If you followed my past history you'll see that I had gr8 travel plans booked in May but I failed to even leave the house. This is following a history of using Diazepam to be able to get on planes. I suffered harsh symptoms of the 'fear' for months before flights, with gradually increasing symptoms until the time I was supposed to leave. In short: flashbacks, quaking, retching, the works. This was constant, every day that I heard or saw a plane. (History: I was on a plane where both engines failed. It was put into a dive & they restarted.) I was literally paralysed with fear that time. I didn't go! It was the single most disappointing experience of my life. I think I may have even felt worse then when I was on that bad flight. Well, in August I went for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, courtesy of Poole NHS. Mainly because travel is my major joy / work and I need to get over this fear. I love travel and culture. This bad experience gave me clinical depression, how bad is that? I did it to myself. That's what we're doing to ourselves. Well all I want to report for now, is that CBT got me to the airport, without any panic whatsoever, a very strange experience after being so scared. It worked, not 100% effective, but it was awesome. I still had to take diazepam to get on the flight. But I'm back there at the airport doing it. Maybe the next flight I'll try without any tranqs. I didn't have to take them until the point of no return at the gate! I'd like to tell you what it involved but that may reduce the effectiveness of your own treatment. If your thinking about whether or not it's worth it. It is!
On our courses we use the Socratic method of learning which sounds very pompous but is in fact just learning by questioning. I think this is why we have such success because it makes the fearful person responsible for their own learning and their own 'cure' .
Whilst I'm reluctant to endorse other forms of therapy I have to agree that if something works for you and is a lasting and useable 'fix' then use it.
The distinct advantage of CBT is that it's measureable Do this...and that happens...do that and this happens. It's other advantage is that you can retrace your steps because you know what is happening and why it's happening. As a pilot and a bloke I like measureable stuff...things that are within your own area of control and responsibilty. If you learn something then you have ownership of it ...if someone tells you something, they still own the knowledge..and that's missing the point...it feels good to the giver but the receiver gets nothing that lasts.
You can imagine my frustration when 'get rich quick' sites pop up all over the place purporting to help you over your fear and all they do is use gimmicks and mass hysteria for their effect...then having persuaded people that they are cured those people are reluctant to say in public any thing different because of peer pressure. There are at least three sites in the UK that either peddle rubbish and misinformation or just get commission for referring you onwards to an ecommerce site or similar. If only I could attract the numbers of people that they do...but I'm happy to do it properly.
I have never believed in taking the responsibility for other peoples thoughts. As Albert Einstein said "I don't teach...but I create an environment where people can learn."
It's like being a responsible parent...if I offer a child sweets or toothpaste and you can be sure that the child will take the short term benefit of sweets but in the long run the parent who insists on toothpaste is acting in the child's interest more responsibly.
My message is to remind everyone that Big Brands and slick brands don't guarantee quality...there's too much sugar in their products.