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Aviophobia - Fear of Flying

Updated on August 23, 2009

For anyone to get over the fear of flying, they have to know what causes it in the first place. Each person’s cause of their phobia can be different and it is crucial to understand where the fear has come from. This fear is something that can be picked up from a family member and can cause anyone who was formerly a self-confident flyer to panic at even the idea of boarding a airplane.

Studies show that a major reason why people have developed a fear of flying is attributable to their own personal experiences when flying. These bad experiences are the ones that are recalled in their thoughts each time they board a plane, making them feel fearful when flying. These negative experiences when flying may have included prolonged turbulence caused by bad weather conditions. It could also have been some mechanical problems that have caused the aircraft to take part in an emergency landing. Or it may have been a terrifying experience such as a near-death encounter while airborne.

A further explanation why a lot of people develop fear of flying is what the experts call "stress contamination" where someone who already has excessive levels of stress experiences an anxiety attack, which makes it more difficult for that person to conquer that phobia. At first, a number of people do not at once show this fear but it develops should they have more bad encounters in the course of their subsequent flights.

Are you too frightened to even board a plane?
Are you too frightened to even board a plane?

News reports of an aircraft tragedy is also a further cause why people who are already scared of flying are having a challenging time overcoming that concern. Some people dwell on the air catastrophe and that is why they tend to develop a dread of flying even if the flight is safe. This fear only increases when they see how upsetting it is to die during a aircraft crash or an accident.

Understand in yourself what it is really that you are fearful of when in the air. Is it the idea of you being up in the sky? Or is it the fear that you are controlled in a location where you are unable to get out if you need to? Or is it the feeling of pressure whilst you are in the air? Whatever it is, you ought to understand what exactly frightens you so you can find a method to adjust to it. If it the idea that you are thousands of feet from the ground, think that it is like riding in any other vehicle where you are also suspended from the ground for a specific length of time. If you are afraid that you are shut in, request whether you can be seated close to the emergency exit so you are the first person to get out if an accident happens. If you are scared of the pressure, think that the cabin is pressurized so you will not feel the pain of take off.

Although people have justifiable reasons to be afraid of flying, not using airplanes should not be an option. This fear is caused mainly because someone permits his or her imagination to get the better of them. So, if you want to conquer fear of flying, try those methods to find out which could work for you.

Fear of Flying - Your Comments

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  • infoguider profile image

    infoguider 8 years ago

    You can always explain that statistically, it is way more dangerous to drive in a car. However, people who are scared aren't usually very rational anyway.

  • Stuart Barnes profile image

    Stuart Barnes 8 years ago

    I can't believe people are afraid of flying but I know they are. Every time we fly my wife digs her nails into my forearm when we take off and land.

  • Treasured Pasts profile image

    Treasured Pasts 8 years ago from Commerce, Texas

    My son has severe fear of flying based on the fact that "there isn't anything between me and the ground." The important thing is that he will tell you that logic plays no part in controlling it. You can logic all you want- he will not fly.

  • sillysqrrl profile image

    sillysqrrl 8 years ago from World Citizen

    man that would so suck to have aviophobia...I would never have met my hubby!

  • jazzuboo profile image

    jazzuboo 8 years ago from Queensland, Australia

    Interesting, I've actually always loved flying, but my wife hates it. There is a difference between not liking flying and aviophobia, however. It's not like she gets physically ill or anything...