Aviophobia: The Fear of Flying

Aviophobia The Fear of Flying

Today, flying is not just the fastest, but it is the easiest mode of transportation. Well, excluding Apparition. But there are a lot of people terrified by the mere thought of boarding a plane.

Why is that, and how can we deal with anxiety disorders or panic disorder? Aviophobia is a fear of being on an aeroplane or helicopter or any other type of flying car including flying Ford Anglia (The flying car Harry Potter and Ron Weasley drove into the Whomping Willow in the 2002 movie Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets).

Aviophobia is also referred to as flying anxiety, flying phobia, flight phobia, or sometimes also called aerophobia.

As many as 20 to 30 per cents of individuals are nervous about travelling, and 2 to 10 per cent have a real phobia. But it might sometimes affect even more individuals. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they were afraid of travelling in a new survey of 2,000 individuals by HolidayPirates.

A disproportionate number of individuals still feel nervous or experience anxiety disorders while flying, despite the odds of a plane accident being as low as one in 11 million.

Some people are triggered by a lack of control or the fear of having a panic attack in public, and aviophobia can be associated with panic disorder, agoraphobia, or other anxiety conditions. People can feel nauseous, sweaty, and have a high level of fear, depending on how serious the fear is.

Others might have a full-blown panic attack. “Fear of flying stems from various reasons,” Niels Eék, psychologist and co-founder of the mental wellbeing app Remente, said. “While severe aviophobia is quite rare, most people will at one point or another start to feel scared, most commonly due to turbulence and unexplained noises, since we are put in an uncontrollable situation.”

Table of Contents

What is The Name of the fear of flying?

Aviophobia, or aerophobia, is the fear of flying. Fear of getting on a plane may be childhood phobia or, as a result of multiple triggering factors, it can arise from adulthood.

According to the study, the least likely method of transportation with a risk of death is air travel. Therefore, by collecting more data on aircraft phobia, which is among the needless fears, this psychological condition that induces fear of flying can be resolved.

What is Aviophobia?

As humans, our interaction with flight in the last century has changed drastically. From a fantasy, air travel has grown into a traditional and widely used mode of transport.

According to the International Air Transport Organization, there are around 100,000 flights in the world every day (IATA). In 2017, it was projected that 3.7 billion passengers worldwide would board.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) estimates in the United States that an all-time high of nearly 718 million passengers flew on 8.6 million flights during 2016.

In recent years, both in frequency and overall safety, air travel has increased. According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the 2016 accident rate of 2.8 incidents per million departures is the lowest airline accident rate in recent history (ICAO).

Air travel is safer in terms of accidents than any other common mode of transportation, according to a study in the journal Research in Transportation Economics, including:

  • Cars
  • Ferries
  • Subways
  • Trains
  • Buses

There are always moments that make even an experienced traveller a little nervous. It’s not unusual to grip the armrests a little tighter when the wheels start running down the tarmac or you encounter a rough patch of turbulence.

Generally, these moments of feeling jostled or unsettled are short-lived, and once the moment is over, they pass. That’s unless you’re very afraid to fly, known as aviophobia.

People with aviophobia have a persistent, deep-rooted fear of flying, which is far more than a transient charge. They usually experience anxiety disorders when flying.

What causes aviophobia?

Aviophobia The Fear of Flying

There are some possibilities that add to the fear of flying. It may be activated by a single direct influence or a mixture of variables.

An especially bad flight you encountered or a link to someone who experienced a traumatic flight incident or aviation occurrence may be a direct influence. A common anxiety cause is feeling out of control, and it is a common influencer of aviophobia.

One way to know that certain things in life are out of your hands is definitely being way up high. An influence that can cause aviophobia is having other phobias such as claustrophobia.

A plane’s cabin is a tight, crowded space, and when emotions are already heightened, it can feel particularly confining during boarding.

Eight tips on overcoming the fear of flying

If you fear flying, the following tips can help ease your discomfort on your next flight.

  1. Stay focused: Breath deeply for four counts, and then release for the sixth count.
  2. Find an object of focus and cross your ankles and cross your hands in front of you. Breathe deeply while resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  3. Remove stressful distractions: you can lower the window shade, so you’re not distracted by moving elements.
  4. Anticipate anxiety disorders and be prepared: Carry out mindfulness and meditation exercises every day for a week or two before your actual flight.
  5. Be prepared and find soothing things: Find things that can help you stay focused and lessen your anxiety. Before the time, Find soothing music that can calm and help you relax. Pack snacks that you enjoy and that can also make you feel good. Stay away from things with sugar and caffeine, which is a stimulant.
  6. Remove other triggering factors: Aviophobia may increase when general anxiety is heightened. It may be helpful to remove extra anxiety-inducing elements, such as sugar, energy drinks, caffeine, and any other stimulants.
  7. Recognise your fear. Are you scared of loss of control? Are you scared of dying? Do you suffer from claustrophobia? Are you scared of height? Different triggers need different things to help soothe them. If more information about aviation safety or how planes work will make you feel better, read up on those. If claustrophobia is a trigger, talk to your airline about boarding before the actual time or getting an aisle seat.
  8. Release the fear. Many people with flight fears also have control issues. Before take-off, Think about releasing control of the situation to the pilot, a trained professional with thousands of hours of flight time.

When to see a doctor

On a regular basis, many individuals struggle with phobias and anxiety disorders. According to the Institute of Mental Health, forty million American adults struggle with some form of anxiety disorders.

It’s important to reach out to a medical provider if your anxiety disorders start to take hold of your life in a way that feels unmanageable. Professionals will help you determine what triggers your fear of flying and find successful ways to handle it.

To regain your mental and physical health, they will help you find care.

Treatment for aviophobia

How can you cope with the fear of flying? There are effective treatment programs typically require either drugs or therapy for fear of flying. Anti-anxiety treatment can be recommended by physicians.

There are usually two kinds: one that you only take when you experience stress causes and another that you take daily.

Psychotherapy can also be recommended by physicians, including: 

  • Hypnosis
  • Modelling
  • Exposure therapy
  • Virtual reality exposure
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises may also help.

Takeaway

While the only way to travel is not to fly, it is one of the easiest and quickest ways. There are several different ways to help handle the causes and pressures that come with it if you wish to work beyond your fear of flying.

There is no reason to curb your desire to see the world or meet family and friends with a fear of flying. There are various ways that can help you handle a sensation that might seem uncontrollable, such as medication and therapy.

References:

  • How can you cope with the fear of flying?: Medical News Today
  • The 5 main things people are scared of when they have a fear of flying — and how to combat the phobia: Insider
  • Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Flying, Why It Happens, and More: Healthline
  • Fear of flying: Wikipedia
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