Aerophobia is the fear of flying that prevents people from traveling via airplanes. The process of classical conditioning can explain the development of this phobia. People tend to associate things they do not fear, airplane or height, with something that triggers their responses, airplane crash or falling. Here, airplane or height is a neutral stimulus, while airplane crash or falling is an unconditioned stimulus. Once an association between these stimuli is formed, a person develops phobia.
Having a fear of something can cause difficulties in everyday life. Therefore, it is critical to know how people can be treated from phobias. One of the most effective strategies for treating phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which changes a person’s behavior and way of thinking (NHS). CBT assists patients in dealing with fear, making them less anxious about it. The therapy involves a gradual exposure of phobia where a professional provides tasks related to the patient’s anxiety. For example, if a patient has aerophobia, a therapist may show pictures of airplane and airplane crashes.
Another method of treatment of phobias is prescribing medications that are used to treat its side effects, such as stress and anxiety. However, it is not recommended in many cases, as CBT is suggested to be sufficient to treat phobias. There are three types of medications that are used tranquilizers, beta-blockers, and antidepressants (NHS). Such drug treatment should be applied only in specific cases. In both treatment strategies, medical professionals should be careful in working with patients due to the topic’s sensitivity. Phobias are related to mental health; thereby, it is crucial for professionals to work with ethical considerations while prescribing medications and consultation.
NHS. (2018). Treatment – Phobias. Nhs.Uk.