Panic attacks and driving

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EmersonDav06
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 8/3/2008 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I start a new job tommorrow, and I have panic disorder, and I've gotten fairly used to walking to work, so my work has always been maybe 10 minutes walking at the farthest, My new job is about 35 minutes away and I'm worried about having a panic attack while driving that far away..Im trying not to think about it but it keeps popping up on my mind. any helpful hints to cope?? I cant give up this job and for something close because im trying to get my own place and this job is starting at $11 an hour so its a good oppurtunity. I feel like im making something outta nothing but i cant help but worry..I have my xanax with me and a cell phone but any hints as to what you do to keep calm would help :D
 
 
thanks
emerson

peacesoul
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   Posted 8/3/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
What do you fear about driving?
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
 
where we take it one panic attack at a time
 
 
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


EmersonDav06
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/3/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I fear having a panic attack while driving, and since I'll be alone I'm afraid I wont be able to talk myself down..

peacesoul
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   Posted 8/3/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to get horrible panic attacks while driving, then didn't fear it for 20 yrs, and now get them a little bit again. I know it's scary

Do you fear you'll faint while driving?
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
 
where we take it one panic attack at a time
 
 
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


EmersonDav06
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/3/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I Wouldnt say faint, Im just afraid they will become uncontrollable when I'm alone in the car by myself. I don't know why Im so worried. It's only a 14 mile drive to work but Im worrying.

Aurora60
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   Posted 8/3/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Is there any music you like listening to that might keep you calm?  I have certain cds I play in the car that help me.  Also,  I have alternate routes I take to get someplace so I can avoid really busy streets or the higway.  You can tell yourself to stay in the present and be aware of your surroundings.  Staying in the present is very important.  Also, keeping a pad of paper and pencil to write things on may help.  That can be a distraction when you are stopped and help you to concentrate on something else.  Remember part of panic attacks is the fear you anticipate before anything even happens.  So try not to think about it and try some of the things I suggested to keep yourself distracted.  I know how you are feeling as I have always had a problem with driving and it does make my world very small.  But it does save me on gas money!  Also, if you take your xanax ahead of time that will relax you and should keep you from panicking.  I always take my meds before I go out to be sure I am already calm and that does work.  I hope I have helped you a little. It's no fun to have this happen and I wish you the best of luck with your new job.  Keep posting and let me know how you are doing.
 
Aurora

closure
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/3/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I have issues with driving too, I posted about them in my thread, so I know how you feel. Don't have any advice, but thought I'd let you know too that you're not alone. :-) thanks for the welcome in my thread.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


peacesoul
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   Posted 8/4/2008 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Let me ask you, have you ever not be able to walk/talk or react when having a panic attack?

If you get a PA when driving and you feel like you're going to lose control or freak out, what happens is your survival instinct take over and is stronger than the PA. There is no way you will lose control of the car.
AND if you feel it's impossible, you can always put the hazard lights on and pull over.

Good luck and let us know how it goes
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
 
where we take it one panic attack at a time
 
 
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


kitty061203
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/4/2008 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I just recently started having issues with driving. It actually started a couple weeks ago when we were trying to drive up to a family cabin for vacation. It's about a 5 hour drive and my husband and I were both driving separate cars. I was following him. I think started to feel very dizzy and I was shaking and I felt like I was going to pass out (or throw up). We were about an hour into the drive. We had to leave my car on the side of the road and turn around and come home. Now I have trouble driving anywhere. I'm still trying new things to get myself through it, I mean, I have 4 kids... I have to be able to drive places... but when I start feeling the panic coming on my mind starts telling me I'm not going to make it home. Instead I just start picturing my end destination... like my driveway and garage door. It gives me something to focus on and I can somewhat calm myself down.

It's so hard to deal with... and I'm trying to do it with out meds. I just hate taking meds.

peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 8/4/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitty, I've driven with no issue for over 20 yrs and last Nov I came close to passing out cold while driving (I have health issues) so since that day, I fear driving again.
I still had to go to work everyday and live, there were days I would get off the hwy or avoid, but it's now 9 months since that Nov morning, and I have not given up and keep getting in my car. I will not allow this anxiety to take more than it already has
The WORST case, I feel faint and I pull over and let it pass.
You don't need meds, the key to sucess with anxiety is exposure over and over to realize it's going to be ok

Keep me posted
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
 
where we take it one panic attack at a time
 
 
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


kitty061203
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/4/2008 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had some health issues over the past fews years too, which is why I think my anxiety/panic has gotten so bad. I'm trying really hard to not let it stop me, but it's hard. Where I live you have to drive a good distance to get anywhere and I fear driving my kids around and having an attack. If I were to pass out cold I wouldn't want to crash with them in the car.

On top of that I've just been incredibly stressed too, so I'm hoping this passes someday. I really hope it does. I know I've always been somewhat anxious, even from childhood, but I can handle anxious. These panic attacks are a lot to bear with the lifestyle I have. I know it's mind over matter though. It's about keeping control and being confident about what you are doing. I just have to figure out how to keep control and be confident.

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/4/2008 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning...........to all with driving and panic attacks.

Quick Tip... if you feel panicky while driving..start by reading the licence plate of the car ahead of you, recite the number out loud to yourself. Then describe the car, it's  color, make, occupants etc.  

Also describe to yourself what else is going on around you.  Perhaps you see   a lady walking her baby in a stroller.  You  can see a traffic signal ahead and so on, try not to let your mind wonder.  It is  important that you get so engrossed in what is  happening around you and without even realizing it the panic will have passed. Do pay attention to the traffic......... cool

It is  important that you don't start questioning why or how or where the panic went just accept it or else you will be back to square one! Try this and see if it works.

If you do get into a panic attack and feel you cannot drive.  Stop somewhere safe and get out and walk around about repeating "I am OK"

Just a few ideas, hope they help someone.

Hugs

Kitt
 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
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peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 8/4/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt, great ideas

I do this somewhat, my dialogue goes something like this (and this is for real)

"I cannot believe I'm nervous. Come on Jen, stop taking life so friggin serious, So you panic, so you feel lightheads, if you feel like passing out, pull over and stop caring who stares. Let them stare. You know what Jen, just have the panic attack already. Come on panic attack, Come quick and leave as quick cause I need to get to my (Will say the place I'm going)."

As soon as I give myself permission to have a p/a, well it goes away. Then I've used up so much energy, I almost just stop caring.

I've come to the conclusion that having a panic attack is SO MUCH easier than fearing it.
BRING IT ON

;-)
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
 
where we take it one panic attack at a time
 
 
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/4/2008 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
you guys have given some pretty good tips...like better than anything I've heard in my 7 or so years of therapy...seriously. one therapist had me cut out pictures of cars in magazines and put them all over the house so I'd be more comfortable with cars...I felt like a freak lol. maybe that works for some, but it sure didn't work for me. lol. all the therapists have tried the exposure method with me without giving me any advice on what to do when the panic hits which has resulted in quite a few accidents, luckily minor, but crashing your car everytime you panic definitely doesn't make you more comfortable behind the wheel. I know most people go into survival mode, but apparently I'm not one of them. I panic and end up having to pay a bunch of money on car repairs...then never want to drive again. Sad, but true.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/4/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Emerson...how did your first day go? I forgot to ask and this is your thread! Sorry!
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 8/4/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Do you like to listen to music or sing? I will get my fac CDs and sing like a fool in the car, especially on the way to a stressful appt like the Dr or something. I'll listen to classical (Mozart) if I need to calm down, or some BIlly Joel if I want something upbeat. scool

I'm sure people in the cars next to me think I'm a loon but it gets me from point A to B. I've had an attack before and called 911 while on the highway. I pulled over at a business and the ambulance came/took me to the hospital...very embarrassing. I started the singing thing after that event.

 

Hang in there.


Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .5mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
 Fioricet-Migraines
Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
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Colonoscopies-3 and one on the way 8/12/08


EmersonDav06
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/5/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Surprisingly, After all that worry, Concern and Fear, I had absolutely no problems. I got a tiny bit anxious when I realized I was too far away to turn back without it being longer to my house than to my work, I talked on the phone on speakerphone on the way there which really helped, but on the way home. I just did it by myself. No phone or anything. Only time I get anxious when driving now is when its storming, I hate driving in the florida storms!

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 8/5/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey well done! You did it all by yourself, wow. I still hate driving (especially at night) and I've been doing it for seventeen years.
Keep proving how darn strong you are :-)
Meg
Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 

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