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Old 07-31-2007, 04:18 AM   #1
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simeone_8 HB User
Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

Wondering if anyone can identify with this problem.

I have always been a little claustrophobic but always been able to cope with it and it has only been extremely small places that have scared me but
I had a very unpleasant experience last year whilst backpacking in Asia last year.

My friends and I took a boat trip down the Mekong River in Laos. I was really looking forward to it and thought it be a leisurely relaxing trip. It was 7 hours one-day, you then stayed overnight, and went on another 6 hours the next day. It was hell!! The boat could have comfortably held about 50 people but we were packed in like sardines without about 150 people on it. We were squashed together with no space to even stretch out your legs and people virtually on top of you. I started to have panic attacks and just wanted to get off but when your in the middle of a huge river, miles from the nearest town in a strange country, this was just not possible. I had to stick it out and it was made even worse when it started to rain and the covers had to be put down on the sides of the boat making it very dark inside. It was the worst experience of my life.

I am now petrified of getting on a plane as well. I dont have a fear of flying, i am just so scared of taking off and then freaking out because im trapped. Im on a plane, and if I want to get off, there is NOTHING i can do about it. I cant ask them to turn it around or let me off at the next stop!

Im going on a stag doo in October and we are flying. Its only 2 and a half hours but i just dont think i can face it and am trying to think of an excuse to get out it.

Can anyone help. Is this claustrophobia, anxiety or something else???

 
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:47 AM   #2
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peace1910 HB User
Re: Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

hi there,

i've dealt with fear of flying for 30 years at least. as soon as they closed the cabin door, i felt like i couldn't breathe and would start to panic...i was at the mercy of my pilot and a bunch of other factors, like weather, turbulance, other planes flying near etc... i would freak out big time. then one day i thought to myself, i'm not afraid of flying, i'm afraid of crashing. the next thought was that my pilot didn't want to die anymore than i did and that he would do everything possible to keep himself and the rest of us safe. i can't say that i was then totally ok with flying, but i never let the fear keep me from going where i wanted.....over time i began to be more comfortable with the whole experience....i even flew to Israel in 1996. now i can go anywhere with barely a fearful thought, but it took years to get to this point and i flew even when i was terrified....otherwise the fear won and i lost...
i can only hope that you can maybe begin to look at flying differently and begin to feel more calm about it.............peace

 
Old 07-31-2007, 05:34 AM   #3
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Re: Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

Thanks for your advice. As i said though (probably seems a bit weird) but i do not have a fear of flying, never have done. It is not the crashing or turbulance or anything like that. It is a fear of being closed in and trapped and then not being able to do anything about it. If i was on a long train for example and it was crowded and i felt anxious, it wouldn't bother me that much cos i could just get off at the next stop if it got too bad. If im on a plane for hours and hours and i panic or feel anxious, all i can do is sit there and ride it out and it is this scares me so much.

 
Old 07-31-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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freely HB User
Re: Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

Quote:
Originally Posted by simeone_8 View Post
Thanks for your advice. As i said though (probably seems a bit weird) but i do not have a fear of flying, never have done. It is not the crashing or turbulance or anything like that. It is a fear of being closed in and trapped and then not being able to do anything about it.
I deal with the same thing. I too hate flying for the same reason, I would much rather drive for days than be on a plane for a few hours. Once I had to be on an 11 hour flight. I also fear having to go someplace, like a test at school for example, because there's no way you can get out of it(unless you want to fail the class) so it's sort of the same thing. Or being a passenger in a car, for be is terrifying(unless it's my family) but if I'm with friends, I have to drive because only then I can control what happens if I start to panic.

 
Old 07-31-2007, 01:35 PM   #5
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Re: Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

I've been like this for years, and a pilot friend once told me, it isnt fear of flying or crashing or being locked in. It's a fear of not being in control, and if you posters just stop and look at certain aspects of your life, you will see (like the person on that boat) there was plenty of air, you wernt going to suffocate, the walls wernt closing in on you, it was just the fear of not having the control to do what YOU wanted WHEN you wanted.

I speake from experience, asim EXACTLY like you guys are, and its taken me 45 years to work it out !!

Last edited by ms_mod; 07-31-2007 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Removed text message, chat room words and replaced them with proper words.

 
Old 05-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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ellabobella HB User
Re: Claustrophobia and a fear of flying

I'm in the same boat. (no pun intended I"m not sure where my fear came from; I'm not afraid of flying or crashing really...just being trapped. It simultaneously happened with flying and elevators - it sucks being this person. I've got a flight to Europe in a month's time and am terrified. Not sure what to do. Ive tried ativan but it doesn't work. I hate that I would have to medicate myself - it's not what I want to do - but maybe it's the only option? How are you coming along w it all? Did you manage to do your trip? I notice your post was in 2007 - it's been a while - did you manage to get a hold of the fear or has it progressed?

If it did get better - what did you do for it?

 
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