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I got help and it is working
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TOPIC: I got help and it is working

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#23653
djdowell (User)
Watching Survivor
Posts: 1
graphgraph
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I got help and it is working 6 Years, 3 Months ago  
I thought I had 'fear of flying'. The last time I flew was 1968. We drive cross-country all the time and I am getting really sick of all the time I spend in a car seeing kids and grandkids. A very good friend of mine was in a serious auto accident in April. It affected me so much and I came to the realization that it could have been me. I had been thinking of getting professional help for about 2 years and I called a Dr to make an appointment. I had found him online several years ago and he specializes in panic and anxiety disorders including fear of flying. After one and a half session, he told me I really did not have 'fear of flying', I had agoraphobia. It made no sense to me because I thought agoraphobia was the inability to leave my house. I had no problems with that. I do experience anxiety and panic off and on, and it really scares me. He told me to buy this book, "Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic" fourth edition, by David H Barlow and Michelle G Craske. He told me to start with chapters 3, 4 and 11. I was hooked and finally could understand that I had agoraphobia and suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and that I could be helped. I had 5 sessions with him and flew a short flight of about an hour each way. Wow!!! That was absolutely unbelievable to me and the people who know me. I have another plane flight that is half way across the country on Thurs. I am doing my homework, which consists of retraining my brain to realize that my anxiety symptoms are not harmful. They are very uncomfortable and scary, but not harmful. My Dr said people come to him and want to 'get rid of their feelings' when they have an anxiety or panic attack, which made sense to me. I wanted to not feel them also. But, he said I cannot get rid of my feelings, I have to learn to interpret them in a less negative way. There are 3 parts of anxiety/panic. 1-feelings (heart racing, butterflies in stomach, having to run to the bathroom, dizziness, feeling like you are about to faint, feeling out-of-body 2-thoughts, all negative, like I am going to have a heart attack! I am going to pass out! Can I make it to Urgent Care? Am I going crazy? etc. 3-behavior, going to Urgent Care, or the ER to be sure there is nothing wrong with me and avoidance of the situation I am in when it happens. I have learned to not get into the negative spiral of negative thoughts when my body has any of the symptoms, like heart racing, feeling like I am going to faint. As soon as I feel the panic I immediately tell myself it is OK, it is just my anxiety causing these feelings. I have never had a heart attack, I have never fainted, all these feelings are just very uncomfortable and scary, but NOT HARMFUL. It worked for me! I am so excited to be spending next week at our grandson's 4th birthday celebration. I have never done that since all our kids/grandkids live all over the place, none in the state where I live. I can hardly wait to see how I do on the 4 hour flight next Thursday. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of time but I was very committed to do this.
 
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#23658
tsuki (Admin)
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Posts: 927
graphgraph
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Re:I got help and it is working 6 Years, 3 Months ago  
Welcome to PS forum I'm so happy for you and your accomplishment. You've worked very hard and been very brave. Wow, I wish we all could find a Dr. such as yours that could make such a complete and successful diagnosis in such a short period of time! I'm very familiar with the publication you refer to and it's good that you've posted it for those who have not heard of it. Thank you also for sharing your inspirational story. The methods you use to stop the onset of panic is one I use and has never failed to help me through the rough times. Your story brought tears to my eyes to know that you've shortened the distance between you and your grandkids because you were courageous and selfless enough to take on such a huge challenge. Such is the love of Moms and Grandmas. Have a great trip and a wonderful visit with your loved ones. Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success . . . hugs
 
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