Aerophobia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Aerophobia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Aerophobia Definition

Aerophobia, also known as aviophobia, is a condition of excessive fear experienced by a person when traveling by airplane. People with aerophobia usually avoid traveling by plane. It is estimated that about 20% of adults who travel by plane experience this condition.

In some cases, people with aerophobia also have other phobias. For example, claustrophobia, which is the fear of narrow and closed spaces, and acrophobia, which is the fear of open and spacious spaces.

Aerophobia Reason

Phobias occur due to excessive anxiety about something. In aerophobia disorder, excessive anxiety can occur due to various things, such as:

  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of being in crowded places
  • Fear of terrorism
  • Fear of being around strangers

Aerophobia Diagnosis

To confirm the presence of aerophobia, the doctor will conduct an in-depth medical interview with the patient, as well as perform a physical examination. No laboratory tests or other investigations are needed to determine the presence of this disorder.

Aerophobia Symptoms

The symptoms of aerophobia are basically similar to the symptoms of other phobias, such as:

  • Headache
  • A cold sweat
  • Palpitations and fast heart rate
  • Hard to breathe
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficult to concentrate

In aerophobia, this symptom occurs when a person is traveling by plane, especially when the plane is taking off.

Aerophobia Treatment

Treatment of aerophobia is carried out by a psychiatrist. Treatment includes:

  • Cognitive therapy

    The psychiatrist will dig deeper into the complaints experienced by the patient and try to find out what causes the patient to feel great fear when getting on a plane. Once the underlying cause is known, the psychiatrist and sufferer together will discuss the irrational fears experienced by the patient, and seek solutions.

  • desensitization therapy

    Desensitization therapy is done by giving a stimulus that causes fear little by little. At the initial stage, a simulation of a situation like on an airplane will be made. The sufferer is trained to face it over and over again until he is no longer afraid. Furthermore, then the patient is faced with the actual situation. At this stage, patients are also taught to do relaxation therapy in the form of regulating breathing when they are in a scary situation.

  • Anti-anxiety drugs

    Drugs are not very useful to overcome aerophobia. If urgently needed, anti-anxiety drugs can be given in the short term to relieve complaints that occur.

Treatment of aerophobia requires good cooperation between the patient and the psychiatrist. To get rid of aerophobia completely it takes quite a long time, generally over six months.

Aerophobia Prevention

Aerophobia can be prevented by making some efforts. To prevent excessive fear when flying, some airlines provide a kind of simulation course so that airplane passengers understand the safety of traveling by plane.

In addition, seeking detailed information about the risks of traveling by plane (very low risk of accidents) will also help put the patient’s mind at ease.

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