Aero phobia – fear of flights on aircraft. It is shown by alarm and the increased nervousness which is usually arising some days before flight. Before boarding and during flight heartbeat, increase HELL, tension of muscles, breath increase, nausea, feeling of a disorientation and weakness in legs are noted. In imagination of patients the terrifying pictures of plane crashes are drawn. Some patients because of fear refuse air flights. Many patients with an aero phobia during flights accept alcohol and soothing medicines. The diagnosis is established on the basis of complaints and the clinical record. Treatment – psychotherapy.
The aero phobia – fear to fly by planes and other aircraft. Despite the public statistical data confirming the high level of safety of flights, about 85% of people consider air aircraft the most dangerous type of transport. The aero phobia is extremely widespread: about 40% of inhabitants of Earth before flight feel fear of various degree of expressiveness. The aero phobia can be followed by persuasive information search about safety of flights, falling of planes etc.
Clinically significant aero phobia comes to light at 15% of adult population. Usually frustration arises at the age of 25 years and is more senior, women suffer more often than men. The aero phobia can be an independent phobia or manifestation of other fobichesky frustration (fear of height, fear of the closed spaces). Treatment of an aero phobia is performed by experts in the field of psychotherapy and clinical psychology.
Aero phobia reasons
There is a number of the external and internal factors provoking development of an aero phobia. To number of the external factors capable to cause this fobichesky frustration, refer insufficient knowledge of safety of flights, the terrifying pictures of the crashes of planes in television news, messages on plane crashes in newspapers and magazines. At some patients the aero phobia arises after "difficult" flight: in adverse weather conditions, at a large number of air pockets, at emergence of technical malfunctions, etc. In some cases the aero phobia develops after stories of the friends and relatives who endured "difficult" flight.
Refer physical and mental overfatigue, the critical and chronic psychoinjuring situations, somatic diseases, neurosises, depressions and other states and diseases promoting increase in level of uneasiness and decrease in resistance to a stress to the internal factors increasing probability of development of an aero phobia. The probability of development of an aero phobia increases at cardiovascular diseases, a weak vestibular mechanism and the raised susceptibility to pressure differences. Some patients with an aero phobia do not feel fear just before flights, but are afraid to be in the closed space (claustrophobia), to appear at big height (arophobia) or to suffer from aeroembolism (aeronausifobiya).
Aero phobia symptoms
Patients show complaints to steady fear of flights. Many patients note the expressed concern of expectation – the fear appears for several days or even months before flight, is followed by the automatic thoughts of danger of flights which are drawn in imagination pictures of possible plane crashes and vegetative violations. Some patients suffering from an aero phobia have a persuasive need to read articles about plane crashes, to study statistics of falling of planes, to penetrate deeply into the subjects anyway connected with safety of travel by air.
In process of flight approach symptoms of an aero phobia are shown more and more brightly. Thoughts of flight, stay in the airport and boarding provoke heartbeat increase, short wind, increase in arterial pressure, nausea, diarrhea, tension of muscles, the strengthened sweating, weakness in legs, dizziness, a disorientation, feeling of emptiness in the head and other symptoms. Because of pronounced vegetative symptomatology patients with an aero phobia begin to be afraid for the health. Some patients are afraid not only directly of flight, but also losses of consciousness or death from heart attack. As a rule, signs of an aero phobia are most strongly shown during take-off, landing and hit in turbulence zones.
Patients with an aero phobia quite often refuse air flights and choose land means of transport for travel. As a result the aero phobia significantly limits life of patients – they have not a rest in resorts, lose an opportunity to visit the relatives living in other countries and get a job, not connected with business trips. Some patients continue to use air transport, accepting high doses of tranquilizers or alcohol before flight. The problem of an aero phobia is especially significant for the people forced to make frequent flights in connection with performance of professional duties. Constant alarm and fear significantly complicate professional activity, become the reason of nervous breakdowns, depressions and neurotic frustration. Development of alcoholism and dependence on tranquilizers is in some cases possible.
Diagnostics and treatment of an aero phobia
The diagnosis "aero phobia" is exposed on the basis of complaints of the patient and history of a disease. During the conversation the psychologist specifies, than the fear of flights – fear of plane crash, intolerance of the closed space, alarm is caused at stay at height etc. Thus, the aero phobia is differentiated from claustrophobia, an arophobia and other phobias. At suspicion on existence of cardiovascular diseases and violations of a vestibular mechanism of patients direct to consultation to the cardiologist, the neurologist and the otolaryngologist.
The main method of treatment of an aero phobia is the psychotherapy. Short-term psychotherapeutic techniques are usually used: cognitive and behavioural therapy, hypnosis and NLP. The psychologist trains patients with an aero phobia in receptions of a self-relaxation, provides convincing proofs of safety of air flights. The expert helps patients to reveal the false beliefs which are the cornerstone of an aero phobia and then to create new patterns of thinking and behavior. Classes can individually be given or in groups. In the course of the occupations in some psychological centers the special exercise machines imitating inside of the plane are used.
To the patients suffering from an aero phobia recommend to follow a number of the rules promoting reduction of fear during flights. Refer the choice of the place which seems to the safest to number of such rules and causes less unpleasant feelings: at the prevailing fear of height – far from a window, at claustrophobia – near an emergency exit etc. Advise patients with an aero phobia to observe itself, to make the list of the most effective receptions for switching of attention and in the subsequent to use these inclusion in flight time. Among such receptions there can be a reading books, listening of an audioplayer, solving of crossword puzzles, exercises on a muscular relaxation, mental arithmetic.
Medicinal therapy at an aero phobia is appointed only in the presence of the accompanying mental disorders (generalized disturbing frustration, a depression). In coordination with the doctor single or incidental reception of tranquilizers before flight is possible and during flight. The long use of soothing medicines is not recommended because of possible development of dependence. The forecast depends on duration and weight of an aero phobia and existence of the accompanying mental disorders. In mild cases, as a rule, it is possible to achieve disappearance or essential reduction of symptoms. At high uneasiness, the accompanying neurosis or a depression perhaps chronic or recidivous current.