My Dad is 61, and 4 years ago moved from the UK to Spain with my mother, leaving their family behind. For a few years prior to moving my father became more and more afraid of flying, he says for claustrophobic reasons, to the point where he has not flown for over 5 years now. Making visiting his family very difficult. He has booked a couple of flights, but got so incredibly anxious before them, they have had to cancel & they have driven back to the UK for a visit, which is quite exhausting for them.
Recently my sister had twins, my parents first (and second) grandchildren. Of course they desperately want to see them more. My mother finally buckled and booked a flight for yesterday & was going to leave my Dad for a couple of days. But the thought of my mother going away made him so anxious, he was very ill, and had a panic attack. He wasn't even the one flying.
I know you will probably think my father must be incapable on his own, but he's not, he has just finished building 2 houses on his own, and can cook, clean etc. So he's not totally dependent on my mother. My mother didn't go to the UK in the end, and my father is absolutely devestated that his actions have made her stay.
He went to see an English speaking Doctor in Spain who said that he couldn't help my father, apart from giving him valium!! I think he needs some sort of psychotherapy, as he is ruining his life & making my mothers life very difficult. For the past 5 years, he's avoided uncomfortable sutuations that make him feel like this, which has probably only made them worse. Has anybody else had these feelings? He's tried accupuncture, hypnotherapy, none of which have worked, but I don't think this is the solution. Can anybody give advice? Many thanks in advance.