From the accountsI've read on the forum about claustrophobia I can only guess at the effect it has if you want to fly. But like most phobias it can be overcome, and hearing from other claustrophobics is the perfect start.


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Hi there, I am due to fly long haul sunday 6th, I have upgraded for more room and less passengers... seat next to the door, had hypnotherapy....we'll see. I do everything to avoid looking at the door when closing and then when i see that its closed, off I go. I don't move for 9 hours, don't drink so i don't need the loo, I resent anyone moving and on landing am worse...just open that door. I am a real pain to my family but no other passengers would know, i hope. I can't bear the thought I can't get off when i want, I am fine with flying, well ish. Is anyone this bad?????
Thank you so much and its wonderful to have people to speak to.
I hope that your flight went better than you could have hoped for. I am pleased that you are able to keep your fear to yourself. Sadly, I don't have this control any longer which is why I haven't flown now for over 2 years. I have to feel that I am in control of my emotions even if I am fearful inside. Perhaps this year will be a new start for me who knows? It certainly gives me a boost when I hear of the great strides that others have made like yourself.
Hello, My name is Andrew and I am due to go Skiing in March to Andorra. Unfortunately i'm suffering from the same thing as most of you on this forum about Claustrophobia, the dreaded time when the door closes and you cannot get off.
I have flown about 40 times in my life and for some reason am going through a period where i am afraid, I'm even thinking of driving there just to avoid the plane which is feesable but silly.
Last time i flew was back from Spain 2 years ago and usually once I'm up in the air its ok but for some reason i was tense all the way through mostly. I get a tightening of the chest where I feel i can't breath properly or feel like i cannot get a deep breath and makes me a bit panicky.
Even the silliest of comments like as my girlfriend said "Ive never seen you this bad before" as we sat on the plane which makes you worse, I said "thanks, that really helps."
But besides all that if anyone has any tips to get you more relaxed i'd be grateful.
Hi Andrew

I think the first thing to suggest is that you go to this page on the site and get your girlfriend to sin up to some of the hints there. It will show you some of the things that a supporter can do and this will help the person who suffers from afear of flying.

How a supporter can help

And to help yourself learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique.

And of course on out ground course you can have a play with the door which a lot of people have found very therapeutic.

I hope this helps you ...we're here to help so don't hesitate to ask whatever you want.

Captain Keith
I hate the claustrophobia too... I find it really helps to get a window seat.
i panick when the doors are shut as well. My hands sweat awfully. I like to know exactly where my nearest exit is, i find that helps as well as a window view and putting the AC on and aiming it at my face so I've got fresh air. Something that helps me is that two of my sister's old school friends are now airline pilots, and they are lovely down to earth people one of which I remember when she was just a little girl! There's no way on earth they would do it if they thought it was dangerous job.

We flew Emirates once and they had TV's behind each seat, which they decided to switch to the camera on the nose of the plane - so we could see a birds eye view of blue sky and cloud - i thought it might help but it freaked me out a bit! My imagination is biggest enemy - if we are descending but then stop for a while to wait for a landing slot i will think 'the flaps aren't working we can't descend any longer' i need to switch the imagination off that's the biggest enemy.
Hey....everything works...and if it doesn't there's a spare and if the flaps still don't work we can land without them.

Thanks so much! Can you land also if they get stuck in any position? Sorry I know i'm a pain... thanks

You're not a pain at all. They're not likely to be stuck 'anywhere' and usually in the history of aviation only one wheel gets stuck....but remember we're talking about years's usually a false warning in the cockpit but nevertheless full procedures are used.

Thanks Keith, I'll let you know how the flights go, Suzi
Hi everyone!

I joined this site yesterday. I watched all the videos Keith posted. Landings, takeoffs, view of inside the plane, and the dreaded... the door shutting! I had tingles in my feet the whole time. I breathed a sigh of relief when I closed out the site. I just read the posts in the claustrophobia section. I am so surprised to read that most people with this fear have already flown before! You are all so brave and should be very proud of yourself. I always thought ..if I do it once I'll be ok to do it again and again.

Keith my question is: "What do you do with someone who is hysterical on a plane because they are closed in and want to get off!?" I have a fear of panic attack on the plane from my fear of claustrophobia! My boyfriend wants to fly somewhere on vacation this summer. He said I have to get over my "freak out" stage. We recently drove through some bad winter weather and I tried to climb into the back seat to escape the whiteouts we were driving through and I was crying. I would not want to do this on a plane. Its not like they can pull over and kick me out! My boyfriend also said they would have to make an emergency landing, bring me to the mental institute and I would be charged a big fine! I told him he didn't help. I am willing to put myself through the anxieties of my first flight. But I want to know: What do you do with a hysterical passenger? Have you witnessed anyone like this before?

Thank You
Heather your boyfriend maybe trying to scare you into getting over your fear. Nothing he says is true.

The fact is thet very few people actually become hysterical because when they are on the plane they know what's going on, there's no expectation, no guessing what might happen,it's happening there and then and usually isn't anywhere near as bad as they were expecting.

Keep watching those videos and get used to your worries building up and discover that you can control them. Make flying as normal as you can. Imagine that you're NOT worried about flying or claustrophobia and spend a bit of your life without the burdem that you now carry.
The pilo can open a cockpit window and the air in the cabion is replenished completely every couple of minutes or so.

Have you learnt about abdominal or diaphragmatic can't panic if you breath correctly. The worst think I suppose that could happen in a panic attack is that you'd feel awful but that's all, you won't die or become hysterically uncontrollable.
Don't run away don't close down the site...face the fear play those videos over and over and over until they don't affect you. Let me know when you've played them 100 times each! You'll be amazed how much better you'll feel after a few viewings. Go on try it .

Time to get over the fear of the fear.


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