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How can flight phobia be treated?

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Dr. Ashok Kumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2673 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 14 May 2018 in Mental Health
Question: Hi, I have a fear of flying. I have been flying 2-3 times a week but I never get used to it and I'll be flying again for 14 hours and another 4 hours and I'm too scared already ( dreaming about it , cant stop thinking about it) The fear of the plane crashing /death scare me. What can I do?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Rational thinking with facts

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for using Healthcaremagic.

I read your query and understand your concerns.

First of all, I like to inform you that fear of flying is one of the common fear and around 2-4% of people get affected by it.

However when you question about the rationale behind this fear you will understand that your mind is more responsive to negative thoughts and that leads to fear of flying. Changing the way of thinking is one of the right approaches to challenging this fear. Changing the way of thinking helps in calming down your nerves and so the fear of flying.

As you know in the world the air travel is the safest form of travel in compare to all other modes of transport.

The chances of a crash are much less and the chance of death is much less than 1 per 1 lac passenger traveling through the air. The same index for road and rail travel is much higher in comparison to air travel.

In addition to rational thinking with facts, deep breathing exercise could be of immense help at the time of need. Slow your breathing to a level of 4-5 breath cycles per minute and within 3- 5 minutes you will feel less nervous. The activation of the parasympathetic system by deep breathing helps in calming your nerves and so it helps in fear management.

In case the self-help is not sufficient seeking the help of the psychologist for proper cognitive behavior therapy can be of help.

I hope this helps you.
Feel free to write back to me if you have more questions.
Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar 12 minutes later
Is there any medicine that could help me sleep / calm down?

The thing that fears me is if it crashes, the rate of survival is next to zero.

Thank you for answering, doctor.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 3 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes I understand

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for follow up.

I completely agree that chance of survival is zero after accident but at the same time the chance of crash is also near zero. So shifting the negative pattern of thoughts to positiver pattern is important and that is main stay of treatment.

Regarding medication, yes there are many options available from the group of antidepressants and anti anxiety medications and helpful but nothing helps permanently other than changing your thought pattern.

I hope this helps you further.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.

In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below-mentioned link:
http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/doctors/dr-ashok-kumar/67386

Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar 8 minutes later
Okay doctor. For now i will try to purchase something for anxiety that i can take.
does this kind of medicine have negative effect in the long run?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes medication have negative effects

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for follow up.

There are two kinds of medications which are used for anxiety. First of them come from benzodiazepine group which help you immediately but cause dependence in long run.

The other group is antidepressant group which takes time before they start working. However they are safe and chance of dependence and tolerance is very less.

I hope this assists you further.
Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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