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News & Articles
What is Fear
Fear Fact File
Fact 1 - Fear is in the Mind
Like all fears and phobias, fear of flying anxiety is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism.
At some point in your past, there was likely an event linking flying and emotional trauma.
Fact 2 - Only Affects About
1 in 20 People
Anxiety isn't necessarily a problem. But when it becomes persistent, powerful and interferes with daily life, it's called an anxiety disorder.
It can affect about one in 20 people. But sadly, only a tiny proportion of sufferers will seek treatment.
Fact 3 - Physical Symptoms Can Be Triggered
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It's that feeling of dread or apprehension accompanied by a tightness in the chest, and physical symptoms like sweating, trembling and rapid heartbeat. It's often caused by some change in our lives over which we feel we have no control.
It might be a new date, an exam result, or a work performance review. Or it could be something more serious – a major accident, illness or the death of someone close. It can last for weeks, even months.
For most people, the anxiety fades once the event is over or the problem is solved. Sometimes simply the passage of time helps. But for others, the anxiety persists and becomes much greater – even overwhelming – and quite out of proportion to the situation. It can make normal, daily activities difficult or impossible.
These people are said to have an anxiety disorder. It might be brought on by specific situations such as heights, flying anxiety, open spaces, closed spaces, or spiders. For others, it follows a horrific event. Or there may be no apparent trigger at all.
Fact 4 - Causes are Different for Everyone
What causes anxiety disorders? Nobody knows for sure. But one theory argues that it is an abnormal response of the body to stress.
Many of the symptoms and signs of anxiety disorders mimic a normal reaction called the flight or fright response. This is a biochemical and physiological reaction the body undergoes when exposed to danger.
It involves hormones like adrenaline and cortisol being released into the body. They cause the heart to pump harder and faster and make the person more alert. The skin goes pale, breathing increases and the person may sweat.
The effect of all this is that the person is able to think more quickly, run faster, perform better and so, escape from danger. Once the threat is over, the symptoms fade.
However, if the perceived danger is something persistent like say, a financial difficulty or a relationship in conflict, the anxiety it provokes may be ongoing.
Fact 5 - There are Common Risk Factors
One of the intriguing aspects of the problem is that there can be large variations in individuals' responses to stressful events. Some people survive a traumatic event without getting any anxiety, while others are almost incapacitated by seemingly trivial events.
Researchers have identified the following risk factors:
- Genetic Predisposition -
Anxiety disorders tend to run in families, suggesting there's a genetic factor involved in the cause.
Studies show that if one identical twin has an anxiety disorder, the second twin is more likely to have an anxiety disorder than if they were unrelated.
- Personal Characteristics -
Researchers believe that people who have low self-esteem and poor coping skills may be prone to anxiety disorders.
- Biochemistry -
It's theorised that some people who are prone to anxiety may have too many or too few neurotransmitters in the brain, casing the normal anxiety-producing pathways to overreact.
Serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) are two of the neurotransmitters that may be involved, though their exact role is poorly understood.
Fact 6 - There are Several Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several different manifestations of anxiety disorders:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) -
People with this condition have irrational fears and apprehension about minor things – harm affecting themselves or loved ones, for example, financial disaster, their health, work or personal relationships.
They worry so much they can't relax or fall asleep. They feel light-headed, short of breath, nauseous, and may also experience trembling, muscle tension, headaches, irritability, or sweating.
- Panic Disorder (PD) -
People who have this condition experience sudden and unpredictable episodes of panic in situations where other people would not be afraid.
They are convinced something disastrous will happen, that they may die or go crazy. They get chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, numbness, trembling. They may be frightened of going out in case they have a panic attack.
- Phobia -
A phobia is an intense fear about a particular object or situation. It might be a fear of heights, fear of flying anxiety, closed spaces, water, dogs, snakes or spiders.
When the feared object or situation isn't present, the person is perfectly normal. But when it is, they become highly anxious and experience a panic attack. So they go to great lengths to avoid becoming exposed to that situation.
- Social Phobia (SP) -
A fear of humiliation in social settings. People with social phobia can feel at ease in the company of others but certain events like public speaking, being at party or a restaurant bring on anxiety.
- Agoraphobia -
This is a fear of public places. It's the most common of anxiety disorders, accounting for about half of all cases.
People with agoraphobia experience anxiety in supermarkets and department stores, crowded places of all kinds, confined spaces, public transport, lifts, freeways/motorways and heights.
To avoid this happening, they often stay at home and won't leave.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) -
People with this condition experience constant unwanted thoughts such as fears of committing violent acts, or bizarre sexual fantasies.
To get rid of them, they may perform elaborate rituals like washing hands or checking things over and over. These rituals are usually time-consuming and interfere with normal life. People with this disorder are often extremely embarrassed about it and keep it a secret from others.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -
This condition has received a lot of publicity over the last few years. It follows a terrifying event such as war, torture, a vehicle accident, fire or personal experience of violence.
For months or years after the event, sufferers continue to have frightening thoughts and memories.
Sometimes flying anxiety thoughts are triggered by similar images on TV. People with PTSD also often suffer depression and substance abuse.
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Drug Free Process with CTRN
Though a variety of potent drugs are often prescribed for Fear of Flying anxiety, side effects and/or withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Moreover, drugs do not "cure" acrophobia or any other phobia. At best they temporarily suppress the symptoms through chemical interaction.
The good news is that the modern, fast, drug-free processes of The CTRN Phobia Clinic will train your mind to feel completely different about heights or high levels, eliminating the Fear of Flying and Acrophobia so it never haunts you again.
Take Action Now
We have never met a case of fear of flying that could not be overcome using these methods.
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