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Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Cradley Heath...
Level Contributor
85 posts
312 reviews
Claustrophobia stopped us flying

My husband and I flew from small children with no problems for over 20 years then one day we took a flight to Munich in a small plane and my husband had a panic attack and tried to get off when they closed the door. It was the boarding, closes of the door, waiting in the seats, taxi-ing along the run way etc all that time when he thought he was still in control and could get off. They sat him at the back of the plane with an aspirin and glass of water for take off and once in the air he was fine. The whole holiday was overshadowed by the thought of the return home and even considered train /car etc. The Hellish return flight on the anniversary of the munich air disaster in similar foggy conditions with flights been cancelled was the last straw and we have not flown for over 10 years. Now we have 3 kids we dont want to pass on our fears and have been taking the ferry to Europe, the fear of terrosim on planes has made the situation worse.

1. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

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Removed on: 03 January 2010, 21:35
UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
2. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

There are various therapy courses available, which it seems might be better than a standard 'fear of flying course' , as from what you say, its claustrophobia rather than worrying about what a creaky noise coming from the plane might mean.

FWIW, your behaviour of taking ferries and driving, mirrors American behaviour in the aftermath of the twin towers. Many Americans stopped flying for a year or two, driving instead (same as you have been doing). After a couple of years, flying got back to numbers pre 911.

Its been reliably calculated, by looking at traffic data for the years before and after, that the extra deaths in road accidents due to this switch, are about 1,600, or an extra 50% of the direct death toll in the attack. So, whilst you may feel great, you are in fact provably increasing the risk of death and injury to you and your children by your behaviour. I don't expect this to make you unafraid of flying, but maybe it will give you a reason to try a course?

Look for some hypo therapy courses, I know one person who it worked very well on. Its nothing like the stage show stuff you see (I attended one of the sessions)

WirralScouse, the reason the OP is here is obviously to ask about getting rid of this fear, as the OP said "we don't want to pass it on to our children". And what other forum would you suggest they post in?

detroit, mi
Level Contributor
130 posts
39 reviews
3. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Debra;

Stay on the Forum.

There are many here who can give good advice to your problem. I once was a nervous flier and I found sitting on the aisle helped, I also was a first poster here on a forum.

By the way you did a nice review of the Tea at the Ritz in London.

Keep posting.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
57,767 posts
64 reviews
4. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Debra ~ when I read your post, I'm not sure whether you are sharing a story or asking for some advice. If you could clarify what your question is, or what it is that you are asking for help with, it would help us know how better to respond.

Edited: 03 January 2010, 21:21
wirral
Level Contributor
18,927 posts
108 reviews
5. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

So my first response was zapped.Fair enough.On reflection I should have adopted a more conciliatory approach as Vancouver member did and put so succinctly too.I hope we see a further comment from OP.

Santa Barbara...
Level Contributor
127 posts
1 review
6. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Your husband's panic attack was very similar to an episode of claustrophobia I had on a small plane some years ago. (So small I couldn't stand upright upon boarding.) The only way I could fly home at the end of the trip was to re-route through a larger city in a larger plane, and the fear of how I would react the next time kept me from traveling for quite a while. What works for me now is an anti-anxiety medication that my doctor prescribed and that I take only before I get on an airplane. After it worked once, I no longer had that dreaded feeling that I might have another panic attack. I hope you find a solution that works for your husband.

wirral
Level Contributor
18,927 posts
108 reviews
7. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Joe.I am sorry to react to your post but there is no "obviously" about OP's statement.It was just that, a report of experiences from long ago and consequences.No questions,no requests for advice.

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
8. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Nothing explicitly, but this is the key sentence to me "Now we have 3 kids we don't want to pass on our fears " but you have a point, its pretty rubbish for stating what she wants and it could just be a statement to no point. I assumed it wasn't, but maybe it is :-)

Edited: 03 January 2010, 23:45
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
94 reviews
9. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

I don't understand some of the responses, but here's mine.

OP - no one here can "diagnose" you or your husband. If you and your husband have an irrational fear, this can't be "cured" by reciting statistics. Facts have nothing to do with this, or you would have "cured" yourselves already. Odds are, your children are well aware of your fear; whether it's "passed on" or not, can't say.

Highly recommend you find a good cognitive/behavioral therapist and get ready to do some hard work. Good luck to you both.

Cradley Heath...
Level Contributor
85 posts
312 reviews
10. Re: Claustrophobia stopped us flying

Thanks for yor all replies, I see one has been removed, probably a good thing that I only just logged on and missed it as I get the feeling I wouldnt have liked that one. I posted the message without any real plan, guess was putting my fears down in writing didnt expect the trip advisor community to respond so well. I would like to fly again as up to the Munich trip took 3 flights a year always choosing different locations having a desire to visit lots of countries. The ferry has worked well since the children came along as we take prams, travel cots etc and can rent cottages in France also always rent a large cottage and both sets of grandparents come along which the children love. I do feel that because this has been working so well we are using it as an excuse not to fly " as theres no need". But as I sat hear yesterday thinkg about our 2010 holidays I yearned for the old days when we would look through all the travel brochures deciding where to go. We have told the kids there too young to go to a hot country and will take them when there older . The thought of seeing there Dad having a panic attack on a plane is a scary thought.