Posted by: ANITA DE SOUSA | 2009/07/09


hi there,

as of late when ever I fly as soon as the doors close I go into panic mode and get claustriophobia.
what medication can I take to calm me down during the flight.


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Our expert says:
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Dear Anita

Medication has its place in the treatment of anxiety and panic. It is wise to check this out with a medically trained professional. One needs to be mindful of the possibility that the medication taken may calm for a time of the flight duration but may compormise the actual dealing with the perceived fear or danger.

Various other aspects of treatment can however also be considered either in conjunction with meds or on their own depending on the experience of panic and claustrophobia. These other techniques include ways of showing you how vicious circles/ thoughts can maintain symptoms of panic especially as the doors of the plane close, relaxation methods, coaching specifically regarding air travel etc.

I have not answered your question directly as I am not medically trained but hope the info is useful when you are advised by a GP or psychiatrist regarding meds.

Lorna Quinn

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Lyn | 2009/07/13

Thank-you Anita for posting this. You' re not alone - I have a huge fear of air travel - so much so I have missed countless opportunities to travel abroad with business. It' s paralyizing! I will contact the mentioned number for help.

Reply to Lyn
Posted by: PSYCHIATRIST | 2009/07/12

Anita, there are some psychologists who run programs to help you deal specifically with fear of flying. You can contact SADAG on 0800 20 50 26 for the name of one. I think this is worthwhile doing this if you are a frequent flyer. Medication can play a role in which case you would need one of the benzodiazepine/ tranquiliser medications for flying. But fear of flying is common and can often be helped if you understand the root of your fear and learn how to " therapise yourself"  when you fly.

Posted by: 007Boer | 2009/07/09

Relax and think about how marvelous it is that human kind has made it possible for us to fly. It' s amazing, not terrifying.

Reply to 007Boer

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