Fri | Sep 17, 2021

I panic on long flights

Published:Tuesday | September 29, 2015 | 11:34 AM

Q I have a loving husband who is in a very good job. I am a full-time housewife. I do not need to work. I do a lot of voluntary work for churches and other needy organisations. I feel fulfilled helping people.

My husband's work requires a good amount of overseas travel. Some of these places are exotic and fascinating. We are able to travel in comfort, business class. He likes when I travel with him.

I enjoy those times together. Whereas I can manage the short journeys, say, four hours, I get a panic attack when I have to do the long haul. However, when I reach these places I have a grand time.

What my husband does is mix his business trip with a vacation. My husband thinks it is mind over matter. He believes if I pray about it, I will be OK.

There is a 14-hour flight that is coming up in a month's time, but I dread it. I would love to go but I almost feel as if a panic attack is on the way. What can I do?

A: First, you can explore the possibility of breaking up the flights into more manageable time frames. It might even mean travelling separately.

Your husband needs to be more understanding of your fears. In addition, prayer without works is death. You need some practical suggestions on how to overcome a panic attack.

Panic attacks should not be taken lightly. You need to consult a professional with medical experience. A professional can determine whether you are having an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear.

There are other symptoms of panic attacks such as having difficulty breathing. A professional can help reduce or eliminate these panic attacks.

In the meantime, ensure, before every long journey, that you are in good health. You need to exercise regularly, have a balanced diet and get adequate sleep.

Furthermore, while on the airplane, do not sit too long. Get up and move around periodically.

In addition, while you are seated, try and do some exercises that help blood circulation. Some travellers also work hard until the time of the flight, so they get a good sleep while on board.

All the best as you overcome these panic attacks.