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Old 07-17-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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I am affected by mild claustrophobia. And it seems to be getting worse at I get older. Can anyone recommend what to do for this? Anyone else have this problem?
I have not mentioned this to a doctor because I am afraid of being diagnosed with mental illness and who knows what the insurance would do when they find out about that.
I am not afraid to fly - have flown before - but the thought of getting into a closed up airplane these days gives me the willies. I am afraid of freaking out.
Anyone have tips? thanks.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,430,113 times
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Try to relax before boarding up, wear loose and comfortable clothing and listen to some nice and relaxing music. I am not great in enclosed spaces either but it really is just a question of mind over matter. Get a good and engrossing book or even watch the in flight movie. Basically try to be as relaxed as possible and not think about it. Also you can try getting some herbal calming remedies ( Kalm is a good one here in the UK I don't know what it would be in the US , but it's all natural and just helps to relax a bit and even promotes sleep). Don't drink any alcohol, caffeine or carbonated drinks just lots of water and juices. Have a good flight.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:57 AM
 
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Thanks for the tips, I never thought of herbal remedies! I will make a trip to the local health food store.
Once, while traveling, we were delayed on an airport takeoff for 2-1/2 hours because of runway construction. Ever since then, I am not thrilled to get in a plane. It is mostly bad in places where it is very stuffy and the air is not moving.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,430,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Thanks for the tips, I never thought of herbal remedies! I will make a trip to the local health food store.
Once, while traveling, we were delayed on an airport takeoff for 2-1/2 hours because of runway construction. Ever since then, I am not thrilled to get in a plane. It is mostly bad in places where it is very stuffy and the air is not moving.
I get quite panicky in enclosed spaces with a lot of other people but I literally find the only way is to grab the bull by the horns so to speak , try to ignore it and just face my fear. Otherwise I would never get out ! I loathe crowds.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:33 AM
 
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So funny - but DisneyWorld is supposed to be an enjoyable place but I got quite claustrophobic on some of those rides and shows. Very surprised no one has mentioned that before. They do post "claustrophobia" warnings on some of those rides (mission: space). I cannot ride "space mountain" there because of having to wait in the "tunnel" queu to get on the coaster.
Mostly I am good, unless there is no air moving - maybe I should carry one of those portable fans as well?
Being a shorter person, I hate really big crowds as well. It's Claustrophic when you are surrounded by a bunch of 6+ footers.
Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:01 AM
 
176 posts, read 1,060,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
I am affected by mild claustrophobia. And it seems to be getting worse at I get older. Can anyone recommend what to do for this? Anyone else have this problem?
I have not mentioned this to a doctor because I am afraid of being diagnosed with mental illness and who knows what the insurance would do when they find out about that.
I am not afraid to fly - have flown before - but the thought of getting into a closed up airplane these days gives me the willies. I am afraid of freaking out.
Anyone have tips? thanks.
I know you're probably stressed out just being in the cabin. But, if you can afford it, fly 1st class. At least you'll have more room. If you ride in coach, choose an aisle seat or up at the bulk head where no one is in front of you. I'd recommend drinking just enough juice or water so you don't have to use the plane's bathroom during your flight.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:05 PM
 
Location: The Raider Nation._ Our band kicks brass
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This is going to be a tough one, but I'll try to help you out. A Boeing 737-900 has 1120 square feet of interior space. An Airbus A320 has 1170 square feet. That's as big as some houses. Many planes are even larger. Try to tell yourself that you are cruising along in a house. When you sit down, open the punka-louvre, and adjust it so you have cool air blowing on your face. You can than amuse yourself with the knowledge that the eyeball thingy blowing air on you is called a punka-louvre. Look around. What else do you see? That whole area over your head is called the overhead bin. The flat panel on the bottom that has the lights and punka-louvres is called the PSU panel. That stands for passenger service unit. Each seat row has its own PSU and emergency oxygen panel. Inside the emergency oxygen panel there is a canister that produces oxygen by burning special chemicals. If your row has 3 seats, there will be 4 masks inside of that panel. I bet you didn't know that. If you are flying on an Airbus, you will see a button on the PSU that calls the flight attendant. It has a silhouette of a person on it. The head of that person should be pointing forward. It doesn't mean anything, but it's a way to keep yourself occupied. Do you hear something that sounds like a barking dog? That's just the power transfer unit providing hydraulic power. You'll hear it when one system is powering the other. There are many things you can do to occupy yourself, if they don't work, you can always get drunk.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Sheffield, England
2,639 posts, read 6,115,600 times
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I was flying from Heathrow to JFK last October and I got very claustrophobic (I do suffer from mild claustrophobia but it doesn't affect me very often) mainly because the person in front of me put their seat right back. If this does happen talk to the individual and explain your situation to them and 99% of folks will happily put their seat back up for you (the person in front of me did). Also if you can get up and walk around as often as possible and mabye do some stretches at the back of the cabin. I always find this helps me as I don't feel so restricted as when I'm strapped into a cramped airline seat.

There are many others like you though so don't worry too much, you're not alone. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-20-2007, 05:41 AM
 
176 posts, read 1,060,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by South Range Family View Post
If your row has 3 seats, there will be 4 masks inside of that panel. I bet you didn't know that.
I knew that.
I was told it was in case the row had a lap child in it. Is that true?
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:54 AM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,384,754 times
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Default I have had many claustrophobia attacks on Airplanes

I never had any trouble with claustrophobia attacks on planes until a few years ago when we were trapped on the tarmac in a small cramped regional jet for almost 8 hours without food, drink or any snacks. It was a horror as they kept promising that we were going to take off any minute and then they said the GROUND STOP was continuing. We were even told to not use the rest room because they were going to get approval to take off soon and everyone needed to be in their seats to move.

I panicked because I assumed it was something bigger like a terror attack and we may be trapped in our seats for days. Ever since then I have struggled to be on a plane. No control.
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