Anxiety Support
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too scared to fly - help

Hi everyone,

I have been suffering from anxiety symptoms like a tight and heavy chest, dizziness, tingling chest and, what bothers me most, difficulty breathing meaning I feel like I am not able to take a deep breath, for about 5 weeks now, the symptoms come and go, sometimes I am totally fine. This really terrified me and I got three sets of blood tests and several ECGs done and they were all good. I'm going to get a holter monitor but not until end of the month. Every doctor I've seen has said this is anxiety and the heart monitor is only to put my mind to rest.

Thing is, I'm meant to be going on holiday next week. The flight is about 2 hours. I have flown many many times before and never had a problem with it. But since I got these symptoms I am terrified of being stuck in places I cannot run away from (when I have feelings of panic or physical anxiety symptoms I need to move around) or where nobody can help me.

I am absolutely terrified of suffocating or my heart stopping on the plane when I get a major panic attack! Or maybe something is actually wrong with me and the doctors haven't found it yet and it's my destiny to die on an airplane? Who is going to help me and what am I meant to do when I get the symptoms somewhere mid air over the ocean?? I'm going with my boyfriend but I when I get that anxiety thing I feel like nobody can help me. I could cancel the trip but I really don't want to and also that would just cause me additional anxiety because I have cancelled my valentines trip.

I have taken 2 mg diazepam before and it did nothing at all. I now got 8 x 5mg diazepam from my GP (he was very hesitant to give them to me and didnt recommend taking them). And I don't really want to take them to be honest, I would rather be all clear in the head and get over this myself but I am desperate.

Not sure what to do now..will they even work? Should I cancel the trip? Will I be fine on the plane? I'm scared I won't be able to breathe, this has been the scariest symptom for me. Even though I know I am actually breathing, my oxygen levels were always 99% when being checked, but it feels so scary together with that feeling of panic!

4 Replies

Hey :)

I totally sympathise as I use to be a terrible flyer.

I wouldn't even get on a plane I was that scared!

The thing to remember is this; flying is considered the safest form of transport. Please don't cancel, face this head on. Personally I think the anticipation is the worse as is overthinking.

Take some earplugs and listen to some calming music or watch a movie just to take your mind off things. Put some lavender on your jacket, this should keep you calm.

Also, checkout and Headspace. These are mindful meditation which are very useful.

Drink plenty of water and try to relax, think of the now not the past or the future. Don't think of the what ifs, think of the now.

Above all, enjoy your holiday and be proud that you faced your anxiety :)

1 like

That breathing problem...I know it well. It happens every single time I get anxious. If your doctor says anxiety, it is. Believe the doctor...feeling like you can't take a deep breathe is just plain scary. But in actual fact you are breathing, probably more quickly than when you are relaxed and calm. By breathing faster you don't take as deep a breathe ... More like quick pants. Anxiety will do that for you. As for flying- I have thought all those same things. I really have. I sometimes take 1/2 a Xanax if I need it but like you I would rather have a clear head. So I try to get by with playing Solitaire or some quick card game, I chew gum which seems to help and I listen to music. sipping water also helps. Anything to distract yourself. And try to not let negative thoughts take over. Take care of very best to you. Sending you blessings and I hope you make the trip...


Ive had that breathing thing. Never got an ECG though. Now I haven't had it for.....weeks. Whether anxious or not.


Ive been in the same boat since since 2003.although at times i feel ok to fly i never would without taking diazapam.i wouldnt risk having a panic attack in mid be honest i take a good dose of diazepam and a few stiff drinks and listen to my ipod.i never even realise ive taken off.heyho we arent pilots so its a case of making it work.take care.


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