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Claustrophobia

4 posts
Claustrophobia

I haven't traveled by air fearing a panic attack.

I had mild panic attacks few times even if I travel via bus / car for few hours. I control myself but sometimes the people around me notice it.

It happens when I'm in the middle of journey. Suddenly an intense urge of reaching my destination appear from nowhere. Sweating, hot flushes, chills etc for few minutes and then disappear.

I avoid long journeys even I skip company paid tours.

To my bad luck, I have to go to a desert on a 4 months project and the flight duration is 8+ hours. The nearest city to the desert is on 3 hour drive.

Please share if someone was in a similar situation and has done it because I've decided no matter what I should go there but then the long flight and staying in the desert for months come to my mind.

14 replies to this topic
North Carolina
Level Contributor
2,264 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: Claustrophobia

Talk to your physician.

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Austria
Level Contributor
25,983 posts
78 reviews
2. Re: Claustrophobia

to be honest, if this happens on a bus or in a car, there is no way that you should attempt to fly. you are likely to cause the flight to be diverted causing expense for the airline and serious disruption for other travellers.

only your doctor can advise. strangers cannot !

Mystic, Connecticut
Level Contributor
131 posts
195 reviews
3. Re: Claustrophobia

If you are taking a long airplane flight it should be a larger plane. Once the aircraft gets to flying altitude then you can usually take off your seatbelt and walk around a bit. The larger planes have an area in the back of the plane, near where the bathrooms are - or if its a intercontinental trip near the Duty Free displays, where you can stand up, stretch or mingle with other people.

To alleviate your anxiety tell the other passengers (and cabin staff) sitting around you that it is your first plane flight and you are claustrophobic. People will be very understanding. I went on a flight a few years ago and a man apologized from being nervous and always shifting around. He told the nearby passengers he is a 2 pack a day smoker and the flight from the USA to Asia was the longest he had gone without a cigarette in 20 years. We were all supportive and took time to talk with him about his plans in Asia, his job, his family, etc. He told us that having the neighboring passengers talk with him helped pass the time on the flight and lessen his anxiety.

Another option is perhaps taking a sleeping pill once the flight is at cruising altitude. I have a friend who does that every time she goes to Europe. Thus the trip for her seems like roughly an hour instead of an all night event.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
9,401 posts
52 reviews
4. Re: Claustrophobia

Your determination to go thru with what sounds like a great opportunity and experience is great! That's a good start. In addition to hopefully usable ideas here, would it be a good idea to also discuss this with a healthcare provider? An expert might have a lot of excellent tips and techniques to help you prepare for the trip and deal with any discomfort which arises. I've benefited greatly in the past from cognitive behavioral therapy but that really needs to be done with professional guidance. Good luck!

Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,294 posts
440 reviews
5. Re: Claustrophobia

Your profile does not say where you are from, various airlines offer courses to deal with passenger’s concerns. Here is a U.K./Europe example that garners very good reports, others elsewhere may do similar https://fearlessflyer.easyjet.com/

I have some issues, thankfully only in certain circumstances, with claustrophobia- I hope you find a good solution.

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Austria
Level Contributor
25,983 posts
78 reviews
6. Re: Claustrophobia

there is a big difference between claustrophobia and being nervous about flying. the op states that he gets it in bus and car, so it is nothing to do with flying. it is being about being in confined spaces. as for the suggestion that you take a sleeping pill? certainly not recommended as you need to be fully alert in event of an emergency.

some posters are suggesting things to do, but they have absolutely no idea of what activates your problem. so you could decide to do what they say, and still suffer from your attacks.

the ONLY person who may be able to help is your doctor

Canada
Level Contributor
10,040 posts
81 reviews
7. Re: Claustrophobia

So this trip is job related. Will they fire you if you don't go? That might be a mitigating factor.

Do you get claustrophobic in an elevator? If not then you are likely not claustrophobic but have some other anxiety issues .

Sounds like you should be talking with your doc not asking a group of strangers.

Edited: 4:49 pm, September 22, 2018
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,078 posts
12 reviews
8. Re: Claustrophobia

Indeed, talk to your physician. If you must fly then an aisle seat will almost certainly be a better option than a window seat.

'Please share if someone was in a similar situation and has done it because I've decided no matter what I should go there but then the long flight and staying in the desert for months come to my mind.' To be honest, others' experiences really won't matter because no two people who have panic attacks will deal with them in the same way. If 'being in the desert for months' will be a problem then that's another matter as well.

4 posts
9. Re: Claustrophobia

He gave me medicine and asked me to take them before you board. He is the head of psychotry in big hospital

4 posts
10. Re: Claustrophobia

1 - My physician gave me medicine and asked me to take them before you board. He is the head of psychotry in big hospital.

2 - Actually its not the fear of small space, its the fear of no escape from the aeroplane and the desert

3 - I'm from Pakistan and would travel to Sahara Morocco

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