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Old Jun 3, 09, 6:38 pm
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Programs: Delta frequent flyer Gold Medallion Status
Posts: 876
You seem to have thought through your anxiety triggers well. I would possibly suggest that you change your medication to something designed specifically for anxiety rather than a sleeping medication. I personally find that valium works as well, perhaps even better than some newer medications.

I had a terrible fear of flying, which I ultimately had to overcome because of work issues. I figured out my triggers, pre-medicated with valium and got on-board. It took me about three years, but I have not even had a valium in my possession for years. I can now fly without much fear.

It takes experience to reduce anxiety, and, for me, medication to reduce anxiety so that I could engage in logical evaluation of my environment.

I have not had extensive experience on transatlantic flights, but if it is any reassurance to you, I have never had a delayed take-off or a delay on the ground once we have landed. I have experienced delays before the plane boarded, but never once we were on the plane.

I am exceptionally sensitive to heat, and I have never been uncomfortably warm on any of those flights either.

I always take as many things as possible to keep me occupied. I save my favorite best-seller for the plane, as well as a DVD I really want to see. I accumulate my little collections of "goodies" that I reserve only for flying. The more I can keep my mind occupied on something other than the plane the better I am.

I also practice relaxation exercises, and I start to do them as soon as we board. Deep breathing sends oxygen to the cells in the body that may be deprived when you breath in shallow, panic-induced fashion. Lack of oxygen just stimulates the nerves contributing to your panic. I practice relaxation exercises every day to cope with anxiety. It is really the most effective tool I have to reduce anxiety.

I also visualize my success. I imagine what I will feel like when I complete the activity which makes me anxious.

Obviously one solution to this problem is to get professional help, but I believed I had the ability to conquer this problem myself. I suspect that you have that ability as well. If you do not feel somewhat confident that you can do it on your own, there is nothing wrong with getting professional advice on reducing anxiety.

Good luck!
flyingfran is offline