Anxiety has made me scared to fly - diazepam??

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I got my first anxiety symtom (sudden palpitations) about a month ago and have been experiencing tightness of chest, palpitations, shallow breathing, dizziness and just general feelings of anxiety since then. It freaked me out so much and I am only just starting to believe that it could axtually "just" be anxiety. I have had several ECG and blood tests done and all came back normal. I am still not convinced that this is enough to rule out a heart problem?

What I am worried most about now is my upcoming holiday. I've been looking forward to it for ages because my boyfriend booked it for us but now after this month of terrible symptoms I have become scared of small spaces. I don't go on the underground anymore and I am super terrified to get on a plane. Thinking that I could have a panic attack or breathing difficulties in a tiny plain mid air scares me SO MUCH.

When I don't have any symptoms I feel healthy and confident that I can do it but when my heart goes all weird or my chest goes tight or I get a panic attack I just can't imagine doing it. 

I am just not sure whether to cancel the flight (or let my boyfriend go alone) or just take a diazepam (which I have been given 4 x 2 mg of for emergencies , have not tried them yet) and do it? I don't even know if the diazepam will be effective. I just don't know what to do about this immediate decision (let alone how to get over this whole anxiety thing at all). Any opinions??

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  • Posted

    Hi there.  It sounds like you've had a lot of anxiety symptoms in a short space of time and that has now made you frightened to do normal things which wouldn't usualy affect you.  Unfortunately when we stop doing these things it teaches our brain that there is something to be frightened of (e.g, stopping going on underground etc).  Really, it is not the situation that makes us frightened, it is our feelings. Long term this is something which you can learn again but it will take some time and support.  I used to have anxiety a lot (it has come back!!) but still travel by plane regularly, although being very claustrophobic and frightened and panicky.  I used to take diazepam just for this.  I used to take one earlier in the day to relax me whilst getting ready.  I would then take one at airport too.  I did have some wine as well and i'm sure a doctor would say not too but i was so extremely anxious.  It helped me relax and helped me get through the flight.  If this helps to enable you to enjoy a holiday i think it is a good thing, its just you can't be using it very every day stressful events.  I'm afraid i started doing that which is why i needed to stop them and have therapy etc. Why don't you take one in a more 'normal' stressful situation and see how it makes you feel then you can maybe ask doctor for a couple more, purely to have some on flight there and on way back.  When you get back and you've enjoyed your holiday, you can work on the other things. Good Luck xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine, thank you this has been a really helpful reply! xx

      What I really want is someone to tell me it will be ok and that you have got through it on a flight it makes me feel a lot more confident. 

      It's awful how fast anxiety can change you. I mean I am confident that I will get over this with CBT but at the moment I am really scared of doing things that I used to love, like traveling and going out. 

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  • Posted

    May I say  I say straight away that my heart goes out to you. I have been in your position many times in the past. I eventually  conquered my fear and flew all round the world. In the beginning I did rely on Diazepam , but I  did write to the airline before flying, explaining my anxiety, and asking them if it would be possible to sit up the front of the cabin (or wherever you feel  most comfortable). I have always found them very helpful and sympathetic. This  puts you back in control of the situation and the aircrew will be made aware that you are an anxious flyer. Take puzzles,  books , watch a movie, there is always something to do!  You will not feel out of control and think of the wonderful time you will have on holiday.!
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I've just read your post as I have the same concerns about flying and just wanted to know if you took the diazepam and went on the flight? If so did he it work? Really hope so.

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