SF plane crash triggers fear of flying concerns
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco on Saturday have many questioning how witnessing or experiencing an accident affects those who already have a fear of flying.
Dr. Catalina Jacobs-Fernandez, a psychologist at Baptist Health, said this phobia often stems from past trauma. "They may have had a traumatic experience that's affected them and made them more hyper-vigilant or more anxious," she said.
Doctors say flying is one of the most common phobias. "They may just be afraid of unknown situations, being in enclosed spaces like an airplane," Jacobs-Fernandez said.
The local psychologist said people who are emotional to begin with are most often the ones who develop a fear of flying. "When people are afraid of flying, and who are afraid because of the situation, first of all, [they should] recognize that [they're] anxious," she said.
For travelers who may have had scary situations before, there are a few things to remember. "The accidents in the air are few," Jacobs-Fernandez said. "Millions of people fly on a daily basis, and they're perfectly safe. You have to focus on that and try and get your thoughts away from negative or [catastrophic] thoughts where you imagine that you go in an airplane and the plane is going to blow up, or you imagine the worst."
Jacobs-Fernandez indicated that children can pick up their parent's fears, so adults should be aware of their behavior in front of them. "It's important as parents and as adults to be aware of your own emotions, keep them in check, so that you don't upset your children," she said.
The doctor added that plane crashes are relatively uncommon. "These fears, while they are realistic, the likelihood of them being true are minimal," she said.
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash landed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport, killing two people and injuring 181 out of 307 passengers on board, at least five of them critically.
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