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LOL! I wish I had the guts to take some xanax but I have a fear of feeling out of control so I don't take any medicines. God forbid I ever get sick.
When do you leave for your trip? Mine is less then 2 weeks away, and im really just trying not to think about it. Haha! My mind is on the wedding that will take place in 11 days. Then after that hump; I will worry about how i will ever survive the plane ride.
thats too funny emma. i got some xanax yesterday and decided to test it out last night. i did not notice much of a difference, but then again, i wasnt super anxious when i took it, so that may be the difference.

i was wondering how i would react when paralyzed with fear hehe.
As both an airline captain and a licensed therapist, I've worked with several thousand people on fear of flying in the past twenty-five years. Here are some of the things I've learned.

Medications can, at best, take the edge off. But according to research, meds don't even do that for one person in three. If taking the edge off is enough, then meds are a good choice if they are NOT used except for flying; routine use of Xanax, Ativan, or Valium can lead to dependency. If dependency develops, do not try to stop using this type of medication except under medical supervision, as to stop them suddenly after developing dependency can be dangerous.

Greater relief that meds can provide (from high anxiety and from panic when flying) is possible through a two-step process:

1. Rational: learning more about how flying works, so there is a thorough personal knowledge of how safety is established and maintained in the air, and,

2. Emotional: regaining control of feelings; this is a complex issue but it is well worth mastering because the relief possible is far greater than meds can provide. When born, we humans have a powerful genetically encoded instinct to connect, and, when making a human-to-human connection, to feel profoundly calm. This is necessary in order for the human infant to want to make physical connection to the mother, and to be calmed by this connectedness so powerfully that long periods of time are spend being connected in this way. It is not simply a question of hunger; the push for connection is instinctive.

Anxiety when flying can be completely taken care of by connecting each and every thought or awareness when flying to the calm that results from activting this instinct through recall of a moment of empathic connection with another person.

In the last ten years, I have found no one who could not be adequately helped by this approach to dealing with flight anxiety. I do a weekly column on this subject which can be found at [url][/url]

Captain Tom Bunn LCSW

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