You are right, a lot of people don't like driving, but when you panic over it, that's different. I had a car accident in July and my car was written off and I was terrified of driving for a while, but I had to get to work like you.
I started using a form of self hypnosis at night, I would get relaxed and then imagine myself getting into the car, starting the engine and driving safetly to work. I did this every night for about three weeks and now I'm (mostly) fine with driving again. I always make sure I play the radio and keep myself amused when I drive and that helps me with the shakes.
I hope this anxiety subsides soon, I'm sure other members have some great advice for you. Take care and hold onto the knowledge that you are a safe driver.
I also have anxiety/panic when driving. My first panic attack ocurred when I was driving and I have been fearfull ever since. The problem I have is that my job requires driving. I had the most difficult time getting behind the wheel at first. What I did is since my job required driving, I required myself to drive. I went out along into a desolate area and faced it, the fear crept up and I began having an attack. I worked myself out of it with deep breathing and telling the panic to keep coming and to give me all it had. If it was going to kill me then do it now and get it over with. Guess what I am here writing on this forum. Now it didn't completely disolve my anxiety, but has lessened it. I do put things in the CD player that requires me to think, that way on my three, four hour drive I will think of other things and keep my mind working rather than thinking of the negative. Even though I have still cancelled many of my work obligations that take me hours and thousands of miles away from home. My next goal is to overcome this issue.
Hope this helps. I am here with you. It is terrible and we here in this forum understand that what your going through is more than worried about the actual driving. Anxiety is a tough thing, but we call all live with it.
Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression& GERD Forums*~*
It may well be a sx of your high anxiety and as you said "a phase" i have my fingers and toes crossed that it passes for you soon. You are a brave cookie to you know! Don't forget that.
CC, great input, thanks. I can't imagine what it would be like to have had your first panic attack in a car ...yikes.
I had my first attack in the bath. How lame is that???!!!!
Post Edited (paniccu) : 10/21/2008 10:49:22 AM (GMT-6)
Sounds like you did really well today. Kudos to you! Even though we know our fears are a bit irrational, it doesn't make them go away, but recognising them is the first step in getting over them. You are on your way.
I'm not a big fan of intersections either, especially the ones where you make the decision whether to turn across traffic or not. I like the the light or be green or red. None of this "turn with caution" business.
Yes, I'm a bit of a wally for having an attack in the bath. I usually have my attacks in bed, or while I'm watching telly, when I'm out and about I'm too busy and distracted to have an attack. Strange but true!
3. Take deep breaths -- If you're ever driving and start to experience one of the many symptoms of your phobia (sweating, stomach aches, nausea), take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Deep breaths steady the heart beat and help you to relax
Think positive thoughts, leaving no room for failure that you “just can’t do this.”
hi elpea and welcome to healing well,
everyone here is so supportive! I hope you'll keep posting. Half of my anxiety is taken away when I realize others have it too and it's not a physical ailment. (Even though I consider anxiety to be physical in the brain disorder sense!).
I am still having some discomfort when driving. I'm just driving to various schools and the malls, etc and not too much on freeways. I'll try anything but my hands get sweaty. I still hate going through intersections where I have a green light and people are waiting to turn left. I'm afraid that light will turn yellow and I won't stop at the appropriate time or they'll turn in front of me.
Like you, I prefer the right lane. I also HATE changing lanes, so I know where I am going and I get into the correct lane early.
I drive around a lot of schools and school parking lots and this adds to my anxiety as the little kids are so unpredictable. So many bikes and crosswalks, etc.
It's funny you mention cruise control because I HATE cruise control. I have a fear it will "take over" the car and it won't stop. I hate it when my husband drives and uses it. It scares me. Crazy. I never use cruise control.
It's amazing how many similar fears we have. It's really interesting.
The good news is that I am willing to drive and still do it. I don't have anticipatory dread like I do if I have to get on an airplane.
I'm a little nervous because my best friend and her husband are coming for a week at Thanksgiving. There are a couple of days when I will be driving them around to and from the airport and to various attractions. (My husband isn't taking the whole week off.) I hope this will go well.
I agree with kitt's advice not to use the cell phone unless you are pulled over. I think that's dangerous, especially if you're already shaky.
love to all,