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Sudden Fear of Flying

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Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby mjsaga » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:37 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone here has ever had to face a sudden fear of flying. I've always dreamed of being a flight attendant and when I started flying I really loved the job. I have to admit that I always had that feeling that something could happen, but never had fear of flying at all. About two years ago I had a bad experience on a flight and from that moment I literally go into panic just thinking about it, I even resigned from my position.

The thing is that day I had the feeling that something bad was going to happen, we were called in the middle of the night to operate a flight and both pilots raved on the way to the airport saying that it was not safe to fly without having slept properly. We had a ferry flight and I was the only FA on board. The flight was just one hour long but I don't know why I started panicking thinking something was about to happen, and it did. We started having problems with both engines and all of a sudden I could feel and hear they were slowing down till the point I couldnt hear a sound. I still don't know if they stopped working or it was just my perception, but I felt the aircraft slowing down and I really thought we were going to crash. Thanks God nothing happened and when I asked the captain he said the computer was doing stupid things. I guess we were not in danger at anytime but it made me freak out, I didn't had the chance to ask the pilots because another FA was taking over me and I had to leave, so I still don't know what happened. I started having panic attacks after that and feeling dizzy on every flight so I decided to quit (I was working in another country and didn't had the support of my family and friends). Now I really want to fly again, it's been my passion my entire life and I feel now completey empty but I need to overcome this fear and the feeling that if I fly again we will crash.

I would like to know if anyone has ever had a bad experience and/or sudden fear of flying and would really appreciate any help.

Sorry for the Bible!
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby seabreezeblue » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:06 pm

oh wow and ouch.. I already have a severe fear of flying and i've never even been on a plane - what happened to you sounds super scary :(

I'm not going to be any use in how to get on a flight again really but i do hear great things about hypnotism for things like this.. also maybe talking to your doctor to get him/her to prescribe a medication that can calm you down and help with taking some of the anxiety away from that first new flight you take.
Not sure what else to suggest so hopefully someone else will wander along and know a bit more than me.
In the meantime however, i'm going to move you over into the phobias forum and leave a shadow behind here in PTSD.
Your thread will appear in both places so you're more likely to get seen by people who may have the same issue.
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby warabou » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:55 pm

I've had a fear of flying since as far back as I can remember... I'm 21 now. I've had to fly a lot despite my fear, especially when my family moved to England and we had to criss-cross from there to America frequently. And my family used to go on vacations often. I'm afraid of heights as well as flying, so they're probably related. I'm also agoraphobic and hate being in situations that I can't control (like 30,000 ft in the air relying on a couple wings and engines to support my life). I've had a couple bad experiences with planes, like once when we were trying to land I guess the things that go up to help slow the plane weren't working and we were coming in too fast? Something like that. Another time there was smoke in the cabin and we had to make an emergency landing, I guess there was some electrical fire. There were a bunch of firefighters and ambulances at the landing area when we landed just in case our plane blew up. Comforting. Turbulence is the scariest thing for me I think, I feel like any second we're just gonna go down and crash and there's nothing I can do about it except wait. I don't know how to get over this fear, since it's so strongly embedded in me. I know all the stuff about it being safer than car travel and the chances of crashing being 1 in a million or whatever, but it's still just the fact that I'm a mile high in the f**king sky that terrifies me to death. I like being securely on the ground where gravity can't kill me. And I don't like being in any form of transportation that I can't easily leave.
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby mjsaga » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:19 pm

Thank you very much for your replies. I'm actually flying in about 10 days so I think it's time to face the situation. I went to the doctor and she gave me some pills for depression and anxiety, something light since she knows I don't wanna take pills and I hope I need them just for a while. I'm imaging all kind of scenarios, and I literally end up having a headache every time I do it, but I can't go on like this and I really need to go back to the life I had before and specially to the passion I had for aviation. I just hope the moment I walk into the aircraft I can control myself, relax and enjoy the flight as I've done 2000 times before.
I hope this fear of flying is just a temporary issue for all of us. Travelling is one of the most wonderful experiences and it's really sad not to be able of enjoying it.
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby seabreezeblue » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:26 pm

you sound like you're doing a brilliant job of dealing with this (:

and you're definitely a lot braver than i'd likely be.

Not sure if this idea would be helpful for you at all but i was just thinking about the fact that i used to be really scared to be a passenger in the car with a certain family member until i learned to drive myself.
Once i learned to drive.. felt the tyres gripping the road myself and understood how much control i actually have over the car, it helped a little bit with easing my anxiety when i was in the car with the family member.

so.. to translate that idea over to your situation.. is there any possibility at all of you being able to take flying lessons.? and if you're able to do that, is it something you might be interested in trying out?
Just thinking that piloting a plane yourself and being able to experience how much control you actually have over it might help a bit.
what do you think?
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby mjsaga » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:23 am

Well... to be honest I've always wanted to be a pilot, but I had to forget that idea because it's very expensive and I didn't want to spend that amount of money considering it's very difficult to get a job in aviation in my country.

Besides that, I'm not sure whether I would be able to pilot a plane without getting nervous or I would just panic and run through the cabin shouting and moving my arms like a cartoon :lol: Now that I'm going through this situation I'm happy that I never tried to do it... imagine being a pilot that suddenly starts to experience fear of flying... too bad.

I actually think this isn't just about flying. I hate using the underground for example. Being there, trapped without escape, it makes feel sick, but it doesn't happen when I'm on a bus, even though I'm trapped as well. I guess this has an origin somewhere in my past and I can't identify when it started. Maybe when I was 12 years old and I was flying from Madrid to Buenos Aires and we had severe turbulence and everyone shouted and panicked. Or a couple of bad experiences of sexual harrassment I had not long ago, but thanks God it was not as bad as it could have been. The thing is I'm always afraid of pain and death, it's like I'm more aware now that bad things can happen to anyone, and I find the world a very hostile place. I get frightened with loud noises or even a jam on the brakes.

I think the best thing I can do now is fly again and visit the doctor until I find the reason why I'm feeling this anxiety and fear.

Thank you for your support, I will let you know how the flight goes... I'm getting more excited about it, as well as freaking scared :oops:
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby mjsaga » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:15 am

Hi everyone!!

I did it! And there was no panic attack at all :p I took a pill before the flight, and everything was smooth. The pill I'm having is not strong so I didn't feel sleepy and I could enjoy the flight. I had to admit that at some points I had the feeling that both engines were going to stop working, as I experienced before, but I could control it. We had some turbulence and it was a little scary sometimes but it was perfect. I almost cried because I could feel again the passion and love I once felt for flying, mixed with a little bit of fear, but now I believe I can be myself again if I work hard and I start flying often so I can get used to it again. It's really hard to feel love and hate at the same time, and feel that the job of my life has become a nightmare, but I hope this turns into what it used to be someday soon.
Thank you sooooo much for your time and comments, and I hope you can overcome this stupid fear and enjoy the magic of flying again.
:wink:
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Re: Sudden Fear of Flying

Postby babybowrain » Sat May 14, 2016 4:09 pm

yes i wanted to be a flight attended too...and then. i started being terribly afraid of planes. i don't know why. they scare me. they're creepy. they're like alien spaceships :'(
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