Common Causes of Fear of Flying
Here are four of the main causes I often see and work with
The Approach I take to Fear of Flying and other anxieties
What other anxieties do I work with?
Sooner or later, it becomes difficult to avoid heights
Whether it be flying, visiting friends who have downsized to a high-rise apartment, going to meetings above the 5th floor, or your company has transferred to a modern tower, it’s getting harder to avoid being high off the ground.
Fear of Dogs can be quite intrusive in a dog-loving Australia
I have a large German Shepherd Dog (pictured) who becomes part of the therapy helping children, adolescents and adults whose day to day lives are interfered with by their fear of dogs. Children refuse sleepovers, and adults won’t visit parks and gardens.
Afraid of driving or being driven is extremely intrusive
Sometimes we have been involved in an incident or near miss where we thought our lives (and that of our passengers) was truly threatened. Whether it be entering a freeway or driving at high speed with a lot of fast moving traffic, avoiding driving can become a very intrusive experience.
Feeling “trapped” can occur in a variety of places
They can occur in “real places” or in virtual places such as relationships, dead end jobs or careers, but feelings of being trapped can trigger sensations of panic and disorientation, leading to avoidance behaviours and a painful cycle of feelings/thoughts/behaviours.
Performance Anxiety, e.g. presenting and public speaking, interviews, formal assessments, Fellowship examinations
Sooner or later, we all need to present and prepare to be evaluated
Being examined – either formally or informally – is now an ordinary to-be-expected part of our lives and careers. But for many it can become an overwhelming experience, setting the pattern for even more challenging experiences to come. For some, it can mean the end of a promising career. It need not to be so, with professional assistance.
Caring about one’s health is fine, but being anxious about every little sensation is quite something else
Being and looking healthy is a new form of status, given all the “invitations” to engage in all manner of unhealthy activities. But for some, many hours and efforts can be spent worrying about health, and checking Google for symptoms. Often, it’s family or friends who are also affected and ask the person to seek professional help.
Technologies, especially mobile, are ubiquitous, but occasionally they can be interfering in life quality
Not everyone is comfortable around new technologies. They can be quite frightening for some, especially when one has no choice (i.e., your company makes new technologies a part of your workflow). For others, internet-based depictions of sexuality can be very enticing, where one can spend hours away from one’s responsibilities in search of particular images of videos. It can interfere in work and personal relationships and either lead to, or be a signal for depression and anxiety. Talking confidentiality to someone with specific expertise in this area can be a great start, and offer path to more appropriate, less fraught internet use.
Social Anxiety is probably the most common and truly interfering of presentations
Social Anxiety is way, way more than shyness. It’s a truly devastating and interfering disorder which often starts in adolescence and continues into adulthood. People who suffer this often talk about the fear of being criticised, rejected, humiliated, embarrassed, shunned and being left out of social and intimate relationships. They don’t take up new hobbies or activities for fear of failing or being seen to fail, and thus humiliated or ostracised. They thus often talk about missing out on some of life’s great and simple pleasures. For this reason, it’s often linked to depression, especially in young people. Talking confidentiality to someone with specific expertise in this area can be a great start. The addition of specific Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies can assist greatly when practised in line with current evidence based research.