To be mortified, or not to be
My fear of flying got the better of me today. I became so stressed to the point I could feel the onset of fainting. The foggy head feeling, hearing impaired and you feel like you are burning up. The next thing you know you are out like a light.
I used to be really used to flying and actually enjoyed it. As children, we would be flying at least once a year. Then I had a break and since then I have somehow become phobic about it. It all happened after the manifestation of my OCD and that is all about being in control. So I am thinking it might be a control issue. It is hard to say as anxiety, OCD and control are have overlapping features.
If we were meant to fly we would have wings!
At this point, it is hard to concentrate on anything else, which frankly is just stupid as this is winding me up even more. I cannot even remember what my psychologist said about fear and the amygdala, seemingly they have something to do with each other. It is there on the tip of my tongue but not accessible.
I will just confront my fear head on and sit through it like I learnt in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as the body can only manage to stay in fight or flight mode for a limited amount of time. So hopefully the more I travel and am exposed to my fear the lesser it should become or at least in theory.
Meditation might work for some but for me with a mind racing like a formula one car that can think of none the less than this inherent fear, I see no sense in even trying.
The other approach to treating it could be (EMDR), which is used to treat PTSD. You are asked to relive or imagine the stressful situation whilst receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements following a light bar or hand tapping. Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive beliefs related to the traumatic event. I have tried it previously for my interview fear and it actually helped me. I have to admit at first I did not believe it would work. I could imagine this approach to have a positive outcome or maybe even the combination of CBT with EMDR.
I have thought about the medication along the lines of Valium. I imagine that could work but I also believe it would be a challenge to come to medicate aviophobia with at least in continental Europe. Plus the downside is you will get to your destination groggy and be of not much use otherwise. Not to mention I have no clue what effect it would have on the body in terms of cabin pressure, altitude etc.
I manage mine with alcohol, which is most certainly not the solution either. However, it makes it manageable for me and takes the edge off of things.
Welcome airport bar! Welcome caviar and prunier’s!