Why are people afraid to fly? Does it crash and other incidents associated with air travel?

First of all, I note that there is no relationship between the number of crashes and the number of aerotow. Aerophobia — a psychological disorder that affects about 30 percent of the people. The root of fear of flying — in the so-called deficit of trust to life. In General, people are divided into two categories. The first are those for whom the world is globally reliable and safe, despite sporadic terrorist attacks, disasters, etc. The second — those who almost always and everywhere see a threat and only in rare situations feel safe. So no crash will not have serious psychological effects on the first group, but could serve as another argument against air travel for the second.

People from the second group, there are a few illusions that allow them to exist in this "terribly dangerous world". First, it is the illusion of absolute security in specific locations (e.g., at home). Street, car, public places on the ground are perceived as relatively safe. In other words, there is danger, but either I'm "all and always in control", or "if anything, I'll run away and you will be saved". People make up the deficit of trust in the lives of these illusions and desire for total control.

Aerophoba perceive the aircraft as a source of danger — a place where you cannot come back alive and healthy. But if it still happened, in spite of everything or because of the happy occasion. By the way, interestingly, among aerophoba more women than men (ratio of approximately 55 to 45 percent). While women are much more likely to seek for specialized help in an effort to overcome your fear.

"Алкоголь лишь усиливает страх". Авиационный психолог Алексей Герваш о борьбе с аэрофобией
Foto: Reuters/Scanpix

Is there some correlation between fear of flying and, for example, the terrorist threat?

No one who is afraid to fly just because of the threat of terrorist attacks. Because, sadly, it can happen anywhere. Danger lurks all around us. May a brick fall on his head, to slipping on the stairs. But this does not mean that we should sit at home. Just in case the flight by plane a person has no illusion of control over the situation.

The experts found that after the terrorist attack in USA on 11 September 2001, there have indeed been a collective stress, and many are less likely to fly between new York and Washington, preferring to travel by car. While this has multiplied the number of accidents and increased road mortality. It is estimated that the number of victims of the terrible terrorist attack in the U.S. close to 40 thousand people. Directly of September 11 killed nearly three thousand people, and the rest — the so-called "collateral" victims, those who died as a result of accidents which should not happen.

Is it possible to overcome aerophobia? And if so, how?

Yes, it is possible to cure almost any aerophoba. Only 2 percent of aerotow this problem is beyond psychology, became a psychiatry. But, interestingly, the remaining 98 percent believe that they are included in the 2 percent.

In our society there is not quite an adequate attitude to aerofoam. They do not understand and do not take their fears seriously. What can I say — we have no culture of seeking help to psychologists in principle. For example, if in the Netherlands a person has a sore head or back, he goes to the doctor and solves the problem. In Russia, the majority will first self-medicate, then I try the "correct" advice of friends and acquaintances, and only if all this fails, seek help from a doctor. Such is our mentality. And aerophoba besides particularly suspicious and distrustful natures, they pull to the last, not to acknowledge the problem. For example, suppress the fear of alcohol.

"Алкоголь лишь усиливает страх". Авиационный психолог Алексей Герваш о борьбе с аэрофобией
Foto: Shutterstock

But isn't that one of the possible solutions to the problem? Drank before the flight, a few glasses of wine and slept perfectly the entire flight.

No, alcohol will only aggravate the fear. First, alcohol greatly affects the vestibular apparatus. Flight status is already precarious for the body, alcohol also multiplies these feelings. Secondly, the in the mind clearly formed a pattern: "I use alcohol to remove myself from this environment, then, is a situation in which I find myself, dangerous." So people are even more on a subconscious level forms the link between the danger and the plane, and get out of this trap yourself him harder.

Many people are afraid of turbulence zones...

It just shows that there is no connection between aerophobia and risks. The plane in the zone of turbulence is a standard situation to which brand fit and the Board, and the crew. Many people think that when the aircraft "shaking", there's something wrong. Actually it has nothing to do with the safety of the flight. But fear defies logic. Insecure, anxious people tend to invent, to fantasize and to create their own "movie" in which turbulence is synonymous with danger.

Fear of flying — is the same fear as claustrophobia or fear of heights and thousands of other phobias. Aerophoba I'm afraid not due to the fact that you do not understand how and why a plane flies. This fear has psychological causes. And to deal with them will help psychology, not only logic and common sense.

"Алкоголь лишь усиливает страх". Авиационный психолог Алексей Герваш о борьбе с аэрофобией
Foto: AFP/Scanpix

Is there an emphasis on the problem of flying the airlines themselves?

Today there are about 50 centres for the study of fear of flying and combat. And 40 of them work at major airlines. The problem of fear of flying is not new and its depth is obvious. Major carriers know that 30 percent of aerotow — hundreds of thousands of potential passengers.

What to do if you or your neighbor having a panic attack?

No matter how corny it sounds, try to stay calm. Understand this: the excitement before the flight is normal. There's nothing unusual. After all, flying a plane for us — an unusual situation. Most do not fly every day. So to experience a slight anxiety is acceptable.

But aerophobia — phobia is real, and therefore quite a serious disorder. And to treat it with alcohol, conversations with friends, advice to watch TV, listen to music or work a crossword puzzle, alas, will not work. All this only will form a "skills wrong flight" when a person invents a number of rituals and trying to strictly follow them. These include, for example, a careful inspection of the fact that cell phone off during takeoff and landing. Aerophobia takes very seriously the request of the crew and requires all others to immediately shut down the phones and tablets. Do you think that the safety of the aircraft worth $ 300 million depends on enabled mobile? The plane — a complex structure, where everything is left to chance and every system is duplicated many times. So, ideally, during flight a person must be the same feeling, as, for example, when traveling in the tram.

My main advice: do not read the advice of Amateurs on the Internet, and to soberly assess their condition. Do you treat 70 percent of ordinary people who are just nervous before the flight, or still find yourself in the remaining 30 percent of aerotow. If you are in the second group, it is best to seek professional help. Shy this is not necessary.