Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Malaysian incident

There is a lot of speculation in the press right now about the MH370 missing aircraft. This is quite understandable.  Found this article today which is reproduced below. Thought it was a very sensible and pragmatic approach to this incident.

From 'The Times of India'

Experts: Danger lurks anywhere, not just in the skies... Clinical psychologist and counsellor Varkha Chulani says that worries escalating at a time like this are normal. "This happens after a calamity; it evokes a latent fear in people, which surfaces due to something that has just happened. The last one week alone has been very traumatic for people. There is a rise in anxiety associated with the unknown and with the uncertainty of life. But this really can be associated with everything else too. It could be even crossing a road as there is an element of risk in daily life. The risk of accidents in a car actually overweighs the risk of accidents on a plane. That is the factual truth. But because of the enormity of what has happened, it seems more traumatic."

Clinical psychologist Sadia Saeed says people must take a step back and re-evaluate their thoughts. "These fears are really vicarious traumas and if you are prone to stress, they affect you more," she says, adding, "There are different reactions everywhere, the footage of anxious families and friends compounds the stress. What people need to know and realise is that danger can exist anywhere. They also need to step back a bit. You can have an emotional response, but don't let it govern your thinking completely and fuel your fear."

Tips to combat flight stress
Social psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty shares a few points to keep in mind...

- Firstly, remember that the aeroplane is the most disciplined vehicle.
- Air travel is the safest mode of travel as per all statistics.
- When you enter the plane, take deep breaths; settle down and listen to some music. This keeps the auditory channel of the brain occupied.
- Engaging in a conversation helps; distract your attention by talking
gently to your friends or neighbouring passenger.
- If you see anything suspicious, report it immediately to the on-duty person in the aircraft; by doing so you are also removing your own fears.
- Read a book or magazine and rest for a while

Take care
Paul & Richard

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