How Do I Know If I Have A Phobia Of Flying?

How do I know if I have a phobia of flying?

In our current lives, traveling by plane has become a more common and accessible experience for many people. Flying by plane is considered by many to be an incredible and exciting experience; feeling that you are somehow “flying”, being able to see the landscapes from above, and moving at such a high speed, are some of the positive opinions about flying. However, another group of people have an overwhelming feeling of fear and discomfort when they think about it: phobia of flying.

Phobias are conceived as intense and irrational fears with an unhealthy and debilitating potential of a thing, situation or person. Flying phobia, or aerophobia, is mainly characterized by the irrational and overwhelming fear of traveling by plane. It is normal to feel nervous or anxious before flying because it is an experience far from everyday life and it can be scary to feel like you are “floating” in the sky. However, people who suffer from a phobia experience an extreme level of fear that can have significant interference in their daily lives.

If you think you suffer from this psychological alteration, keep reading. In this article we will explore in depth How to know if you live with a phobia of flying and how to identify the symptoms of this condition. Fortunately, phobias are treatable and with a very high percentage of resolution in therapeutic consultations. Therefore, it is important to realize this situation so that you can ask for help and manage to overcome this (or other) phobia.

Symptoms of phobia of flying

The phobia of flying can be understood as that irrational and very high fear of getting on a plane, and you may experience episodes of anxiety or panic attacks associated with thinking or doing it. This may involve behavioral changes around traveling by plane, avoiding it at all costs and thus closing the door to living many experiences thanks to flying by plane.

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Flying phobia can manifest itself in various ways, and its symptoms can vary from one person to another. Recognizing these signs is crucial to identify if you really suffer from this phobia and seek appropriate help. Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with flying phobia:

1. Extreme anxiety and nervousness

Before and during a flight, people with a phobia of flying may experience overwhelming anxiety. This may manifest as constant nervousness, a feeling of restlessness, or intense worry.

2. Intense physical reactions

The body may respond to anxiety with physical symptoms such as rapid heart palpitations, excessive sweating, shaking, dizziness, or a feeling of tightness in the chest.

3. Active avoidance

People with a phobia of flying can avoid air travel altogether or look for alternatives like traveling by car or train, even if this involves more time and effort.

4. Catastrophic thoughts

Imagining terrible situations during the flight, such as accidents or hijackings, is common in people with a phobia of flying. These negative thoughts can increase anxiety.

5. Hypersensitivity to flight stimuli

The noises, movements and turbulence of flying can intensify anxiety in those who suffer from this phobia. During the flight, Any stimulus that is difficult to interpret is perceived as an unequivocal signal that an airplane accident is going to occur.

6. Emotional discomfort

Feelings of anguish, despair, irrational fear and restlessness can accompany the phobia of flying, affecting general emotional well-being.

7. Avoid flight-related situations

In addition to avoiding flights themselves, people with this phobia may avoid places like airports or even avoid talking about the topic.

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Consequences of the phobia of flying

The phobia of flying can have a significant impact on the lives of those who suffer from it, and its consequences can extend beyond the moments of flight. By avoiding facing fear, people with this phobia may experience a series of challenges and limitations that affect your general well-being. Some of the main consequences of the phobia of flying are the following:

1. Restriction of opportunities

The inability to fly can significantly limit personal and professional opportunities. From missing out on family vacations to missing out on job opportunities that require air travel, this phobia can hinder personal growth and development.

2. Deterioration in quality of life

The constant worry and anxiety related to flying can negatively affect quality of life. People with a phobia of flying may experience high levels of stress and emotional distress which can influence your overall physical and mental health.

3. Social isolation

Avoidance of situations related to flying can lead those who suffer from this phobia to socially isolate themselves. The inability to participate in family events or trips with friends can lead to feelings of loneliness and exclusion.

4. Development of other phobias

The phobia of flying can also trigger or contribute to the development of other phobias or anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or situations that generate anxiety).

A phobia is not just nerves

As we have seen, the phobia of flying is made up of an intense and paralyzing fear that can significantly influence your life. As we already know, feeling nervous before a flight is normal, but we must understand that the phobia of flying is not defined by this nervousness.

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Nervousness is temporary and manageable, while flying phobia involves an intense and persistent fear that can affect daily life. While nervousness is tolerable during flight, the phobia can lead to avoidance of flying and restrict life opportunities. Additionally, the symptoms of the phobia can persist even after the flight. Recognizing these differences is important to address the problem and seek appropriate help if you have a true phobia of flying.