Blog
April 19, 2022

Help! I’m Afraid to Fly

Help Im Afraid to Fly

If you’re afraid to fly, you might feel like you’re missing out on adventures or career opportunities because of your travel limitations. The good news is that with the right help, you can overcome your fear of flying and enjoy the long-term benefits of addressing your phobia head-on.

Our team at Thriving Center of Psychology knows how debilitating it can feel to get on a plane when you have a phobia about flying. That’s why we offer comprehensive services to help you face your fears in a safe, nonjudgmental setting.

Why you might have a phobia about flying

Aviophobia is the medical term for a fear of flying. If you have this type of phobia, it’s likely that you experience an overwhelming sense of panic when flying. You might even become fearful and anxious just thinking about boarding a plane.

While the root cause of this type of phobia still isn’t understood well by the medical community, it’s likely that your anxiety about flying on an airplane is the result of a combination of phobias.

It’s actually rare for people to develop a fear of flying because of a traumatic experience on past flights. Rather, anxieties might stem from a fear of heights (acrophobia) or a fear about being in an enclosed space (claustrophobia).

When you should seek treatment for a fear of flying

Many people seek treatment for their fear of flying only when they have no choice but to fly somewhere, such as for a family emergency or for their job.

However, you can get started on treatment to overcome your fear of flying at any time, so you’ll be ready to go when the opportunity arises. Undergoing treatment when you don’t have a flying commitment in store might make treatment a little easier, because you won’t be under pressure.

Some common warning signs that might indicate you have a fear of flying include developing anxiety when thinking about flying, experiencing intense fear when flying, or avoiding air travel for five years or more.

You might also experience physical side effects when flying or thinking about flying, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate

In severe cases, people with aviophobia can experience a full-blown panic attack if they have to fly. This episode of panic can be terrifying and increase your resistance to getting help for your flying phobia.

How therapy can help you fly without fear

There are a number of therapeutic techniques our experts at Thriving Center of Psychology offer that can help you address specific phobias, such as a fear of flying.

Some available therapy options include:

Our team also offers innovative virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) to help you overcome your fear of flying.

The benefits of virtual reality exposure therapy

Virtual reality exposure therapy can help reprogram what you think about flying. With VRET, we create a virtual reality environment just for you using virtual reality cameras to record real-life situations, all while qualified therapists guide you.

This can help you learn to overcome your phobia in a virtual situation to help you break your negative association with flying. Using VRET, our therapy team can address your unique reactions to flying and help you fly with confidence.

Ready to choose your therapist?

To learn more about the benefits of virtual reality exposure therapy and other solutions to overcome a fear of flying, book an appointment online or over the phone with Thriving Center of Psychology today.

You Might Also Enjoy...
iStock 1396463291
Blog

Unwind From the Chaos: A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation for Stress Relief

Research increasingly supports the effectiveness of mindfulness for stress reduction. Mindfulness focuses on self-management and empowering an individual to manage their own stress. So, how can mindfulness meditation help with stress, and what are the best ways to get started with your own practice? Let’s dive in.

Read More
iStock 1473709550
Blog

How Do I Establish Healthy Boundaries

We often talk about setting healthy boundaries in the workplace, in relationships, with technology, and with ourselves. But what is a healthy boundary, why should you have them for your mental health, and what’s the best way to establish healthy boundaries? Let’s dive in. 

Read More
Millenial-Midlife-Crisis
Blog

Millennials in Crisis: Survey Finds 81% Can’t Afford a Midlife Crisis

Are Millennials a generation in crisis? Millennials are aging. The oldest in the generation is now 43, and the youngest is now 28. With age comes wisdom, but it also often leads to regret, nostalgia, and introspective questions about where people are in life. With the generation quickly approaching “middle age,” many are starting to feel these pressures. 

Read More
depression
Blog

What Are Practical Strategies for Managing Depression?

The number of U.S. adults who have been diagnosed with depression is on the rise, with young adults and women experiencing the most significant increases. We know that the effects of depression can ripple through every aspect of your life.

Read More