What is a Fear of Flying?

Fear of flying is an anxiety disorder where a person experiences feelings of distress, nervousness, unease, and fear when flying in an airplane or a helicopter. Sometimes these unusual feelings can also be experienced with the simple sight and sound of an aircraft. The phobic response of flying fear can also be referred to as aviophobia, aviatophobia, or pteromerhanophobia.

Symptoms of a Fear of Flying:

A person with fear of flying or aviophobia may exhibit the following symptoms when travelling via air:

  • Physical distress, such as stomach aches, vomiting, and headaches
  • Hyperventilation and rapid heart rate
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Inability to sleep nor concentrate

Who Comes to See Me?

This condition has no bounds. It attracts people from all walks of life. Sometimes it is developed over a period of time initiating at a sensitizing event such as a rough turbulent plane ride. Other times arises ‘out of the blue’. As with a lot of phobias, there can be a degree of mystery associated with them. You'd be surprised to know that many pilots have come to see me

Treatment:

Doctors may prescribe short-term treatment, such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, and tranquilizers. These medications, although proven to be effective, often will not treat the actual fear of flying, but will enable the affected individual to cope with a particular journey. These medications can also promote increased tolerance, thus leading to increased dosage and eventually, drug dependence. There could also be the danger of adding alcohol to the prescribed drugs in case the terrified patient realizes that his or her medication does not erase all the flying-related fear.

Hypnosis as a Form of Treatment for a Fear of Flying:

Studies

There is a surprisingly number of studies that suggests hypnosis may be an effective form of treatment for aviophobia or fear of flying for some individuals. In the article Hypnotherapy for Flight Phobia by Peter A Bakal M.D., twenty-one aviophobia sufferers were studied using hypnosis as a form of treatment. In another case study: Short-term Hypnotherapy for the Treatment of Flight Phobia: A Case Report, a 30-year old married woman with aviophobia immediately flew cross-country after three hypnotherapy sessions using Erickson hypnosis techniques after formerly suffering from a debilitating form of the condition.

My Social Phobia Hypnotherapy Program:

My program consists of three to five hypnosis sessions. Three sessions are normally recommended .

References:

"Pteromerhanophobia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 May 2014. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteromerhanophobia>.

Bailey, Eileen. "Aviophobia or Fear of Flying." Aviophobia or Fear of Flying. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/disorder-types-273811-5_2.html>.

Bakal, Peter A. "Hypnotherapy for Flight Phobia." American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 23.4 (1981): 248-51. Web.

Deyoub, Paul L., and Seymour J. Epstein. "Short-term Hypnotherapy for the Treatment of Flight Phobia: A Case Report." American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 19.4 (1977): 251-54. Web.