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Thread: Hypnotherapy valid treatment for flight anxiety?

  1. #1
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    Question Hypnotherapy valid treatment for flight anxiety?

    I'm new here and I haven't come across any discussions regarding hypnotherapy successes or failures in the treatment of flight anxiety. My apologies if I missed something and am being redundant.
    Recently while having my physician refill the anti-anxiety prescriptions that I use during flights, he mentioned hypnotherapy as a possible method for controlling intermittant flight anxiety. I sort of dismissed the notion at the time but now I wonder if hypnotherapy might be a valid, sufficient and less expensive way to ward off in-flight panic attacks.
    Ultimately, my question is this: if you have yourself hypnotized, if such a thing is possible for you, do you find that your fight or flight insticts trump the hypnotism in times of great distress? Would the adrenaline dump I experience during turbulence alter the calming effects of the hypnotherapy?
    I'm weary of dampening my fight or flight instincts because they're there for a reason and if an emergency should arise, I'd hate to think that the hypnotism would hinder my ability to assess and act appropriately in accordance to the situation. At the same time, my anxieties from turbulence and being enclosed in a pressurized tube are mental issues that anti-anxiety meds do not address so I wonder if hypnotherapy for flight anxiety is designed to allow oneself to experience all necessary physiologies of anxiety while tempering the mental aspects of panic. Any thoughts or opinions one way or another? Does anyone think it's an avenue worth further exploration?

  2. #2
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    I have an appointment scheduled for next week and a flight scheduled for February 6th so I will let you know how it works out for me. I'd be curious to hear if it has worked for others, as I've heard mixed reviews of this method but the only other option for me is to never fly again. They say "fight your fears head on", however I flew over 20x last year and it only got worse so that doesn't work.

  3. #3

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    I tried it but it did not work for me. Then again, I only had one session. Good luck! It's definitely something you should try.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. I figure it can't hurt anything to try it a handful of times. If it doesn't work, on to the next approach!

  5. #5
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    Did your appointment seem to make you feel any better just because you were being proactive? I hope so- little confidence boosts might mean a lot to you come 2/6.

  6. #6
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    I was just hypnotized the other night. When I left the appointment I felt fantastic and very optimistic and now as a few days have passed I'm starting to get nervous again. Though my hypnotist said that most people were cured after one session, I think I'm one of the few that would need several follow-ups (or some other method altogether). I'm curious to hear anyone else's feedback here.

  7. #7

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    Hey Ms. Mortin!

    I'm glad you felt good after your inital session. I think hypnotherapy doesn't work the same for everyone however. I've never been able to be hypnotized so it never did a thing for me. I think for you, it all has to do with 1. the strength of your anxiety and 2. your ability to be hyponotized.
    I would be concerned if you needed multiple sessions, it might just be a way for your doctor to rake in the bucks. (Not that he's like that, but I'm cynical! =D) If this doesn't work for you, I've found that the best thing for me has been to talk to actual commercial airliner pilots and flight attendants. I have to travel for work, there is never any way around it, so if I see a pilot chilling out at the airport, I will talk to her and ask her about turbulence. Usually, they are more than happy to talk to you. It puts you at ease to know they are in control and very capable. It might help to talk to a regular therapist about control issues if you haven't already (I find most people are upset by turbulence because THEY are not the ones in control, I know it's def. my issue).

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