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SKY
2005-Jan-06, 04:20 AM
OK, here's my dilema, I may be offered a really great job. It is for a company that installs computer networks for bingo halls across the US. They receive computers in their shop set them up with the required software and hardware then they ship them to the customer who place the order, and you go with the order ad set up their network. The job calls for frequent travel all over the US to set up these networks. It's a high paying job with benefits, to me it is the ultimate dream job, working with computers and traveling the US and seeing places I've never seen before, I never thought I would be able to get a job like this. But I am absolutly horrified to fly. That is the only drawback to the job...flying is a must (I already asked if it was absolute, they said yeah).

I have an anxiety disorder, am claustrophobic and hate heights 8-[ .

I am on medication for the anxiety disorder which helps somewhat with the claustrophobia, but I don't feel it's enough to get me through an flight, especially if I have to fly coast to coast which they indicated is a possibilty.

I want this job sooo bad because it's like a dream job to me, but I feel like the first time I have to fly I may freak out or something.

I went throught the interview and test today, they said they wanted to call me back for a second interview with the companies owner (he was in a meeting) but the initial interview went very well and I think I have a good chance at getting the job.

So if there are others here who absolutly hate to fly, how do you get around it if you fly at all? I've only ever flown once (well twice if you count the day I was born, but I don't remember that one) and I swore I would never fly again.

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 04:41 AM
I freaking cried from Indianapolis to Dallas holding some strangers hand the first time I flew.

I WAS SCARED!

It took that first trip to figure out that I was okay with flying. If I were you, take a trip prior to the job.

Dang, I'll go with you!

SKY
2005-Jan-06, 05:43 AM
I freaking cried from Indianapolis to Dallas holding some strangers hand the first time I flew.

I WAS SCARED!

It took that first trip to figure out that I was okay with flying. If I were you, take a trip prior to the job.

Dang, I'll go with you!

I appreciate that, but I'm not sure I'll have time. I may have to start within the next week or so. I don't know how frequent their trips are and the good thing is that he said if the destination is somewhat close by (like Las Vegas, I'm about 4 to 5 hours away in the Palm Springs area) then we would just drive. But he did mention about having to go to New York at times :o . Too far to drive.

Bender
2005-Jan-06, 06:01 AM
Sky, I don't like heights either, and I have been a pilot since my teens. There is a difference between height and altitude.

Look at the world as a wonderfully colored, very lovely moving painting if you must. There is no sense of connection to the ground.

Honest, LOTS of pilots don't care for high places either.

Maksutov
2005-Jan-06, 06:21 AM
You might want to check out this link and the books it links to. (http://www.suite101.com/course.cfm/17926/seminar)

Here's another link. (http://www.aarp.org/destinations/Articles/a2004-01-16-flight_school-fear_of_flying.html)

Since time is of the essence it's probably too late to enroll in a class on this subject. If you eventually have the time, there are a number of airlines that offer such courses. (http://www.airfraid.com/2002/flying/will/courses1.asp)

One more link. (http://www.fearofflying.com/)

Good luck!

Meteora
2005-Jan-06, 06:29 AM
For whatever it's worth, I'm terrified of high places (near the edge, anyway). Even being on the roof of a single-story house frightens me. But, I love to fly. There's no relationship at all between the two.

I'm not claustrophobic, so I don't know what to say about that... maybe try to get a window or aisle seat every time?

Glom
2005-Jan-06, 06:46 AM
Go in an AA-5. You can have the canopy open a bit. Might take a while though.

Maksutov
2005-Jan-06, 07:01 AM
Then you could have your AA-5 rigged like this

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/2834/aa59hv.th.jpg (http://img72.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img72&image=aa59hv.jpg)

and IFR all the way. No disturbing views from high altitude.

Sammy
2005-Jan-06, 07:16 AM
See your Doc, explain the problem, and ask him about giving you a script for Zanax. It's an anti-panic drug, and very effective. The only downside is that about 5-6 hours after you take it, you get quite drowsy. You'd have to plan your trips so that you'll be in your hotel before you get too sleepy.

I have no prob with flying. but discovered (the hard way) that I am a bit clustraphobic. Had to get an MRI for a back problem, and almost lost it in the MRI chamber. I got thru it by exercising every ounce of will power, but had nightmares about it for a week. When the doc said to get another one, I balked. He told me to take a Zanax 1 hour before the exam and I'd be OK. It worked! I just laid there with NO anxiety whatsoever. Went out for dinner with the wife afterward, and fell asleep on the way home (she ws driving, the doc warned me). Got home, went to bed and a fine night's sleep.

Good luck, go for that job!

SKY
2005-Jan-06, 07:57 AM
Thanks you all for your responses :) .

Maksutov - I realy appreciate you taking the time and finding those. I may look into some of those classes (I didn't even know airlines offered them), but I also fear it may be deeper than that, I am extremely terrified of flying and have been since I was young.

Sammy - Zanax (or is it Xanax?) is what my doctor prescribed for me for a short term relief from my anxiety disorder. I am know on 100 mgs of Zoloft every morning for long term treatment and while I feel I can control my anxiety to an extent, every once in a while I feel panic attacks coming on. I do want to take the job, if it's offered. The only bad thing about it is the flying and I would hate myself if I let my fear of flying jeapordize a great job. I have thought of talking to my doctor about some really strong sedatives though.

SKY
2005-Jan-06, 08:01 AM
Go in an AA-5. You can have the canopy open a bit. Might take a while though.

I don't think I have a choice. I have to travel with a team of installers and the company buys the tickets. So I assume it's commercial.

Thanks for the thought though. :)

Tobin Dax
2005-Jan-06, 08:24 AM
If you really want this job, at the very least talk with your doctor. At the very least, the two of you can get the ball rolling regarding this fear of flying. Take it further if you want to, but at least see him first if you're afraid of a problem.

As for the acrophobia, I have to agree with everybody else. I am scared to death of heights. Heck, I'm afraid to walk around on a tabletop if I have to. (I do it, but with *very* little confidence.) But flying doesn't faze me at all. It's a completely different situation to me. My fear of heights is more of a fear of falling, but I know that I won't do that when I'm seated in a plane.

That's my 2 cents.

frogesque
2005-Jan-06, 11:11 AM
If you look upon this job offer as a brilliant career opportunity and a great way to face and beat the anxiety and claustrophobia you suffer then go for it 100%. You have nothing to fear except the fear itself. Sure bad stuff does happen to aircraft sometimes, it happens to cars and pedestrians too.

As well as the things Candy and others have suggested you could start reading up some technical stuff about flight, airfoils, lift and why it all happens. That way you understand the forces and noises that occur in flight and can really appreciate that view from above the clouds. You may be surprised at how much you really enjoy flying.

I love flying but my problem is crowded airports, I hate crowds at the best of times and I just want to get onboard so's I can relax.

TriangleMan
2005-Jan-06, 11:52 AM
Sky, have you mentioned this problem to your employer?

TriangleMan
2005-Jan-06, 11:53 AM
As for the acrophobia, I have to agree with everybody else. I am scared to death of heights. Heck, I'm afraid to walk around on a tabletop if I have to. (I do it, but with *very* little confidence.) But flying doesn't faze me at all. It's a completely different situation to me. My fear of heights is more of a fear of falling, but I know that I won't do that when I'm seated in a plane.

Just for the record I'm like this as well. It is a challenge for me to climb a ladder but flying in a plane is not a problem.

LynnF1
2005-Jan-06, 12:47 PM
Sky:

Good luck with the new job.

I agree with many here - I'm not good with heights or even major G-generating events (never been on a roller coaster - skeered I'll lose my lunch!), but:

* yes, take a flight beforehand if you can, and
* flying's not really bad as long as you understand what's happening - they'll be operating flaps and landing gear and such at take-off and landing approaches, there'll inevitably be banking turns...

Other than that, it's kinda fun - I can't sleep on flights - I'm generally glued to the window!

Hope this helps. :D

SpacedOut
2005-Jan-06, 01:26 PM
Sky - Sounds like a great job!

As for the claustrophobia - the one thing that my wife (who panics in tunnels and elevators) found helpful the few times she's flown, was to make sure she knew where ALL the exits were in relation to her seat. She prefers to be able to see an exit door at all times if at all possible.

Also - as other's suggested, talk to your doctor, enroll in a class or set up sessions with a specialist to help you get over your fears, then once you've done that I'd tell your prospective employer of your fears AND that you've already set upon a course of action to help you deal with them. I think it'll show that you really want the job and in being proactive in getting help lets them know you're serious about being able to fly and do the job.

The other benefit in letting your employer know, is that when you do fly, they'll understand your need for specific seat assignments, time of day, etc. if that's necessary to help you cope.

Swift
2005-Jan-06, 01:37 PM
Sky, my wife also takes Zanax (or however its spelled) for fear of flying, it works great for her.
Could you do what LynnF1 suggests and try a short flight in the next day or two? You said you live in Palm Springs; could you take a short flight to Vegas lets say. It would be a good test. Maybe treat a trusted friend to the trip for some hand-holding. My wife did a lot better after her first one or two flights. Worst case, you rent a car and drive back from Vegas and now you know the timing isn't right for this job. And in any case, keep working with your doctor on this. Good luck

Thumper
2005-Jan-06, 02:04 PM
Sky, I hope you're able to take advantage of this situation. You know your fears and anxiety are irrational. No amount of us telling you how safe air travel is makes any difference. I have heard the courses that Maksutov linked to are very good.

I hope you can empower yourself and conquer (or at least learn to cohabitate) with this fear. After all, it's your fear, why shouldn't you be in control of it.

My wife was in a similar situation but it doesn't sound as serious as yours. So far she's been able to beat it without medical help.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

Maksutov
2005-Jan-06, 02:30 PM
BTW, SKY, I've been flying in jets since 1964 (smaller prop aircraft, including helicopters, prior to that).

Back then I knew the basics of aircraft design and operation, so there were no surprises. Later, after having been part of the aerospace industry, it was fun to check out an aircraft to identify which parts were probably manufactured by the company I worked for. Being in Quality management helped here. I knew that those parts were properly designed and produced.

Having spent some time in trainer aircraft as a student also helped with the jargon and interpretation of some of the maneuvers that commercial aviation pilots engage in.

Plus, a career in Quality requires in-depth knowledge of probability and statistics, which let me know, among other things, that when I stepped onto the airplane, I was in a much safer environment than being in my car.

Finally, I'm like LynnF1 I guess. I always get a window seat and enjoy the view. It's fun, as a hiker/mountain climber, to realize the views you're getting are typically from a vantage point highest than Everest. Plus my interest in geology allows me to be captivated by the land formations that can be seen in such perspective and relief.

Next thing you know, the captain's on the PA, advising the passengers to prepare for landing.

Hutch
2005-Jan-06, 02:34 PM
Sky, just a couple other points from a frequent flyer. Everybody's elses comments are excellent.

Get seats on the aisle--that way you don't have to look outside if you don't want to.

If you are flying Cross-Country, you'll probably be on a wide-body juet (2 aisles), so get a seat in the middle section--they are usually avaiable as most folks want to sit nearer the windows.

Fly in larger aircraft--do your best to avoid the small commuter jets. A Boeing 777 is HUGE inside compared to say, a 737.

You will have to face this if you take the job. It is good you're facing it now and I hope it works out for you.

Argos
2005-Jan-06, 02:41 PM
Good news for the anxious (http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2758843) (myself included). And thatīs not only an American trend.

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 03:01 PM
Just remember to chew gum!!!! And swallow a lot!!!! Trust me. 8-[

Maksutov
2005-Jan-06, 03:03 PM
Just remember to chew gum!!!! And swallow a lot!!!! Trust me. 8-[
But don't get so chewish that you swallow your gum! That's not Kosher, already ! 8)

frenat
2005-Jan-06, 04:48 PM
Also remember that flying commercially is much, much safer than driving anyday. Also commercial pilots have had hundreds of hours of training. How long do you think the yahoos next to on the freeway trained before they got behind the wheel?

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 04:56 PM
SKY, after your reservations are made, call to have them flag your itinerary as a first time flyer.

Mention it at the gate, as well.

Trust me, you will get special treatment. :D

The attendants will watch over you like a hawk. 8)

When my stepfather flew for the first time, the attendant sang a song to him. She kept announcing his name over the intercom. It really kept his mind off of being scared. Now, he just talks about the experience as fun.

Laser Jock
2005-Jan-06, 05:11 PM
If you are flying Cross-Country, you'll probably be on a wide-body juet (2 aisles), so get a seat in the middle section--they are usually avaiable as most folks want to sit nearer the windows.


I'm not sure this is a good idea. I don't have trouble with anxiety, but a middle seat in a middle section would make me feel claustrophobic. If SKY doesn't want to look out the window and see the beautiful scenery, than an aisle seat would be the way to go.

Thumper
2005-Jan-06, 05:18 PM
I don't get to fly on "heavies" very much. So when I do, sitting in the aisle seat of the middle section feels like sitting in a theatre. :D

Seriously, the overhead compartments are so high that I looked up and couldn't figure out how to turn on the fans or reading lights. You can't reach that high while sitting. It took me a while to realize that the controls were on the armrests. #-o

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 05:35 PM
Seriously, the overhead compartments are so high that I looked up and couldn't figure out how to turn on the fans or reading lights. You can't reach that high while sitting. It took me a while to realize that the controls were on the armrests. #-o
Oh, the things I could teach you on an airplane. 8-[

SKY
2005-Jan-06, 06:43 PM
Wow, thank you all for your responses, I really appreciate it.

frogesque - I do think of this as a great career opportunity, which is what has me torn up. The company is small right now, and they are starting to grow big. He told me during the interview that this isn't a seasonal thing, this would be career, and the money is good which is why I would hate to jeopardize it because of my fear of flying.

TriangleMan - I did mention to them that I have a problem with flying. But like they said, for the job it's a necessity. Whether they are willing to book special treatment for me because of it, I have no idea and would need to discuss with them further, but being a new employee (if I get the job) I feel kind of uncomfortable doing that.

LynnF1 - I'm not a roller coaster person either but not because of the motion, but because when I get strapped in I feel trapped and cannot move, then I can't breath and so on. I had this happen to me on a roller coaster that my wife wanted me to go on with her. As soon as they put the shoulder harness on me I freaked out and wanted off. It was embarrassing, but I felt like I couldn't catch my breath and new I couldn't go through with the ride. I'm afraid that may happen on the plane.

Hutch - Yeah, I definitly don't want a window seat, it would have to be aisle or middle aisle.

Frenat - I've constantly had people tell me that it is "statistically" safer to fly than drive. But I also can't shake the fact that there are more cars than airplanes.

Candy - Not sure I want them to draw that much attention to me (singing, announcing my name, etc.), but thanks for the suggestion :) .

For everyone who said to see my doctor, that is a definite. I will probably need something stronger than the Zoloft I'm on to ease my nerves. I also think the suggestions of knowing the aircrafts workings are a good idea as well.

What goes through my mind in situations like this is:

1.) I'm not in control. I cannot pull over to the side of the road (or ask to pull over) if I need a breath of fresh air. During flight, I'm trapped in this until it's over. This is were the claustrophobia kicks in.

2.) My imagination takes over. Even when I'm not at a window seat, my minds eye will look at the floor and see not the plane, but the ground thousands of feet below. This is were the anxiety and fear of heights kicks in.

Then the panic attack hits, I cannot breath, My heart starts to beat really fast and my head starts to spin. Even when I close my eyes and try to regain myself, my mind at this time is racing and I cannot concentrate on calming down, and that's when I want out of the situation. In the case of the rollar coaster, I was able to get the attendants attention (after trying to break off the shoulder harness) and he let me out before the coaster took off. But in the plane, I will have no choice but to deal with a situation that I cannot control or remove myself from. And that's why I'm concerned that aisle seats, knowing the planes workings, taking a class, or even some of the best sedatives may not work in this situation.

I am trying not to make it sound like a lost cause, because I really don't know that it is or isn't. I don't think I will know until I try it. Talking with everyone is helping and I wholeheartedly appreciate all the responses I am getting. Thank you all very much.

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 06:48 PM
1.) I'm not in control. I cannot pull over to the side of the road (or ask to pull over) if I need a breath of fresh air. During flight, I'm trapped in this until it's over. This is were the claustrophobia kicks in.

2.) My imagination takes over. Even when I'm not at a window seat, my minds eye will look at the floor and see not the plane, but the ground thousands of feet below. This is were the anxiety and fear of heights kicks in.

If you fly United, you can hear what the pilots are saying (with a headset). It's like flying the airplane from the back seat. 8)

Swift
2005-Jan-06, 06:53 PM
Two last thoughts...

Frenat - I've constantly had people tell me that it is "statistically" safer to fly than drive. But I also can't shake the fact that there are more cars than airplanes.
Even taking into account number of cars and miles travelled, planes are A LOT safer than cars. I know that doesn't help the anxiety (statistics don't help my wife either) but I thought I'd let you know.

2.) My imagination takes over. Even when I'm not at a window seat, my minds eye will look at the floor and see not the plane, but the ground thousands of feet below. This is were the anxiety and fear of heights kicks in.

Even for someone who likes flying (like me) most plane trips are long and boring. Plan to bring more than enough stuff that you love to do to keep busy for the whole trip (books, games, music, whatever). It might help to keep you focused on other things.

Once again, good luck.

Staiduk
2005-Jan-06, 08:01 PM
SKY - this is gonna sound a bit dodgy; but I want you to trust me on this: an exercise that'll really help you.

First; I better explain; when I was a kid; I had a fear of heights as well. Absolutely terrified me. Didn't exactly help that my brother liked to torture me by shoving my head out the attic window. :roll:
I also had a fear of flying - two different things.

Problem was; I desperately wanted to be a pilot - the first-born in our family have two things in common: 1 - military service and 2 - flying. (I was the first of my line since WWI to break the tradition of combining the two and becoming a fighter pilot. I went Army instead.)

Anyhow; I took a huge swallow and faced up to them by flying with my Dad - who flies like he drives. Crazily. :D

It worked; now with 16 years behind the stick I love flying; and have no fear of heights either - I regularly crawl around vertical rock hundreds of feet in the air.

That has nothing to do with your problem; just babbling. :D

This is what I want you to try: Ki breathing. It sounds very 'spiritual' - and it is - and also very woo-wooish; which it isn't - there's a solid physiological basis for ki breathing which I'll explain in a minute. It works wonders - got me out the door for my first parachute jump; for instance.

OK - find a spot on the rug and sit seiza. That is; sit on your knees; with your bum resting on your ankles, feet crossed and knees about two fists apart. Relax and let your back curve naturally and rest your hands in your lap. Let your shoulders slump and relax.

It looks like this:
http://www.aikido-paris-idf.org/images/seiza.gif

Sitting like this sounds uncomfortable - you'd be surprized how comfortable it really is. Just ask this obviously dedicated practicioner:




http://www.ukc.com/seiza.jpg
Heh heh -interested in seiza yet? :D

Now - breathe. Breathe in slooooowly; letting the air fill your lungs from the bottom up - breathe 'into your belly'; letting every inch of your lungs expand - done right; you can feel the lower lobes of the lungs expand and fill. Keep breathing in until the lungs are completely filled and can hold no more. It should take 15-25 seconds to fill your lungs - remember; go slowly.
Hold that breath for about 10-20 seconds; then exhale just as slowly; letting the air pass through your mouth. In the nose; out the mouth, always. Keep going until the lungs are completely empty - lean forward slightly to squeeze every last bit out. Hold yourself there as long as is comfortable - never try to force things - then start again. Breathe like this for 20 minutes.

This is a calming exercise - and a very effective one. Like I said above; it's value isn't in the 'feel-good' spiritual feeling; but with hard medical factors behind it.
You see; when someone becomes stressed - afraid, angry, panicked, etc. - the body responds with stress behaviour: the breathing becomes quick and shallow, muscles tense, bladder weakens (which people laugh at; but it's no joke). The pupils dilate; hair stands up etc - we're all familiar with these signs.
Thing is; these signs are all physical; but have an enormous psychological effect. In other words; if one is afraid, the physical effects themselves intensify that fear. By that I mean - examine yourself for a minute. From your post; you've felt fear and know how it feels. Ask yourself this: and this is gonna be difficult to sort out; but think about it anyway: what was the worst part of the fear? The shakes? The mad butterflies? The sweats? Chances are; it's the physical effects that really bother. Yes; the thought of being thirty-five thousand feet in the air can be apalling; but - at least for everyone I've ever dealt with - it works like this: You imagine you're 35,000 feet up; the belly turns into a mexican jumping bean; and Whammo! You're afraid.
The thing is; by dealing with the physical effects and neutralizing them; the psychological fear - IOW the fear itself - becomes manageable.
What Ki Breathing does is force the body to calm itself by controlling the semi-autonomous functions - like breathing; which can be either voluntary or involuntary. The body wants to breathe rapidly - so don't let it. Ki breathe; and force that part of the system to be calm. The body responds - the heart doesn't need to pump large abounts of oxygen; so it slows to more normal levels. The diaphragm is under your control; so stops doing flip-flops - that's the source of the butterflies. The body wants to run - sitting quietly forces it into a more passive state; and the muscles start to relax.
In other words; ki breathing does for the body what Zanax (?) does for the mind. This is as old as dirt - we all 'have to take a deep breath' from time to time; the above is why the deep breath works. Ki breathing is simply 'taking a deep breath' in the most efficient; effective way possible.
Trust me on this - it works. If it helped me calm myself after a sniper's bullet whizzed by my ear close enough to feel its passage on my first tour; you can do it too.
Remember; it's only the first couple of times in an airplane that are the scary ones - once you get used to it; the panic reactions will start to fade with familiarity.

Good luck! :D

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 08:09 PM
This is a calming exercise - and a very effective one. Like I said above; it's value isn't in the 'feel-good' spiritual feeling; but with hard medical factors behind it.
I found myself reading this over and over. :D

Staiduk
2005-Jan-06, 08:13 PM
This is a calming exercise - and a very effective one. Like I said above; it's value isn't in the 'feel-good' spiritual feeling; but with hard medical factors behind it.
I found myself reading this over and over. :D

LOL OK; ok - so my grammar ain't that hot.
(Actually; she's dead, but that's another matter.)
:lol:

Doodler
2005-Jan-06, 08:42 PM
Speaking as one who's crisscrossed the country on aircraft while also being one who is utterly paralyzed by heights (I do steel construction part time, and I can't tell you the number of times I've been white knuckled clasping cold steel with bare hands in the winter because of it.), I have never had an issue with heights while in a plane, I even like window seats.

You do get a lot of motion disturbance during take off maneuvers, and my last flight out of National in DC gave me some fascinating views of monuments during some steep banking turns near the Potomac (flights out of National, now Reagan, were already under intense flight path restrictions by the FAA for reasons of airspace security over the Capitol long before 9/11), but by and large, high altitude cruising and most landings don't play havoc with my sense of balance (one of the key sensory disturbances resulting from acrophobia). I say this having never experienced severe turbulance, wind shear or any other situations that can DEFINITELY cause some issues. The big thing for me in take offs is to have my air vent flowing. I won't quite call it hyperventilation, because its not that serious, but the air in the cabin in that first bit can get thick if your contending with anxiety.

Once clear and flying, planes are FAR more stable than trains (I took a trip to Chicago on Amtrak's #29 and back on #30, the one which derailed in Kensington, Maryland 5 days later) and a lot more comfortable than cars (I've driven 13 and a half hours to and 13 hours back from Memphis, Tennessee without stopping. Yes, I was speeding. Each way took a day or more to recover from.)

TriangleMan
2005-Jan-06, 08:42 PM
Sky, desensitization treatment is an excellent treatment for many phobias, and it is something you might want to look into (consult with a psychologist who deals with phobias in addition to your consultations with a physician) but that treatment generally takes a while so you may need something for the short-term. This site (http://www.guidetopsychology.com/fearfly.htm) looks like it might be of help, it even recognizes that for many people the fear of flying is tied to claustrophobia and the anxiety from being 'trapped' on the plane while it is in flight.

As for your employer knowing, this is a situation where you have to play it by ear. Some employers will be supportive but others may not be so I won't advise you on whether or not to tell them. Hopefully with treatment you'll be fine. The sooner you act on this the better but hopefully it'll be a few weeks (months?) before you have to fly somewhere on business.

SKY
2005-Jan-06, 09:44 PM
Staiduk, thank you for your post. I just tried it and found that I can't breath that slow, so it will probably take some practice, but I will definitly keep trying. I studied Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai for years but that was years ago. So I need to freshen up on my breathing techniques anyway.

TriangleMan It was like that link was written specifically for me. That just about discribed every emotion I have when it comes to flying. Although, now I'm a little afraid of having a airplane land on my head :P (but yes I understood the point of the story). Thank you for the link, I will definitly keep that one handy.

LynnF1
2005-Jan-06, 10:17 PM
Sky:

Best of luck with this. My job requries that I fly perhaps four round trips/year (not enough to really get used to it), and I usually have to "talk myself down" every other trip or so at some point - but I do it. "Close eyes. Tell self that a) nobody else is freaking out and b) know those Discovery Wings programs that you're so fond of? Well, here you are, flying too, so cut it out - you'll be OK!"

The odd book, magazine, or newspaper usually help some, too.

You've got a lot of wisdom and support from these posters!

By the way, one of my company's field sales folks has an issue with flying, and he typically works his territory by car. I'm sure it costs him some personal time, but it drastically cuts down on his flights.

LynnF1
2005-Jan-06, 10:21 PM
oh, and I tend to look at it as being "chauffered", not a lack of being in control.

by the way, a flight attendant once pointed to the cockpit and told me, when I kiddingly asked her if we were going to make it OK, "they wouldn't be up there if we weren't - they're looking out for number one, too."

(just trying to help, and get off the dreaded thirteenth post, too!)

:D :D :D

Candy
2005-Jan-06, 11:52 PM
I find the people I am sitting between the most frightening. 8-[

Staiduk
2005-Jan-07, 01:09 AM
Staiduk, thank you for your post. I just tried it and found that I can't breath that slow, so it will probably take some practice, but I will definitly keep trying. I studied Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai for years but that was years ago. So I need to freshen up on my breathing techniques anyway.


:) What - you don't take Aikido - the One True Martial Art?!? :o [-(
:lol:
LOL - Breathing exactly how slow is up to you - slow as possible without being uncomfortable. (Unless you're an instructor - they tend to be pretty picky with us. :) )

SKY
2005-Jan-17, 08:36 PM
Just to give everyone an update, I may have jumped the gun on posting this because I've not heard from them since my first interview. I did call and leave a message with the person who interviewed me and didn't receive a call back so I assume I wasn't the right person for the job. It was strange though cause at the time they really seemed interested and I thought I had an excellent chance at getting the position. Oh well.

I know I still need to confront my fear of flying, but during the period I was waiting for a phone call, the constant worrying about it literally started to make me ill. So, while I'm sure I will confront it someday, it is far from my mind right now (unless I get a good job offer that requires it #-o ).

I did start to research some on flying, mostly for mental easement. I went to www.Airliners.net and looked at a lot of cabin photos and views from windows during take off and flight. It didn't seem that bad, but I really don't know how I would react until I get into that position. So, what I may end up doing is taking a short (very short) flight somewhere to get a feel of it before I start flying across country. But even that may be a while coming.

Thank you all for your help. I cannot explain how much I appreciate all of you for responding and taking the time to help me feel better about this. :)

frogesque
2005-Jan-17, 09:17 PM
SKY, Sorry you didn't get the job but congratulations on your courage for wanting to go ahead and confront your fears. I'm sure all the other BABBers here will wish you luck and we'll still be here if you need to talk things through. If you do get the chance to take a short flight please post a photo or two to celebrate your triumph.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-17, 11:09 PM
If you're taking a short flight, I suggest you don't make it in a small (sports) plane, but in a regional jet or something like that. My experience is that bigger planes have smoother rides. Just for your ease during the flight.

Gillianren
2005-Jan-17, 11:42 PM
hey, Sky--

looks like I'm the only other person to post who also gets panic attacks. (not medicated yet; I'm fighting w/the disability people.) whether you get the job or not, I think there is one thing that no one else will say that you need to hear. I always do.

it's not your fault. you don't just need to concentrate. and knowing all the statistics in the world won't change anything.

you can get better, but that's between you and your doctor, and it will take medication, by the sound of it. (of course, I don't know; I've never actually met you.)

still, you're lucky about one thing. your phobias are ones people take seriously. (except the people who just tell you you're being irrational, but isn't that the definition of a phobia, after all?) I'm terrified of making cold calls. I can't even order pizza, except from the place by my mom's house that's family run, where they've known me since I was nine. (the delivery guy asks how my mom is and how I like WA every time I order from them, which isn't often, since they're in CA.) no one believes that this is a legitimate medical condition, but I have had panic attacks while trying to call people. it's bad. at least people believe in claustrophobia, huh?

anyway, good luck on all of it.

SKY
2005-Jan-18, 02:43 AM
frogesque - I will do that (post pictures), but like I said, it may be a while coming. :)

Nicolas - Even a short trip, I would only be able to accomplish it in a good size plane.

Gillianren - My panic attacks usually coincide with my claustrophobia. I was having a hard time accepting it as a real illness myself at first. I kept questioning my doctor concerning his prognosis because I was having a hard time believing that "something mental was affecting me physically". He explained that it wasn't just a mental thing, that it was a physical disorder in the brain.

PS, Gillianren what is your signature from? It sounds familiar.

Spacewriter
2005-Jan-18, 03:15 AM
1.) I'm not in control. I cannot pull over to the side of the road (or ask to pull over) if I need a breath of fresh air. During flight, I'm trapped in this until it's over. This is were the claustrophobia kicks in.

2.) My imagination takes over. Even when I'm not at a window seat, my minds eye will look at the floor and see not the plane, but the ground thousands of feet below. This is were the anxiety and fear of heights kicks in.

If you fly United, you can hear what the pilots are saying (with a headset). It's like flying the airplane from the back seat. 8)


Absolutely! I listen to the tower all the time. And believe me, it's often a hoot to listen to them!

Meteora
2005-Jan-18, 03:21 AM
I'm terrified of making cold calls. I can't even order pizza, except from the place by my mom's house that's family run, where they've known me since I was nine.

:o

Wow. When I was a teenager, I had the same problem! I always feared that I wouldn't be taken seriously, for some reason. When I got a job that required me to use the phone (I assume that's the type of "calls" you're referring to), I somehow got over it. I guess I felt that since I was doing official business, the other person had to take me seriously! Now, I rarely have any difficulty, unless I'm making a phone call about something that I'm nearly clueless about....

Candy
2005-Jan-18, 05:41 AM
Thank you all for your help. I cannot explain how much I appreciate all of you for responding and taking the time to help me feel better about this. :)
If you really want to experience flying, let me know. If it's on a day I have off, I will come and fly with you (only if it's United). :wink:

Spacewriter is the queen of the airlines. I bet she has tons of advice. 8)

enginelessjohn
2005-Jan-18, 09:08 AM
I don't know if someone has already mentioned this yet (just skimmed the thread) but there are courses that address fear of flying. They seem to work as well.

A friend of mine was petrified of flying, panic attacks in airports, real proper serious can't get on a plane fear. She went on one of these courses, which sat people down, told them what happened on a flight, talked them through their issues with flying and then took them up in an airliner. My friend has since flown to the Bahamas, and while it isn't her favourite activity, she can at least go places with her husband.

Cheers
John

SKY
2005-Jan-18, 09:52 PM
Thank you all for your help. I cannot explain how much I appreciate all of you for responding and taking the time to help me feel better about this. :)
If you really want to experience flying, let me know. If it's on a day I have off, I will come and fly with you (only if it's United). :wink:



Thanks Candy, I appreciate it and I'll keep that in mind when I'm ready to take that step. :)