All About Aviophobia: The Fear Of Flying

There are many different types of phobias, but they are all part of main three phobia categories, which are: Agoraphobia, Social Phobia and Specific Phobia. 

Agoraphobia is the fear of open or crowded spaces.  Sufferers will experience the fear of getting a panic attack in a public area, or losing control in an area where escaping may seem difficult or embarrassing. 

Social Phobia is an illogical anxiety that somebody feels when being exposed to certain social circumstances.  This condition could potentially lead to avoidance behavior. 

Specific Phobia is a constant and irrational fear when someone responds to certain specific stimulus, which usually ends in avoidance of, or withdrawal from that stimulus.  The fear may be towards an insect or animal (zoophobia), or a situation like feeling trapped in an enclosed space (claustrophobia) or it could also be the fear of disease (pathophobia). 

Aviophobia, or the fear of flying is thought to be very extensive worldwide, probably affecting as many as one in five individuals to some degree.  Many of these sufferers are so terrified of flying that they have never flown before.  Others used to fly with confidence until they suddenly developed fear.  This type of fear can even happen to professionally trained pilots. 

The Fear of flying is a learned reaction.  When we are born, the only fear we have is that of loud noises.  At some point in your life you developed the fear, maybe after watching footage on television about a disastrous airplane crash.  Perhaps you have experienced turbulence while flying, or your plan was in a holding position, circling an airport for a very long time, waiting for permission to land and you started wondering if there was enough fuel left. 

Despite of their fears, there are many who do fly. They visualize feeling scared ahead of time. They could experience sleepless nights thinking about an upcoming flight months away. While in the air, high anxiety symptoms may be experienced, such as dizziness, nausea, palpitations, sweating, and tightness of chest or hyperventilation. Some people will use alcohol or sedatives in attempting to help them control their fears. It’s recommended and healthier to eat well before a flight, have some good reading material or other distractions like music. You should avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine and sugar. Something that might also help is performing breathing exercises.