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Phobias: Aviophobia

Updated December 27, 2021
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Phobias: Aviophobia essay

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A phobia is defined as a irrational fear of distinct item, event, condition, or action. Phobias affect an estimated 9.1% of Americans. These phobias usually appear between ages 7 and 11 and can be a result of a variety of situations. These situations could be the result of a traumatic event, being a witness of a traumatic event, an unexpected panic attack, and informational transmission. There are also many different types of phobias including phobias involving animals, natural environment such as heights, storms, or water, blood, and situational phobias that include airplanes, elevators, or driving. One of the most common phobias is aviophobia.

In order for someone to be diagnosed with a phobia they have to the DSM-5 criteria for specific phobias. This criteria includes as unreasonable fear, avoidance or extreme distress, recognition that the fear is irrational is not requires, life limiting, 6 month duration, and not being caused by another disease. Some symptoms that a sufferer might experience are physical symptoms such as racing heart, trembling, sweating, nausea, and cheat pain or tightness. Other symptoms that they may have are more mental including feeling of overwhelming anxiety or fear, knowing that your fear is irrational, fear of losing control, and a feeling of an intense need to escape. As you can see someone with a phobia can be very debilitating. Someone that had a phobic condition can function normally during a setting that there phobia is triggered. For people that have a very intense phobia it can take over their daily lives and can change their lives for a good portion of time. Luckily phobias can be treated through therapy.

There are many different types of treatments that can be used to help someone cope with this phobia. These treatments can include medications which are usually antidepressants, flooding which is treatment therapy that directly exposes a patient to their worst fears and aims to expose the sufferer to phobic object in a controlled environment. Another treatment option is system desensitization which is a treatment that works to remove fear response of a phobia and substitute a relaxation response to their conditional stimulus. Psychotherapy is also another option in which either cognitive behavioral therapy can be used or exposure therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy where you change relative thoughts and dysfunctional beliefs in order to change the reaction to the phobic stimulus. Exposure therapy is repeated exposure to the source of your phobia, and the related thoughts, feelings, and sensations can help you learn how to manage your anxiety.

Aviophobia is a phobia of flying which involves a marked or persistent fear the is excessive and unreasonable. An estimated 25% of air travelers have this specific type of phobia. The way that some patients deal with this is that around 20% of them rely on alcohol or medication to help them cope with their symptoms. About half of patients with aviphobia meet the criteria for specific phobias and the other half display agoraphobia with or without pain disorder in which they fear of a panic attack with which there is no escape route. This can probably be a result of the fact that once you are on a plane you cant leave.

Thus making a sufferer from aviophobia panic since there is no escape route. Symptoms, which can be both psychological and physical, that patients have may occur during the flight or when they purchase in anticipation of the flight. This specific type of phobia can be cued when booking the flight, sitting on the plane, sitting in the waiting area to board the plane, and can also be cued by the sights and sounds of taking off. Since there are other modes of transportation besides flying, some people with this phobia try to avoid it. Other may not have the option of not flying especially if they are traveling for business and need to fly in order to get to their destination and endure flying with great stress.

Many studies have been done on aviohpbobia, but this study looks at aviophobia and family semantic polarities. This model distinguishes and identifies two kinds of semantic polarities: narrated and interactive. In order for a family member to develop a psychological disorder there must be a prevalence in family conversation of specific semantics. This study is also an extension of a previous study conducted where they viewed phobias and anxiety disorders as developing within a family learning content in which the conversation is organized about emotions of fear or courage and themes related to freedom and independence. This study later also focuses on attachment style and how a hyperactive parent could inhibit a child from exploring their everyday environment when they were young.

In this experience they chose 150 adults evenly distributed by age, gender, and they were all predominantly from medium-high socio-socio-economic and educational background. There were three research instruments used two of which were self-report questionnaires that assessed attachment style and self-characteristics.

In the report the control group expressed greater confidence than the group with aviophobia. However the group of people with the phobia viewed theisevlesas rational, careful, and precise. People that also had a fear of flying displayed a low level of trust from people. Prope with a fear of flying were noticeably selective and demanding towards other people and preferred to have close relationships with a small group of people. The variables included confidence, discomfort with closeness, need for approval, preoccupation with relationships, and relationships as a secondary thing.

Another result that was found was that the group of people with aviophobia engaged in two main types of relationships dynamics. The first one is reflected in the bipolar semantics of “distancing oneself-drawing closer”. This means that when people start to feel the symptoms of anxiety caused by their phobia they close up, completely shut off from everything, keep their problems to themselves, prefer to keep a low profile when these symptoms engage, and isolate themselves. This is not a good dynamic to have because these patients wont ask for the help that they need. Especially if their phobia is debilitating and if affecting their daily life it is important to use the resources that we have to get help. The other dynamic is expression also by bipolar semantic of “breaking free-depending on”. In this dynamic people ask for help from others. This important because it is crucial for some people to get help from a professional on how to deal with their phobias so that their life can return to what it used to be before this phobia formed. Although attachment style appears to be necessary it is an insufficient condition for predicting fear of flying.

Another observation made during this experiment was that there was conflicting tension between needs for protection and a need for freedom. Some patients that had ambivalent or avoidant attachment styles lead them to require a dependence and freedom factors which in-turn could lead flying as a metaphor for escaping something such as an oppressive relationship. It was also observed that people that had a fear of flying would describe themselves as anxious, weak, and frightened and that they also viewed the world as dangerous and uncertain. With this information we concluded that people with this phobia, when flying, would forgo what is normal and comfortable for them and would place themselves in a situation that they have no control over.

All in all it can be inferred that people who grew up with parents that were extremely involved may lead to phobias forming. This could be a result from a patient constantly feeling comforted and safe in somewhat a shield environment caused by their parents. Once they go out into the real world and have to do something such as travel by an airplane, this is when these symptoms of a phobia begin since its a situation that a patient cant direct control. They have to put their trust into the hand of a stranger and an aircraft that they probably know little to nothing about. Flying can be very nerve racking and difficult for people that don’t have a known phobia too. Since its one of the more common phobias this makes it a lot easier for doctors to treat because they can try and use the knowledge that they have from other patients to help someone else out.

Phobias: Aviophobia essay

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Phobias: Aviophobia. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/phobias-aviophobia/

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