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Fear of flying grounds mum.


AN Indian woman living in Bahrain has not gone home for more than a decade because of her fear of flying, the GDN has learned.

The mother-of-two has missed countless family events and festivals as a result of her condition, known as aerophobia, which affects thousands of people worldwide.

The 43-year-old, who teaches dance at a local school and stays in Gudaibiya, has lived in Bahrain for more than 13 years.

She did not want to be identified, but is hoping that by making her condition public someone will come forward to help.

"I flew for the very first time just after I got married 24 years ago," the teacher told the GDN.

"It was a flight from Chennai, where we were settled, to Delhi.

"I was scared to fly even then but I managed to do it, probably because I was younger and braver.

"Then we flew to Saudi Arabia in 1996 when my husband got posted there.

"While we were there I never travelled home.

"Then we came to Bahrain around 13 years ago by flight and that was the last time I took one."

The aerophobic said her problem has become worse with time and is totally unsure how to beat it.

"My children were just 10 and 11 then and it was for their further education that we chose to come to Bahrain," she said.

"But the problem just became worse after I saw a couple of movies that showed planes crashing.

"Every time I even think about flying I sort of lose my mind.

"I don't know what happens to me then.

"I simply can't make myself to go anywhere near an aircraft.

"My husband used to fly to India once every year to visit relatives and friends.

"But the children and I never did."

Her family decided to fly home with her last December after she underwent counselling at a private hospital, but she panicked at the airport and could not board the flight.

"We had booked our tickets and packed our bags and were ready to go," she said.

"But at the airport my fear just got the better of me and when it was about time to check in, I just went berserk.

"So my husband and I cancelled our tickets, though our children travelled to their home for the very first time after 13 years.

"I know we have to leave Bahrain for good one day, but I don't know how I'm going to do it.

"Hopefully someone who has the same condition as mine could approach me through the GDN and we could work something out together because medical help didn't seem to work."

Copyright 2008 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 13, 2008
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