane using Xanax. Have at least several milligrams with you, start taking it about an hour before the flight, take every hour as needed. Unless you have significant COPD, about the worst that can happen is you'll fall asleep, which would be just fine. As noted above, I usually have people try it a few days earlier to be sure they don't have some unusual idiosyncratic reaction to it. (Note: get a prescription and fill it at a local pharmacy. A FDA study found that meds like Xanax, Ambien, Oxycontin and Viagra obtained from internet sources are not usually authentic; one study the FDA did revealed them all to be generic haldol).
     
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  11. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    I'm getting anxious just reading this thread. Do take Xanax. It helps.
     
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  12. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    My girlfriend bought tickets for us to fly to Vegas in a WEEK!

    What does your girlfriend look like
     
    #12
  13. TahoeTennis

    TahoeTennis Professional

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    6 days left and I'm a nervous wreck. My girlfriend does have some klonopin for me. Should I try a couple this week and see what happens or just wait until the day before the flight? I'm worried about getting to the airport and then just not being able to get on the plane.

    Tired of being afraid. I have complete confidence and no problem having friends and family and other loved ones fly, I just keep hearing Alanis's "Ironic" every time I think about flying....
     
    #13
  14. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Trust me, this is MUCH WORSE than flying.

    I don't know how you can stand it.
     
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  15. ls206

    ls206 Professional

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    My sister had hypnosis to help her fear of flying.
    She still gets a little nervous but has been on many (long and short) flights since.
     
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  16. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    First, change your avatar to something a bit more cheerful and calming.

    I have never heard of klonopin, but it sounds like something used to knock out horses, so I'd give that a try too.
     
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  17. SOY78

    SOY78 Semi-Pro

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    Valerian root pills should work too or lots and lots of alcohol ;)
     
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  18. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    While we are on the subject of planes, does anyone have a pdf copy of the final report on when jfk went into the vinyards from tribeca? The official investigation of the accident.
     
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  19. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    I've found that jumping out of airplanes makes it much, much easier to land with them.
     
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  20. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    cz ppl deserve the truth in a democracy
     
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  21. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Is there a recommendation for a chute that is light enough to carry on free of charge? Everybody is greedy these days.
     
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  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You airborne guys are great..lol. the biggest fear a family member of mine had (82nd) was jumping out of a plane and getting caught where you apparently get slammed against the plane over and over again.

    No fear at all of the chute not opening or the plane crashing.
     
    #22
  23. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Just close your eyes for the duration of the flight like when riding a roller coaster. And carry-on Depends.
     
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  24. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Ask D.B. Cooper
     
    #24
  25. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Cooper is a total D.B.
     
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  26. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Yes, but what do people usually do when they experience three consecutive (concurrent?) laptop failures?

    Or when the battery leaks onto a heavy table.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
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  27. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    Vegas????/ Id fly with if the plane had one sub par engine and a few windows broke open......


    just ask about their nice variety of drinks @ Liquior Bar......5-6 of those and you'll be laughing and cracking jokes in no time
     
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  28. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Good women think about children, not vice in Vegas.
     
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  29. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    ZING!


    But again.....whats the use of being scared.......if its your time to perrish.....you will do so in spectacular fashion......


    Atleast it wont be like a Motorcycle accident....where you'll get paralyzed, disfigured and bruised........it will be a much easier 'punching of the time clock'
     
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  30. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    I used to be fearless flyer but in 2007 during a super-routine flight to Rome, left engine failed and burst in flames. You know, with all appropriate FX effects - white and black smoke and stuff. Since than I am definitely not the same. I started to think which is not a good thing when your ass is 10km above ground.

    You definitely need to find your way to control the fear. When I read your posts, it does sound severe. The bad thing about aerofobia is that usually it is not alone and represents just a manifestation of something that's deeply rooted inside of you. Fear blocks us in so many ways. You need to unlock it yourself and a trained professional could certainly help.

    I wish you all the best!
     
    #30
  31. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Any of the reserve systems should do, assuming you could find a place to attach them. You can find them on the 'bay. The T-10D parachute would probably fit in an ovearhead bin (but not the beastly T-11), though I wouldn't recommend bringing a static line system on a commercial flight.

    That's a towed parachutist, which is easy enough to fix. C-130s and C-17s both have winches that run the length of the anchorline cable, and can be used to pull the parachutist back in. If for some reason that piece of equipment malfunctions, and the trooper is conscious, he can be cut free by either the loadmaster or the jumpmaster safety, depending on what he's being towed by. If it's his static line, the loadmaster cuts it, and the trooper can pop his reserve as soon as he feels himself falling free of the bird. If the trooper is being hung up by any other piece of equipment he's probably close enough to be pulled in manually, but the safety can choose to simply cut the equipment, this time allowing the static line to do it's job as the trooper falls free of the bird (this can be done while the trooper is unconscious). The absolute worst case scenario is when the paratrooper is unconscious, being towed by his static line, and for whatever reason cannot be pulled in by the winch. We were taught at jumpmaster school that under those conditions the bird is forced to make an emergency landing on a foamed runway, to help mitigate the friction when the trooper makes contact with the ground. Now that is something to be feared.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
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  32. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    #32
  33. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    What if a person doesn't want to fly at all? They don't even put the drink cart in the hallway anymore even on good airlines.
     
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  34. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Fly 1st class, free drinks
     
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  35. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Well, then he's just proper !@#$ed.

    My only other recommendation for OP is to make himself thoroughly sick. Sometimes on an airborne operation we had to 'racetrack' after we had already stood up and prepped ourselves to jump. After two or three loops banking around the drop zone, standing up with 100+ pounds of equipment dangling awkwardly from our harnesses, facing backwards, dehydrated from being crammed into a flying tin can with 63 other unlucky souls for god knows how long, and very likely a heartbeat away from voiding both our bladders and our bowels, I would have gladly jumped without a parachute, just to be out of the bird once and for all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
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  36. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    If we are going to Moscow, AF only has business, and it's nice with cognac and lemon and dvds. I am not going near delta terminal ever again. That company is trouble.
     
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  37. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    A person who is hesitant to go airborne is a bad person - is that the message here?
     
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  38. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Nah, the message is all about perspective, as are most important things in life.
     
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  39. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Obviously there are many important things in life. Perhaps some of us can start talking about creating a thread listing the more important things, so we can talk about them at some point, hopefully...
     
    #39
  40. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    I vote for ice cream.

    Hope we cleared things up for OP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
    #40
  41. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    The truck plays a song.
     
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  42. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    The Entertainer, or La Cucaracha?
     
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  43. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    All those people do in central america is coke all day. I like Bachata.
     
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  44. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    To be fair, Coke Zero tastes just like the real thing, but has no calories. You're from NY, do you think Bloomberg's legislation will have a special provision for diet beverages?
     
    #44
  45. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    He should be going away soon. But I kind of like how he banned smoking to make people hang out in the street.
     
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  46. FlamEnemY

    FlamEnemY Hall of Fame

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    OP, the best way to deal with flying is to sleep through it.

    Get tired as hell, don't sleep for 40 hours if you have to so when you do get in the plane you can actually sleep through the whole flight. Tell your GF not to wake you up for whatever reason.

    Works like a charm for me.
     
    #46
  47. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Hmm, it might have been more prudent to restrict shopkeepers from selling packs with more than 3 or 4 cigarettes. I will say this, I can't stand being exposed to secondhand beverage consumption.

    Please don't derail the conversation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
    #47
  48. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Hey Tahoe Tennis, I am sure you can get through this. Here is another way of looking at it. Remember that Baz Luhrmann song that says that your real troubles in life will be things that have never crossed your mind.

    I always think, when I'm flying, that the plane will definitely not crash because fate would rather have me sit that dreaded management accounting exam, or give that presentation in front of 50 people while having a bad hair day, or babysit my friend's really unruly kids. So usually it is the mundane things that will happen as they always do, rather than the against the odds crash!
     
    #48
  49. JohnnyCracker

    JohnnyCracker Semi-Pro

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    sleeping pills :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
    #49
  50. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Go skydiving/BASE jumping it'll dispel any fears of flying or heights :)
     
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