Thursday 12 August 2010

Travelling and Living: Locky's Trip to Tokyo (Part 0 -- Aerophobia)

Image from Wikipedia
Hello, people! Do you like the movies and shows that I have recommended? Have you been practising your listening skills while I was away? Have you learnt anything cool and useful?

Well, now comes Part 0 of my trip to Tokyo, Japan. I hope this is what most of you have been waiting for. Why Part ZERO? Because I want to share with you what happened before I even got on the aeroplane.

I used to be greatly disturbed by aerophobia, or fear of flying. I wasn't born with it. I remember when I was a little boy around 5 years old, I took the plane to London and I was fine with the experience. It was a long-haul flight! It was until I watched this horror movie called Final Destination (a year 2000 movie) and I was stupid enough to act professional that I immersed myself completely into the protagonist's role. What happened then? The guy dreamt about a plane explosion and so he got off the plane, and the plane did explode, and the death scene was so real and so detailed that I was then haunted by this aerophobia ever since.

(If you would like to suffer from this, you may also get the movie on Blu-ray and a HDTV to try out. I suggest you don't try at all.)

So, it had been ten years, even though I still travel by the aeroplane, I started feeling depressed and anxious 2 days before departure, shuddered before I got onto the plane, and had to hold onto the arm-rests of the seat every time the plane shook a little, which means, throughout the flight. I struggled to keep calm, my heart beat really fast, my whole body sweated, like almost having a panic attack, and I might explode when my family members failed to understand my pain.

They never understand any of this phobia because they are not afraid of it. They still don't understand. I guess it is logical, since I don't understand why some of them are afraid of cockroaches (Entomophobia) and some are afraid of spiders (Arachnophobia). But the thing is, I never laugh at their phobias, because I know how it feels like to be afraid of something that others might not understand. Thinking about this, my family has been kind of cruel to me!!!!

Anyway, aerophobia is one of the most difficult phobias to treat. Why? Because you cannot avoid it. You can stay away from spiders, cockroaches, ask someone to kill it and you'll be better in a short time, but flying on a plane takes hours, and you can't really avoid it.

Quoting from Wikipedia,
"The fear receives more attention than most other phobias because air travel is often difficult for people to avoidespecially in professional contexts—and because the fear is widespread, affecting a significant minority of the population. A fear of flying may prevent a person from going on vacations or visiting family and friends, and it can cripple the career of a businessperson by preventing them from traveling on work-related business.
Commercial air travel continues to cause a significant proportion of the public and some members of the aircrew to feel anxiety. When this anxiety reaches a level that significantly interferes with a person's ability to travel by air, it becomes a fear of flying."

So my suggestion is, if you have family members who are afraid of something, respect them and give them support and understanding. PLEASE don't try to laugh it up, it does really really hurt their feelings!!!

Okay, so now, back to where I started.

So the day before my flight, I started to feel anxious, but I knew I had to stop this, because I had had this for 10 years and it was time I fight against this phobia, and like the last time I went to Bangkok, I went online for cures. I felt better the last time round, but still I was not completely cured, in fact, I had a feeling that I was coming back, so I needed something stronger that could help me, and so, I went to Youtube to look for videos that might help.

But they were mainly too commercial......

Watching other victims who have much more severe cases than mine didn't help much either......

Educating myself about how aeroplane flies do comfort myself a little, but still not persistent enough......

This is really comforting, but I have watched this the last time round......

And this time, I found what I have always been looking for ... an expert who can help me using hypnosis.

And so I visited Jospeh Clough's website and I found other even more useful videos, and there I found this video that I used for self-hypnosis to cure my aerophobia.

And just like that, I was 99% cured!! That last 1% was the sweating on my palms. So if you are afraid of something and you really want to cure it, I suggest you also try the same, but try not to randomly use hypnosis for all purposes, you never know how far it can get.

After 4 hours, I landed my feet on Narita Airport, Tokyo, fear free...

aerophobia / aviatophobia / aviophobia / pteromechanophobia -- (n) [U] fear of flying
long/short-haul flight -- (n) [C] a long/short journey by air
panic attack -- (n) [C] a sudden period of severe anxiety in which your heart beats fast, you have trouble breathing and you feel as if something very bad is going to happen
-- (n) [C]
entomophobia -- (n) [C] fear of insects
arachnophonia -- (n) [C] fear of spiders
persistent -- (adj) lasting for a long time or difficult to get rid of
hypnosis -- (n) [U] a mental state like sleep, in which a person's thoughts can be easily influenced by someone else