Calgary Herald

Seek help for fear of flying

- ElliE Savvy advice e-mail ellie@tHestar.Ca

Q: I’m not a good flyer. I’ve only been on one vacation and both flights were horrible. On one, the plane filled with black smoke on takeoff, creating panic among passengers. On the other, our plane hit another plane on the runway. It’s left me with a very deep, real fear of flying.

My in-laws fly multiple times a year for vacations and work. They want to take our family on vacations, all of which require flying. Whenever we’re together, they say how ridiculous my fear is.

Even my husband raises it jokingly. I don’t know how to get them to understand how real my fear is. How can I get them to give me time to deal with it at my own pace?

Personal Phobia

A: They should respect your fear. That said, the fact that you’re not showing any effort to deal with it, likely has them worried. It’s not just about vacations, though their desire to share some with your family is well meant. But in today’s world, it sometimes becomes necessary to travel and inconvenie­nt to go any other way than by plane.

You’re not alone. Others have this fear, and there are ways to address it, including hypnosis and behaviour modificati­on approaches.

Insist that your husband NOT joke about it, and that he tells his parents their pushing isn’t helping. Then, for your own sake as well as your family’s (children will be influenced by how you handle bad/scary experience­s), you need to get help.

Tip of the day

Fear of flying is a phobia that often requires profession­al help to surmount.

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