Is this helpful or not? Several people have said, just take Valium, but I feel a bit like that's not really dealing with the fear, also being an innate what iffer, what if I was sick during take off etc and couldn't take more Valium, blah blah... despite never being sick on a plane even in Force 7-8 wind... have other people found medication helpful or not? I'd be glad to hear anyone's thoughts.
Lucie, I have been wondering the same thing. People have recommended the same course of action for me. My worry is that I may react badly to it or it may make me feel even more lightheaded and strange for the whole flight, which would be just awful. So, like you, I would be very interested to hear people's thoughts on this one too.
Hi Heidi, I am going to see my GP on Monday, totally the same worries as you said, if I felt spaced out I'd freak out more - I am going to ask my GP every question I need, and see if I can trial a couple for one day whilst on the ground, then I would know if any side effects or bad reactions, also be specific with Dr about what I need - not to space out, just to limit effects of panic. will let you know how it goes!
I flew last november for the first time in years, and just like you was terrified. My Dr wouldn't give me valium but he gave me Beta-blockers. I have to say I think they worked for me. You are not at all spaced out, but they help to take away the physical symptoms of fear (well they did for me) i.e my heart did not race and beat like crazy. I also didn't have that horrible adrenalin rush that happens. Obviously my mind was in over-drive but thanks to the help I got from this site I was able to control my thoughts and keep it together. I've since heard that they often prescribe them for people who are nervous of doing their driving tests - so it shows that they don't make you feel spaced out!
Obviously drugs aren't for everybody, and in my day-to-day life I avoid antibiotics etc unless absolutely necessary... but for this particular occasion they worked for me.
BTW I also tried before I flew - suggest you do the same if this is the route you decide to take
Hi Lois, thanks - actually Beta-blockers would be ok, I was put on them as a teenager for severe panic attacks about pretty much everything, so know that I have no reaction to them, am wary of something as strong as Valium... I have actually just booked a flight from Gsy to Uk, only about 30mins but last time I totally freaked out and swore never to fly again. So, that was 2 years ago and don't want to let it beat me. I am only booking one way so if its grim I can book ferry home! I think Captain Keith is in Guernsey this week, so hoping to have a chance to meet and chat with him.
I hate the idea of any medication, but bravery/faith/prayer etc alone haven't been enough thus far. I don't even take pain-killers unless in agony!
yeah the adrenaline rush is the worst, that happened on my last flight just as the doors closed, vile. That triggered the panicky thoughts, so without that I would prob be ok, counting down the minutes to landing.. yes I will try them for a day or 2 on the ground, maybe do something mildly scary to test them..
Good for you. I'm embarrassed to admit that my fear also extends to lifts and although its nothing like as bad I do get the adrenaline rush/heart beating when I get in one. As I have two small children I am forced to get in them regularly. Anyway, I 'tested' the beta-blockers in the lift situation and was impressed.
Since my flight (after 15 years of not doing it) I'm proud to say lifts dont bother me anymore!! weird hey!! at least thats dealt with - wish I could say that I'm 100% cured of the flying phobia!!!
I tried alcohol a few times, but found I just had a headache at the end of the flight and was still scared. I don't drink that often so I tried having a bloody mary on one flight and wine on another.
I tried Xanax a few times, but if there really was an emergency, I would have been knocked out and this is not good either. Depending on my anxiety level (low) I fell asleep or (high) I felt drugged and still scared. I'd rather be scared and just get through it.
I am meant to be taking Valium on my flight, I suffer from mental health problems as it is including generalised anxiety and depression so its just another pill to take, My psychiatrist has suggested taking the valium a few days before the flight and in the lead up on the day and throughout the flight but I am planning on using relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioural techniques to challenge my worries and fears throughout the flights.
Hi I have been on Valium for anxiety, havent had any for 4 months, but as a short term drug to help you through, its very good. It will calm you down, but as I say only for short term use. Funny enough I stopped taking it and just saved a couple of tablets for the flight to Penang. However return journey I didnt have any tablets as I ran out. But I managed to focus on all the positive reasons why I had to get back to UK.
I was prescribed valium for one flight but never took the pills. This was for several reasons: firstly, I have heard of a few people taking it and it not really helping them. I took some as a child when nervous about the dentist and remember it didn't really affect me - perhaps they prescribed me too low a dose, but I was still really scared.
Secondly, my usual fallback when I'm nervous is alcohol (sorry, not a great idea I know, but I've never flown sober and do find that a double gin before takeoff takes off the edge of the fear for me, but I do worry a bit as it tend to make me a bit aggressive) anyway - I would worry that if it didn't work for me I then wouldn't be able to have my usual calming drink.
Thirdly, I don't like taking any medications I'm not used to because I'm scared I'll have a bad reaction, which would surely be even more dangerous on a plane.
All of which is a pity really, as I think valium would help me in the same way the alcohol does but without the side-effects of potential aggression and the hangover afterwards that invariably eats into my holiday :( I am thinking of doing a trial-run before my next flight to see how it DOES affect me, then may well take one next time. On my recent trip I met another nervous flier who'd taken a Xanax (similar to Valium) and she was very chilled out - still worried as it was horrendous weather, but seemed pleasantly zonked at the same time and was smiling a lot. I have to say I did feel like I could have done with some of what she'd had...