Manage Your Medication for Flying Anxiety

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Flying anxiety, a common fear experienced by many, can turn the excitement of travel into a daunting ordeal.

It's a condition where the thought of flying triggers a severe stress response, often causing individuals to avoid air travel altogether.

However, it's important to understand that this anxiety can be managed effectively.

Particularly crucial is the management of medication for flying anxiety. Used properly, these medications can significantly alleviate the symptoms of flight-related stress and anxiety, making air travel a more comfortable experience.

However, misuse or over-reliance can lead to potential health risks and dependency issues.

Thus, understanding and managing your medication becomes paramount in transforming your journey from a source of fear into an exciting adventure. 


Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Jessica Titone, LPCC

Jessica Titone, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 437-9089
Heather Westbrook, LCSW

Heather Westbrook, LCSW

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

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Understanding Flying Anxiety

Flying anxiety, also known as aviophobia, is a form of anxiety disorder in which individuals experience intense fear and discomfort at the thought of flying or during a flight.

Symptoms can range from mild nervousness to severe panic attacks and may include rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling gastrointestinal distress, and a feeling of impending doom.

It's more common than one might think; according to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 20% of the population experiences some degree of flying anxiety, making it a prevalent issue for many travelers worldwide.

The severity of this anxiety varies significantly among individuals, with some able to manage their symptoms while others may avoid flying altogether due to their fear.



How to Properly Use Medication for Flying Anxiety

When it comes to using medication for flying anxiety, adherence to your doctor's instructions is paramount.

These prescriptions are carefully calculated to manage your symptoms without causing unnecessary side effects.

Taking too much can lead to over-sedation or dependency, while taking too little may not adequately address your anxiety.

Therefore, it's crucial to take the prescribed dose at the recommended times and never attempt to self-adjust your medication without consulting your healthcare provider.

Misuse of anxiety medication can have significant consequences. Overuse can lead to a build-up of tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect, and can ultimately result in physical and psychological dependency.

On the other hand, abrupt discontinuation after prolonged use can trigger withdrawal symptoms, which can be quite severe.

To use these medications responsibly, always communicate openly with your doctor about your symptoms and any side effects you experience.

It's also essential to combine medication with non-pharmaceutical strategies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy or mindfulness techniques, for a holistic approach to managing your flying anxiety.


Alternative Methods for Managing Flying Anxiety

Alternative methods for managing flying anxiety offer a non-pharmaceutical approach to combating this common fear.

One such method is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals identify and challenge irrational fears and distorted thinking patterns.

Over time, CBT can help people change their attitudes about flying and develop more balanced, rational thoughts.

Relaxation techniques are another effective method for managing flying anxiety.

Deep breathing exercises, for example, can help calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of panic.

The breathing method of 4-7-8, where you inhale for a span of 4 seconds, retain your breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale over 8 seconds, is notably successful in diminishing anxiety levels.

Progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and then relax different muscle groups in your body, can also help alleviate tension and promote a sense of calm.

These alternative methods are not just beneficial for managing flying anxiety but can also enhance overall mental health.

They empower individuals with tools they can use in various stressful situations, fostering resilience and emotional well-being.

Furthermore, these methods have no side effects and can be used alongside medication for a comprehensive approach to managing flying anxiety.



Tips for Travelers with Flying Anxiety

  • Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Learn about the mechanics of flight and the safety measures in place. Understanding how turbulence is a normal part of flying can help alleviate anxiety.

  • Choose an Aisle Seat: If you're prone to claustrophobia, an aisle seat can provide a sense of more space and easy access to get up and move around.

  • Practice Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation can all help to calm your mind and body.

  • Stay Hydrated and Avoid Caffeine: Dehydration can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, and caffeine can trigger the body's fight-or-flight response.

  • Distractions Are Key: Bring along books, movies, music, or games to keep your mind occupied during the flight.

  • Visualize a Positive Flight Experience: In the days leading up to your flight, spend some time each day visualizing a smooth, successful flight.

  • Use Comfort Objects: A familiar blanket, a favorite piece of music, or photos of loved ones can provide comfort during anxious moments.

If you feel anxious during a flight, remember the following:

  • Use Your Breathing: Deep, controlled breathing can help to manage panic and anxiety.

  • Ground Yourself: Touch the seat, look at the stationary items around you, and remind yourself that you are safe.

  • Communicate: Don't hesitate to tell a flight attendant or a friendly neighbor about your anxiety. They can provide reassurance and support.

  • Use Distractions: Continue using your chosen distraction techniques to shift your focus away from your anxiety.

  • Remember Your Techniques: Use the relaxation techniques you've practiced before the flight.

  • Think Positively: Try to shift your thinking to positive thoughts. Remind yourself that you're capable of managing your anxiety and that the flight is just one step towards your destination or goal.

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Conclusion

Managing medication for flying anxiety is a delicate balance that requires strict adherence to doctor's instructions.

Misuse can lead to serious consequences, but when used responsibly and in conjunction with alternative methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques, it can significantly alleviate the stress of flying.

If you're struggling with flying anxiety, remember that you are not alone and there are many resources available to help.

With patience, practice, and the right support, you can successfully navigate your fear of flying and open up a world of travel opportunities.

 

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April 21st, 2024

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