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Aviophobia

Flying is one of the safest forms of transportation, but if you are afraid to fly, you probably don't care. Web MD offers three ways for the average person to overcome a fear of flying: education, distraction, and sharing.

Some people are able to escape from their fear of flying through education. When you know more about flight, you might be less fearful of it. Toward that end, you might try reading a copy of pilot Patrick Smith's Ask the Pilot — a book that promises to tell you everything you want to know about air travel.

There are many products available for those who want to distract themselves from their fear of flying. But for may people, it's just as effective to bring a good book on tape, a novel, or something else engrossing and entertaining. When their mind is occupied, their fear slips away.

Sharing fears may also be an effective way to get over them. There are a number of online communities — such as Taking Flight and Flying without Fear — where people who fear to fly can speak with others like them, offering support and tips to make air travel tolerable.

People with strong phobias may need more personal attention. One-on-one treatment with a licensed therapist may be effective in serious cases. Some therapists offer online or by-phone therapy, for example Dr. Luann Linquist and CTRN. But beware, these therapies can be expensive (we saw one quoted at almost $1,500).

In addition to these Web sites, there are scores of other sites, books, courses, CDs, and other resources to assist you in overcoming the fear of flight. Some airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic, even offer online resources and courses. But the important thing is to exhaust your self-help options and free resources before you spend a lot of money.

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