High anxiety about flying!

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paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 6/14/2010 6:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't been on in a long while. I've been doing great, but today I am suddenly feeling like I can't breathe. My family and I are going to FL next week. It will be the first time my kids are flying and the first time I've been on a plan in over 8 years. I'm not afraid of crashing, but I am claustophobic. It freaks me out that I can't open a window! Any suggestions? I got a prescription for Xanax from my doc. I was originally thinking of waiting to take the pill if I am feeling panicky on the plane, but now I think maybe I should just take one a half hour before we board or something. I will be taking some magazines and books and my kids will keep me busy. I am just extra nervous about having them along. I don't want them to know that I'm anxious.

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/14/2010 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I KNOW THAT I TAKE MINE PRIOR TO GOING ON TRAIN OR PLANE
I AM ANOTHER THAT LIKES WINDOW open
TAKING BOOKS N THINGS WITH YOU IS GOOD IDEA TOO KEEP YOU BUSY
AS WILL THE KIDS
IM SURE YOU B FINE N
HV A GREAT TIME
NOTE..NOT YELLING HV TROUBLE WITH EYES AT CERTAIN POINTS IN DAY
HUGGS
LYN

paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 6/14/2010 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lyn. I hope you are doing OK.

stkitt
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   Posted 6/14/2010 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi paniccu,

First of all your trip sounds like fun and the kids will keep you busy for sure.

Flying with claustrophobia need not be a disaster. Carefully planning your trip can help you keep your phobia under control.

Sitting on the aisle allows you to easily move around the airplane. Walking around provides a break and can help you manage your symptoms. It also provides easier access to the restrooms, as well as to any comforting items you have in overhead storage. However, your only view will be of the inside of the plane. Some people find that this increases their anxiety. I prefer the aisle seat as I am able to get up and move around without climbing over people.

Allow yourself plenty of time at the airport. Official guidelines state that you should arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight. However, you may want to expand that window a bit. The stress of a crowded airport and invasive security screening could put you at risk for a panic attack, and wondering whether you will make the flight will only increase your anxiety. I always give myself extra time as I have a 30 minute drive to the airport and I would rather get all checked in, through security and then relax and enjoy people watching and some of the shops in the airport. I know you are traveling with children so this extra time will help with organizing your family.

I use my Valium before I even leave home and if I need I will take another dose before boarding the plane. I may take my low dose up to 4 times per day as needed.

Visualize the great time you are going to have and think positive ~ big breath.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt

paniccu
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   Posted 6/14/2010 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt. Our plane leaves really early on the way there so I know I'll be a little panicky just because we have to get going so early. I'm going to make sure the kids are totally packed the night before and all I will have left to pack will be my toiletries. I am hoping I'll be so sleep eyed that panic won't set in right away. Maybe I will take something when I wake up if I am really bad though. I've never actually had to take Xanax on a flight before, even though I've had it with me before. I think I like to win over my panic without drugs, but sometimes you just gotta do it. I always want to be 100% around my kids, but they probably won't even notice if I'm a little sedated :-).

Post Edited (paniccu) : 6/14/2010 1:11:54 PM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 6/14/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
hi there
im doing great ty for asking
i really do hope you n lids enjoy time away
if you need to take xanax then by all means do
and good to see u hving better times
huggs
lyn

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 6/14/2010 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
paniccu-
Just wanted to wish you a great trip to Florida. I was there just before Easter this Spring and had a much needed good time. I really don't have any ideas to help with flying. I am sorry you have issues with it. I love to fly and wish I could fly everywhere I go. Guess that comes from working on and flying in aircraft the 7 years I was in the Navy.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
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SnowyLynne
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   Posted 6/14/2010 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I have flown to Spain & back,did sky diving while there BUT Ain't no way i'll fly now,lol........
SnowyLynne


paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 6/16/2010 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the well wishes and advice, I appreciate it!

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
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   Posted 6/16/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hope you are doing well and just wondering when your trip is ? I would leave sky diving out of my plans LOL.

Hugs,

Kitt

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/16/2010 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
i totally go with that one kitt
aint no way mo how this lil woman is getting up n sky diving
i cringe n tummy heaves at the thought of it
im sure others love it eh
huggs
lyn
          CO MOD @ANXIETY/PANIC CD AND ALZHEIMERS 
              
         HV Crohns..pyoderma gangrenosum..anxiety..neuropathy...fibro
                      seizures ..totally deaf within last yr                                   
        
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paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 6/17/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
LOL, at won't point in my life I really wanted to try that! I never ended up doing it though. My trip is next Thursday very early in the AM. I am going to pack as many things as I can this weekend so I have less to stress about. My friend lent me a couple of good books to take with me and I am going to convince myself that my anxiety is excitement! I am very excited to see my sister and experience this trip through my children's eyes. Do I sound convinceing? hehe. I think I'll reread my Lucinda Bassett book before I go on the trip, maybe that will help.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/17/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
What an exciting time to share with your children. Do reread your Lucinda Bassett book and then just stay in the moment.

I always get my suitcase out ahead of time and make a list of all I need to put into it. The last thing I do before I leave home is review my list. I also get up early on the day I leave to give myself plenty of time for me and I usually am ready hours ahead so then I come here and just post away.

Wishing your a wonderful vacation.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt

paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 6/17/2010 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt!

Lana7
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 6/17/2010 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, my name is Ellen.
I'm a big freak about flying and I have to fly overseas to see my parents and also I love traveling :-)
I use Xanax all the time and I definitely recommend to take a pill before you go on the plane! Because when you are on the plane and start panicking, it will take another 10 min to calm you down with meds, also, when you are very nervous, instead of one pill you will need two at once. I've tried this already, I was calm on the ground so I thought I can make it without Xanax, but with first turbulence I grab Xanax like my saving jacket and one pill did nothing for me because I was trembling like a rabbit already. I don't want to scare you, but take a small dosage before plane, it will be safe for you. Just prepare all tickets and documents before you go, because Xanax makes you forget little things sometimes. When I have anxiety or panic on the ground, I usually take 0.25mg pill, or even half of it and I'm fine. On the plane I need 2-3 amounts of what I use on the ground. It works withing 5-10 min, so don't stuff your self fast, just take one and then see how you feel. Books wasn't helpful for me, as I start to jump from chapter to chapter and nothing can actually see and understand (maybe I'm getting more panicky than you, I definitely can't read books on the plane :-))). But I found a couple of good sites with recomendations, printed on paper and was reading day or two before flying and on the plane. Just type on Google "fear of flying" and you will find a lot of free anti-anxiety tips on the plane. And I don't suggest you to buy anything, I have a lot of books at home and bought online course - they are all too long and boring, so I rather google-it and printed in simple steps (like breathing, calming your self down, 4-5 pages). Also, what helps me, when I'm on the plane I imagine that air is very thick, that we flying almost like swimming through water (which is true! if you know the speed of airplane on the air, it is really "swimming" because density of air is very high), just think about floating... Good luck and have fun in Florida!

paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 6/19/2010 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the tips Ian!

sCaReD_23
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/22/2010 2:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm supposed to go to Florida Thursday and I'm scared too.
I think I will not go.
shakehead

Lana7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 6/22/2010 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
No, no , no!!! Don't turn your fear into phobia, it will be harder to treat later! Just get over it, you will be fine. The more you ignore, more phobic you going to get. Come to airport few hours earlier, just watch planes to take off. At first you will feel anxiety, but after one hour you will watch them just fine. I'm with panic attacks and anxiety and still I'm flying. I know you can do it too! It is the safest transportation, millions of planes in the air every day! FL waiting for you, just go pack! :-)

paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 6/23/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
scared23, don't cancel! We will be in the air together in spirit :-).  Sending good vibes your way. Ask your doc to prescribe some Xanax for the trip if you are getting scared. The last two times I flew I didn't even need it, but having it with me made me feel like I had a security blanket. 

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/23/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I wish you both great flights tomorrow and I envy you your exciting vacations but I love to fly and fall asleep while sitting at the gate before departure.

Go for it and enjoy.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/23/2010 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Enjoy yourselves for sure
let us know how all went whn you het back
huggs
lyn
                 Co Mod for... CROHNS..ANXIETY/ PANIC.....ALZHEIMERS
        DX.. a/p ....crohns ...fibro... pyoderma gangrenosum..seizures....deaf
            meds..lyrica..pentasa...valproic acid..ativan...diazepam....t 3 s prn
                  Help HEALING WELL...DONATE...www.HealingWell.com
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                                                   LYN                       


flowery
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 6/26/2010 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, not a fan of flying at ALL! I hear everything you all are saying. I've flown in the past and even with my 2 children and it's always the same...can't sleep, can't even focus enough to enjoy myself, just a mess. I tear up the ear phones and talk to any stranger that will listen. Just all together annoying! I even tried drinking. Made it worse!!! The last time I flew...I swore I'd never do it again. That was 1994.
.
I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2000. I've fought my way back through much therapy and a strong faith in God. Lots better know, but still have issues with flying. It has kept me from doing so many fun things and I want to get over it!!! I wish I could just do it more frequently to get used to it...but I don't do it often enough. Not like I can rent a plane daily.
 
Asked my Dr. for med's for a trip in the fall.  He said he thought I could do it. I just want some "in case" meds. Ha....maybe I'll ask again.
I feel for anyone traveling with kids. You want to be so strong for them. But inside your dying! I've been there!!!!
I say take the Xanax until your calm...and take it again on your way home! Don't feel guilty about it..just do it and have a fun time with those kids!
 
 
Flowery
 "Get busy living or get busy dying"
Dx in 2005 with Crohns after a Hysterectomy. Re-section in 2006...came apart so got to do it again! Frequent Kidney stones and Shingles... a new present as of 08-09 Diabetes Type 2. Total of 12 surgerys.
Imran, Asacol, Colestid, Bentyl, Lamotil, Paxil, Nexium, Probiodicts, Vit D, Folic Acid, Lots of Potassium, Fish Oil, up to 6 Immodium a day. Oh, and one Giant Pill holder!
 
 
               
                        


paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 7/1/2010 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again for the well wishes and advice. We had a wonderful time in Florida. We stayed in Panama City Beach for the first few days and it was beautiful. No tarballs or oil slicks to speak of! Then we stayed with my sister's family and just hung out with her. I am glad I had the Xanax. On the way there, I didn't end up taking any (we almost missed the flight and I didn't even have time to take it)  and didn't need to, thank God, but the way back was aweful. We flew back last night and the first plane we had to get on was about 45 minutes late, then we had major turbulance for almost the whole flight.  I had taken a half a pill before take off, just in case, but I needed to take another whole pill shortly after that. I was starting to really feel panicky because of the turbulance and the fact that we might not even make our connecting flight. I said a lot of prayers too! My kids did really well. I was so proud of them! They were great travelors.  The good news is that I realized I am not afraid to fly under ideal conditions. It was only after the plane was getting tossed around that I felt the PA coming on and I bet I wasn't the only one. That's something right?!

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/1/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome home and you done good !!!

Glad everyone had fun and that you used your med when you needed to.

Hugs,

Kitt
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