Hope and Help for Fearful Flyers
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Does the thought of getting on a plane make your palms sweat? If so, you are not alone. Most people have some nervousness about flying. However, the amount of fear varies a lot among people. Some travelers are mildly uneasy during plane trips. Others feel such fear that they refuse to fly. They will not fly to see loved ones or take jobs that involve flying.
Before you seek help, consider your level of fear. Are you uneasy, uptight, or panicked? Do you need to make a few changes or seek professional help?
What Causes Fear of Flying
News of accidents, near misses, and terrorist attacks can frighten any traveler. When these events happen, people become more fearful. Some even stop flying.
Other things that can lead to fear of flying are:
Anxious flyers must take action to deal with their feelings. There are many ways to do this. Here are some tips.
Tips for the Just Plane Scared
To ease your anxiety:
Extreme Help for Extreme Cases
If you refuse to fly no matter what, you may have a phobia. Phobias are excessive, irrational fears. The best way to get over a phobia is to face it head on. You may be able to overcome your fear, or at least learn how to control it. Maybe you can finally take that dream vacation. Phobias may be treated with:
If you think you have a phobia, talk to your doctor.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
National Institute of Mental Health
Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada
Canadian Psychological Association
Don't let fear of flying ground you. University of Florida Health Science Center website. Available at: https://podcasts.ufhealth.org/don%E2%80%99t-let-fear-of-flying-ground-you/. Accessed October 25, 2021.
How can I overcome my fear of flying? Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/ask-and-learn/ask-expert/how-can-i-overcome-my-fear-of-flying. Accessed October 25, 2021.
How to conquer your fear of flying. AARP website. Available at: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/overcoming-fear-of-flying.html. Accessed October 25, 2021.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/specific-phobia. Accessed October 25, 2021.
Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 10/25/2021
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