Table of contents:
Fear of flying: causes & symptoms
Fear of flying can occur at any age. An increased occurrence is observed in people whose living conditions are currently changing - that is, when someone is increasingly confronted with insecurities, stress and fear factors. This is particularly common between the ages of 20 and 30 and between 50 and 65 years.
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Innate and learned factors
It is currently believed that the tendency to develop fear of flying is increased by an interplay of innate and learned factors. In any case, neurological studies show that in people with various fears, such as the fear of flying, certain areas of the brain are particularly strongly overactivated when responding to supposed threats.
Physical discomfort and sensations
The following fear of flying reactions are particularly often described by those affected:
- Chest pain,
- A headache,
- Dizziness and fear of passing out,
- Dry mouth,
- Shortness of breath, choking,
- Nausea, urination,
- Gastrointestinal cramps,
- tense, cramped or numb limbs,
- Feelings of heat and cold,
- Fears to death
- cannot assess what is happening
- Feelings that something will go wrong
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of putting too much on the body,
- Feelings of soon being out of control
- Defend against any movement of the aircraft,
- Poor concentration,
- extreme tension and fear,
- irrepressible urge to flee.
Fear of flying can significantly determine the social and professional life of those affected. For example, some people would rather put their relationship at risk than go on a plane trip with their partner. Some people do not take up employment that requires frequent flying.
The fear of flying can, but does not have to, be accompanied by panic attacks. Panic attacks usually come suddenly and unexpectedly and usually go away on their own after a few minutes. The fear of having a dangerous physical illness also arises - a fear that is completely unfounded, but totally upsetting.