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Excessive anxiety after flight,hypothyroid

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
Why do I suffer from excessive anxiety after each flight I take? I am hypothyroid and I get off a plane wound up like a top.
Wed, 16 May 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 2 hours later

From the history provided it seems that you might be having flight anxiety.

Worldwide nearly 3 million passengers fly every day. Inspite of such a large no of flights operating on a daily basis, the no of aircraft accidents that you hear or watch about in the news is once in a blue moon.

Factors that make a individual fear during a flight include - bad weather, turbulence, flying over water, claustrophobia, losing control (panic attacks), terrorism, etc.

To start with you need to understand that flying a plane is not cheap and costs millions to make a plane and then on day to day maintainance. The airline industry survives on the profits it makes and not on the extensive loss that it can suffer due to air crashes. And hence aircrafts are not flown in to XXXXXXX situations deliberately. Hence you need to have confidence that the plane is strong, stable, reliable, and well maintained.

Trust the well trained and experienced crew. The FAA insures your safe and secure flying experience by monitoring, inspecting, drug testing, and certifying the people who work in safety related areas of aviation. From FAA Personnel, to Air Traffic Controllers, to Aircraft Mechanics, to the Flight Crew, there is no industry in the world with better trained, tested, skilled, and motivated professionals than the people in the airline industry. So you need to develop trust in the airline industry.

Though bad weather cannot be controlled, usually the FAA and the airline industry keeps a close watch on the weather, so that it can adjust the flight schedule and make sure that the flight is not affected. And in case of unpredictable weather, they allow only experienced pilots to fly the aircraft. hence you should not bother about weather disturbances.

Turbulence: Turbulence is due to unpredictable wind speeds that cause negligent effect on the aircraft. Turbulence while flying may feel uncomfortable, but you need to know that it is a normal factor while flying and you need not worry about it. Its just like bumps on the road when you are driving a car.

Its true that terrorists can strike at any time and anywhere. But after 9-11, there have been no such incidents again as the airline industry, the FAA, and the police all over the world have adopted strict and stringent steps to provide security to flights and taken steps to screen all people who fly. It is mandatory for people to book tickets to provide their passport and other identity details days before they fly, so that the FBI and Interpol can block suspected individuals from flying out.

Hence you need to relax and believe that everything will be fine and you will be kept safe. The charges you pay for a flight, includes the costs to keep you safe as well. Hence when you have already paid for your safety, there is no need to be concerned about.

Here are a few tips and suggestions to help relieve your anxiety about flying.

1. THINK POSITIVE : Keep your thoughts positive. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop, and concentrate on the positive. Try to occupy your mind with something more constructive. Read, do a puzzle, strike up a conversation. This will reduce your anxiety.

2. CALM DOWN WHEN YOU GET ANXIOUS: When you feel afraid, your breathing quickens and your heart races. To calm yourself, first push your stomach outward. Take a slow, XXXXXXX breath through your nose. Try to fill your lungs from the bottom up. Pause, and then exhale slowly. Do this a couple of times and you'll feel much better. Practice your controlled breathing whenever you can. Try it whenever you feel tense. Slow, XXXXXXX breathing is the easiest and most effective method for calming yourself.

In case of persisting doubts, You might also undergo counselling to let go of your fear of flying, from a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Hope I have answered your query.

If you have any more queries, I will be available to answer them as well.
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