“Give me three double martinis!” science fiction novelist Ray Bradbury told Delta Airlines before he boarded a cross-country flight. Bradbury didn’t exactly have a novel way to board an airplane. Many use alcohol. But the alcohol gave him the courage to get on the plane, and once he was there, he had an amazing insight about the origin of his fear of flying.

We don’t advocate alcohol as a way to cope with fear of flying, but we do tell fearful flyers that if medication such as Xanax can help get them on the plane and take the edge of their fear, then yes, get a prescription from your doctor and use it. Fear of flying can be overcome, but trying to fly “cold turkey” with no medication or new knowledge and coping strategies may further traumatize you and keep you in fear of flying mode for a long time to come.

Once you’ve managed to get yourself on a plane after being fully prepared to tackle the flight, you may have an AH-HA moment about your fear, just like Ray Bradbury did. And then the world will be at your feet, just like it was for him.

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