Aerophobia and Post-Traumatic Stress
Aerophobia And Post-Traumatic StressFor many people suffering from aerophobia, the phobia itself may have manifested following a previous bad experience. For anyone who has had a negative incident whilst flying or being in the airport or anywhere else concerning flight travel, this can cause a deep rooted fear to develop even though the likelihood of another bad experience is small.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress?Post-traumatic stress is a term given when a person has reacted badly to a negative experience.This experience usually involves the individual feeling a loss of control, being in danger, feeling helpless or seeing something bad happen to those around them. These experiences are often borne from war, terrorism, assault, rape, kidnap or an accident.
Many people simply learn to cope and reflect upon these types of incidences, but for some, they cannot find a coping mechanism for these emotions and memories and develop a terrible fear or reaction to them.In the incidence of a previous bad experience on a flight, whether it may be because of terrorism, and accident or even having to land early, the fear of it occurring again can cause a phobia to develop and prevent the person from wanting or being able to travel by air again, even if they were previously a seasoned traveller.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may not become apparent straight after the incident; they may not arise until up to 6 months after the incident. These symptoms can affect the person both mentally and physically.Depression and anxiety are typical symptoms and the individual may isolate themselves, particularly from those people or places that remind them of the event.
The person may be unable to be comfortable having spare time and may fill it with tasks that keeps their brain busy therefore not allowing them to think about the incident.Nightmares and flashbacks are common and can be extremely upsetting for the individual but those around them also.
Treatments For Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderThere are a variety of treatments recommended especially for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and can be any of or a combination of medications, cognitive behavioural therapy, eye movement desensitisation and group therapies.
New research is being carried out at present into a new form of treatment called virtual reality exposure therapy, whereby, the individual is exposed to a very similar experience through virtual reality technology and has to relive it without the fear that they could be in actual danger. This treatment is currently only available to military personal, but results have so far proved to be very positive.
It is unlikely that this treatment will become available to all individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as the amount of scenarios that may have caused the problem is inexhaustible and it would be impossible to formulate a programme tailored to everyone’s personal experience.
Specialists believe that by allowing the mind to remember the event and visualise it again whilst in a safe environment, our brain can process the information and allow us to move on from it.
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects people in different ways and can prevent the person from assuming normal activities in the future. For those who have developed their fear of flying because of a past experience, it is essential that treatment is sought and the event reflected upon logically in order to help the person manage the stress and trauma caused.