3 Signs that It May Be Time to Seek Professional Help for Fear of Flying


Plenty of professional help is available for people struggling with a fear of flying. But in order to benefit from it, the first thing to do is recognize the signs of when it goes from being uncomfortable to becoming a problem. Most cases can be resolved easily if you go to therapy after the first symptoms.

So these are the three main signs that it is time to seek professional help to treat your fear of flying.

Avoiding Air Travel

If you’ve stopped taking flights or started looking for alternatives like driving or taking a train, then it’s likely that your fear of flying is seriously affecting your quality of life. But there’s also a nuance here: many people don’t actually avoid taking planes but rather face it with a considerable level of suffering and anxiety. So the avoidance strategy is the most common but it isn’t the only one.

Traumatic Experiences

If you’ve had a traumatic experience on a previous flight, it can be difficult to overcome your fear of flying yourself. These can include severe turbulence, long delays, technical problems, or even panic situations onboard. If this is your case, it is important to seek professional help to treat fear and overcome the traumatic experience. The best therapeutic alternative in these cases is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Physical Symptoms

Symptoms can including excessive sweating, heart palpitations, dizziness, and nausea. If you notice such symptoms every time you face a flight, it’s time to seek professional help. A psychologist can help you understand the underlying cause of your symptoms and train you in techniques to manage fear and its physical manifestations.

There are many forms of therapy available, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and EMDR. With the right help, you can overcome your fear and enjoy flying again.


I hope that knowing these signs will help you take action and ask for help if that’s what you need.

Happy flying!


Founder of the Lanzas Institute, David Lanzas is a psychologist specialising in anxiety and trauma.
Photo| Maria Casinos