Hi all!

Just found this webpage and forum. So great to finally find some people in a similar situation as myself. And I am already very encouraged by reading all your stories.

 

Here's the situation: I'm 31, living in Gothenburg, south Sweden. I've always been an anxious flyer since i began flying in my teens. And even though i fly about 4-6 times a year, my fear haven't gone away. It has subsided during some time, but only to return later. My greatest fear is turbulence. And even though i logically understand it's not dangerous, i dread it, every time. When it's not bumpy, i just sit and wait for it, sweaty, pale and silent.

 

Now, the 7 of December i'm commencing a long trip to Australia to visit my partners family. I have a itinerary that really really scares me:

Gothenburg - London, London-Hong Kong, Hong Kong-Melbourne, Melbourne-Sydney, Sydney-Tokyo, Tokyo-London, London-Gothenburg. All during 5 weeks. Just looking at this text makes me quiver.

 

The thing also is this: since we booked the flights a year ago I have been diagnosed with a mild to moderate anxiety disorder, including some (but not frequent) panic attacks and agoraphobia. I guess you can imagine the level of anxiety I feel at the thought of adding my greatest fear of all, FLYING, on top of this. 

 

I really don't know what to do! Even though I know I have been up there, the though of it now horrifies me. But I really don't want to cancel. I know, deep down, I will make I through. Right now i just don't know how!?

 

My greatest fear is that it will be bumpy all the way, all the flights! My other fear is obviously to have a major melt down or panic attack on board. I would really need your support and suggestions during the next few weeks to get me through this!

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Ok guys just a few days left! Flying on Wednesday! Eeeek
After a few weeks of acctual calm I'm beginning to get the shivers again. Not too bad though. I have really tried to be constructive. I've focuced on positive thoughts, read the book, practiced my deep breathing ( to breath in a square as we say in Swedish). I have also planned my flights and things to keep me occupied like music, magazines, sudoku and stuff.  I acctually think I'm really well prepared.

I have decided to take my diazepam. I know I should face my fears and maybe I will on one of the flights. But since I actually have a "real" anxiety disorder, I'm not gonna feel bad for taking them. Annie what's your experience? Did they help you at all? I've actually never taken them before so I'm gonna try them tomorrow. 

Jim: knowing the facts is really helpful. Strange enough they seem to help me a lot more when I'm on the plane than before the flight. Sometimes I wonder if not the time BEFORE the flight is ten times worse than the acctual flight itself. Anyone recognise that feeling? Something to ponder on. 

Anyway, I so much appreciate your input and your opinions! Thank you so much! 
I will keep you posted!

Captain Keith said:

I'm so confident Jim I've raised that to £50.00

 

Questions about fear of flying of course

 

Keith

Wow! Some trip, John!

Totally know what you're talking about. For me the night before, and the moments before getting into the plane are awful (tears and everything). Flying a lot (and I mean A LOT) hasn't made me any less anxious.

Yet, everytime I'm up there I know I just would not miss those landscapes because of my fear...

So, you'll have tons of opportunities to look at some of the most amazing views in the world during your flights, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Hope to see some great pics when you come back!

CB

Tank you Claudia! I'm trying to keep that in mind. All though totally cool yesterday today I woke in a bit of panic. But I hope it will subside. Man, what an emotional roller coaster!
Keith, just I question: what will the staff do if I actually panic big time or pass out or something during the flight?

Claudia Flores said:

Wow! Some trip, John!

Totally know what you're talking about. For me the night before, and the moments before getting into the plane are awful (tears and everything). Flying a lot (and I mean A LOT) hasn't made me any less anxious.

Yet, everytime I'm up there I know I just would not miss those landscapes because of my fear...

So, you'll have tons of opportunities to look at some of the most amazing views in the world during your flights, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Hope to see some great pics when you come back!

CB

Flying tomorrow. 24 hours left. Getting really nervous! Any last words of advice or comfort?

John said:
Tank you Claudia! I'm trying to keep that in mind. All though totally cool yesterday today I woke in a bit of panic. But I hope it will subside. Man, what an emotional roller coaster! Keith, just I question: what will the staff do if I actually panic big time or pass out or something during the flight?

Claudia Flores said:

Wow! Some trip, John!

Totally know what you're talking about. For me the night before, and the moments before getting into the plane are awful (tears and everything). Flying a lot (and I mean A LOT) hasn't made me any less anxious.

Yet, everytime I'm up there I know I just would not miss those landscapes because of my fear...

So, you'll have tons of opportunities to look at some of the most amazing views in the world during your flights, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Hope to see some great pics when you come back!

CB

Yup

  1. Stay cool.
  2. Think positively
  3. Don't dwell on negatives
  4. Don't hope for things...have a strategy to deal with them

Remember that most people say that the actual flight is a whole lot easier than they imagined it would be.

Remember you've done the hard bit...done all the worrying so you might as well go ahead and take the flight or you'll have to go thru' it all again next time.

Keith

Hey John

If it's bumpy it's bumpy...but we flew to Mauritious this year there and back  24 hours flying and only 10 minutes of turbulence.

Turbulence may be uncomfortable but that's not the same as dangerous

You can use that statement as much as you like the charge is only 5 Euros a time.

Keith

Haha the I will owe you! You really calm my nerves right now. 
Thank you for your support Keith and your brilliant book. I will have it with me on the plane. Maybe I'll even read it in the beach down under. 
Will post if possible during my journey!

Captain Keith said:

Hey John

If it's bumpy it's bumpy...but we flew to Mauritious this year there and back  24 hours flying and only 10 minutes of turbulence.

Turbulence may be uncomfortable but that's not the same as dangerous

You can use that statement as much as you like the charge is only 5 Euros a time.

Keith

Hey John!

We' re sending good and relaxing vibes =)

Just wanted to share a couple of personal tips for long flights:

If I feel I'm about to panic I talk to attendants and neighbors right away. Most people are quite sympathetic AND helpful. Some talked to me or even made me laugh ALL the way long just to calm me down!

I've been in some long flights with turbulence that seemed to last forever. Instead of wasting energy hoping for it to end, take a long breathe, repeat your mantras, and grab anything that makes you laugh (I save my favourite magazine for those moments). Seems difficult at first but I swear it makes a difference.

U'll do great. Let us know!

CB

Only hours away now. One minute I feel completely sick, and the other fine. 
I will do this! I will be fine!

Claudia Flores said:

Hey John!

We' re sending good and relaxing vibes =)

Just wanted to share a couple of personal tips for long flights:

If I feel I'm about to panic I talk to attendants and neighbors right away. Most people are quite sympathetic AND helpful. Some talked to me or even made me laugh ALL the way long just to calm me down!

I've been in some long flights with turbulence that seemed to last forever. Instead of wasting energy hoping for it to end, take a long breathe, repeat your mantras, and grab anything that makes you laugh (I save my favourite magazine for those moments). Seems difficult at first but I swear it makes a difference.

U'll do great. Let us know!

CB

In Hong kong now and by god I did it! And I was so calm and collected even though it was a bit bumpy through most of Russia and half off China. I feel like an acctual normal person now thanks t all you here and Keith in particular. 
But I got help: the incredible BA staff on the flight to London. I took your advice and told them and they where so friendly and helpful. The first officer actually came out during the flight to have a chat with me about the weather conditions and turbulence in general. I dare to say that tipped me over and I realised finally I have nothing to fear. 
Several times during the next 11 hour flight I found myself saying in my head "ah well I won't worry bout this or that. I'll leave it to the professionals". 

Flying again in 4 days and for the first time I really don't feel bothered at all.

John said:
Only hours away now. One minute I feel completely sick, and the other fine.  I will do this! I will be fine!

Claudia Flores said:

Hey John!

We' re sending good and relaxing vibes =)

Just wanted to share a couple of personal tips for long flights:

If I feel I'm about to panic I talk to attendants and neighbors right away. Most people are quite sympathetic AND helpful. Some talked to me or even made me laugh ALL the way long just to calm me down!

I've been in some long flights with turbulence that seemed to last forever. Instead of wasting energy hoping for it to end, take a long breathe, repeat your mantras, and grab anything that makes you laugh (I save my favourite magazine for those moments). Seems difficult at first but I swear it makes a difference.

U'll do great. Let us know!

CB

WELL DONE  WELL DONE  WELL DONE

Heartiest congratulations....enjoy the trip

Keith

Well done, and congratulations

be sure to enjoy your stay

Keitht

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