847195 tn?1296171647

Flying on a Plane! Scared!

Ok, so on monday im going to fly on a plane to go on my holidays! and i am so scared! i have panic attacks and very bad globus hystericus, it will be so hard i cant even start to explain! i am on Lexapro and my doctor have given me xanax .25 mg i dont no if i should take them i have never taken them before and dont really want my first experience of a new drug to be up in the sky! i have been watching videos of planes taking off on you tube and stuff like that which has calmed me down a bit (when i first watched them i had a panic attack) but im ok watching them now, just dont no what to do, there is NOTHING about the whole trip i am not afraid of! the car trip to the airport! SCARED, the airport and cues and all the people, SCARED, the flight SCARED, the take off and landing SCARED! god i dont no what to do... in cars i have terrible globus hystericus, and i am acrophobic,  so i cant be in large groups of people or i get globus hystericus, so i dont no how the hell i will survive all this trip! it is a nightmare just to think of it! but i am trying to stay strong!!

does anyone have any suggestions or helpful thoughts on this?? would really help me! thanks...
18 Responses
Avatar universal
All I can think of is distraction. Must be something you can do / bring with you, that will be able to keep the mind occupied? Because you are so far ahead of yourself with worry you have probably landed in the other airport by now. That can be a bad thing. Getting yourself all worked up well in advance. I wouldn't like to be in the situation myself because I have similar fears. But I know I would use distraction big time. Be it in the form of an MP3 player or a handheld game. I am sure they are allowed on planes. Even have a self help talking meditation on the MP3 player. Music too. Keep the mind well occupied. Xanax would be a quick fix for the flight. Might put you to sleep. You never know. But not something I would reccomend for long term anxiety use. Is only a short term form of medication. People react in different ways to all medications. What is good for one might no suit another and so on. But stick with it. Try and keeps your thoughts in order. Do one thing at a time. Don't view the whole scene in advance. Give thought to how you can distract yourself. It does work.
914086 tn?1247737867
Take the Xanax when you leave the house maybe a 1/2 of one to start till you see how it affects you.. it just takes the edge off for me. For sure take some when you get around people and on the plane, its better to fall asleep from the Xanax than to freak out around people or on the plane. After a serious car accident I used to freak out in the car...I would try to sit in the backseat but I could still see things so I still freaked out then I would take a Xanax and it would help but I still felt anxiety. Then I started taking one Xanax before I got into the car and the anxiety was wayyyy down for the whole trip. The DR told me to take the pill before I get to the anxiety state thats what it is for not while I am in the anxiety mod. I also take dramaine (for air sickness).  Hope that helps! Good Luck and Have a Great Trip!  
847195 tn?1296171647
Thanks so much for the comments, i was also in a car accident your story is the same as mine! thats when my panic started and just went into every aspect of my life after that not just cars... i think i will take half a xanax in the airport and relax me! and i have a new iPod touch my gf just bought me for doing so well lately :)  so i hope it will distract me so i can play with that! hope it goes well, when i get there though i will have an amazing time i have been there before, its a paradise!!! just getting there is frightening the ***p out of me....

Thanks for the support...
Avatar universal
You cold also just try one on another night to see how you react.  That way you won't be worried about how you will react.  Good Luck.  I have the same fear of flying.  
Avatar universal
i hate flying too....turblence just dont do well with me......and for days after my legs shake....alli can say is take sleeping pills or just think about how much fun u will have when u get there. just think 4 or 5 hours on a plane and a great week of summer fun.
756668 tn?1287225387
I agree with tia..try taking the xanax before you fly this way you know how it will make you feel.  I hate flying only when flying alone, but did it back in May.  The xanax helped alot...calmed me down and I seriously didn't care about flying and a wonderful trip.  
Wishing the best of luck!  trust me you wouldn't be the only one taking a med...I see people at the airports right before boarding taking something. : )

Have fun on your vacation..you will be just fine.
847195 tn?1296171647
Thanks for the comments,

I was thinking about taking one tonight or tomorrow but would it not be a bad idea if im feeling fine to take a xanax? i dont get panic at home anymore... thanks for the support though, i am actually going away for 2 months... i will have internet though so i can post how its going... really cant wait for some bits like the long beachs, the great food, and just total relaxation, its just what i think all of us need! but the rest is really scaring me.. will just try not to think about it, i guess im just someone who likes to plan and work out every detail before i do something, not exactly good though when you have panic!
370181 tn?1595629445
Since you have not only the fear of flying, but the fear of the medication to help you with your fear of flying...........I, too, strongly suggest you try taking some Xanax at home before your flight so you will know how it affects you. If you are not use to benzos, you will probably just feel very sedated and relaxed, which is how you want to feel on the plane. (Please do NOT drink any alcohol with this med!)
MrGreen has given excellent advice to pack lots of things to keep your mind occupied while flying. I use to be terrified of flying as well and had a book that was written for people just like me. It explained everything there was to know about flying and aircraft and how well trained pilots are and how unlikely it is that anything is going to go wrong and all the safety features and it talked about turbulence and what caused it and how the airplane was built strong to withstand it and why you sometimes see the wings moving and all the other noises you hear like the landing gear being drawn up or the change in pitch of the engines during flight.........explains things so you can really understand it and not freak out about every little thing. It also advised talking to one of the stews as you board the plane and le them know you are terrified of flying. If they have a heart, which most of them do, they will ask for your seat number and pass your fears along to the stew that will be working your part of the aircraft. She/he will go out of their way to help you deal with your anxiety. If you hit some turbulence, just a quick wink from the stew will let you know that everything is OK. Don't be afraid to let others around you know of your fear. Trying to hide it will only make your anxiety worse. Don't worry about looking the fool. Most "seasoned" travelers are more than happy to help with some reassuring words.
At the height of my flying phobia, someone suggested I write in a journal the entire trip and record every single thought and feeling and fear I was experiencing. When I did that I found that I was so busy trying to describe how scared I was I forgot to be scared!!
Understanding the whole process of flying is a big step in overcoming the fears, learning what to expect goes a long way to keep you calm when you DO hit some turbulence. The book I read taught me that when an airplane hits turbulence, it's exactly the same thing as when your car goes in a pothole. You don't have a panic attack when that happens, right? Turbulence is just your airplane hitting a "pot-hole" of air. Same thing, only different.
Try to get your hands on such a book and read it like the Bible! Try out the Xanax beforehand and don't be afraid of it. It's NOT going to harm you in any way, the "worst" it might do is make you sleep through the entire trip and someone else will get your bag of peanuts!
Try to get a window seat so you can let your imagination soar as you look down on the clouds or landscape!
I don't write this to scare you, but once they close the doors and you back away from the terminal, it's all out of your hands.............so freaking out is going to get you nowhere. It took me YEARS to accept that, but once I did, once I said "oh well......" it all began to change for me. (Oh, and by the way, clutching the armrests in a death grip is NOT what keeps the plane in the air.............read chpater 3)
You'll be fine and this may actually be the first flight you really enjoy! Flying ROCKS!
Avatar universal
From your last question it will not hurt you to take it if you are not having a panic attack.  I found it was like having 1 or 2 glasses of wine.  Relaxed a little and sleepy.  I do somtimes take a xanax to sleep but try not to because you are not supposed to.  
847195 tn?1296171647
Thanks for all your comments, there really calming to read, and i will read them all going onto the plane :)
The last two-ish days though i have been getting very nervous at small things, think its just the stress of the holiday really, like this morning i went to the shop for some lunch and i could barely swallow and had to try do things as fast as i could, hope this wont keep coming back cos i was doing so well! i will work hard now the nest two days on being as healthy and relaxed as possible! i will listen to my hypnosis tape, read my therapists notes, keep away from coffee and sugar, and just try to chill till the day comes!

Did anyone else hear about micheal jackson? i no this has nothing to do with flying but just got me thinking of death! (i no, terrible idea!!!) maybe thats way i was so bad today cos most of last night i was just thinking how sad it was that that great man is now gone and life is just so fragile, must stop thinking of this now! anyway... thank you all again!

Any more comments and experiences are welcome....  :)
Avatar universal
Bring all your notes with you on the trip. Be good reading on the flight. As would the tape. May help you relax so much you will enjoy flying. You never know. Things can change for the better. Once we see we can do things. We say ' I am actually doing this '. That is how it doesn't become a fear any more. Bit like you flip it on its head. I can only wish you all the best.

Heard about Jacko. Head he is leaving his body to plastic tuberware. OK. Bad. I know.
847195 tn?1296171647
Yes i was thinking to much about it, building it up in my mind, i just out it out of my mind and think about when im there so i can have a great time, the flight it just a small part to get to the nice happy place, just something i have to do.. hope it all goes well, i have decided to take the xanax just .25mg and see how i go from there, have to be at the airport at 8 monday morning, hope it all goes well and its not to busy, i will mostly twitter there just to keep people updated... lol

Anyway thanks guys...
847195 tn?1296171647
Well..... here i am!!! :) i SURVIVED the flight!!! and.... WITHOUT a single drug!!! oh my god i am so proud of myself, i was in the airport and doing fine so i said ok why take a drug if im doing ok, when i took off my heart was heating so fast i thought it would stop and i was very VERY frightened but i just said you no what, your hear now and what happens happens, so just think of the future when your on a sun kissed beach drinking (alcohol free, THANKS Lexapro! lol) cocktails! :) and i did just fine, there was a good time of turbulence in the middle of the flight but i kept my head down and listened to my ipod and played some computer games which really took my mind away from it all! when we landed it was so so overwhelming that i honestly nearly started to cry! i couldn't believe i had just done it! only 7 months ago i could not leave my house and now i had flown for the first time in over a year!

Thank you everyone for your great support and help, this forum really helps people and i don't think for a second it should be underestimated how much we can help each other!
370181 tn?1595629445




Avatar universal

I was wondering if you remember the name of the book you read about your fear of flying?   Would love to have it

847195 tn?1296171647
I didn't say i read one, i think it was greenlydia maybe write her a note?

Thanks for the comments, i am so much more happy now, and feel if i can do that then there is pretty much nothing else i can't try now! :) haven't felt like that for a long long time.... :) Thanks
Avatar universal
I take my first plane flight tomorrow night and it is for 6 hours....I am soooo terrified I mad myself literally sick for the past week...I have been crying and I have such bad anxiety to the point where I don't even want to go....I am so scared that the plane is going to crash and I can't help feeling like this....I don't like taking pills bcmy body never reacts right to them so xanex is out of the question...what should I do??this is all I keep thinking about...and then when I get to the destination I am going to be terrified of the ride home....someone help me im TERRIFIED!!!
Avatar universal
Im also terrified. I havent been on a plane for YEARS, and now have developed moderate anxiety issues and panic attacks. Ive been given xanax (.25) and in most cases it helps me out. I am just really nervous about getting on a plane..and Im not sure if one dose of xanax will work for me. I hate being in tight places and when I get nervous I feel like I cant breath and will throw up any moment. What should I do? :(
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