anxiety of driving

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Sira
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone have an advice how to overcome the fear of driving?
I am able to drive around town without a problem, however each time i need to drive on the freeway i have an attack. i did it few times but i was driving in fear and i could not relax. just the thought that i have to do it gives me severe anxiety.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Sira

I hope this info will help you.

1. Take small steps and you will eventually get to your destination -- A lot of people who have a fear of driving simply give up using their car altogether. This is the way to perpetuate your condition, not to heal yourself. If you feel that you're unable to drive, simply use the car for short periods. Either drive around the block, or to the grocery store, or take frequent pit stops to make sure your fear doesn't build up. By doing so, you're conditioning your mind to gradually overcome your fears.

2. Listen to soothing music while you're driving -- Music has great effect on our mood. Find some music that you can relax to and play it while you're driving. It will lower your overall stress levels and your will enjoy your ride more.

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.”

Take care and I have the freeway phobia too but sometimes I just have to do it.......... you can do it too.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
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Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/17/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Sira,

Boy, Kitt sure knows her stuff. . . I am always amazed and well informed :)

When I first started driving again after my major panic attack that landed me in the ER last October, I was so weak and afraid to get behind the wheel. I kept worrying about passing out while driving, couldn't hardly breathe and was very tense. So I took off from the farm to town to return some rental movies and I was trying to give myself positive self-talk during the trip. I made it to the store okay and on my way back home I realized that my car tags were up and I just about blacked out from my heart pounding and head spinning. Totally freaking out about being pulled over and getting a ticket or worse the way I was carrying on. I started doing my breathing techniques and made is safely home. After that experience I was very frightened but kept driving and walking longer distances everyday for a few months and things began to get better. Flashing forward a couple of months to the end of January, I went into town by myself a couple of times to pay bills and buy groceries, and when asked for my license by a clerk, I saw that it had expired on the 20th of that month. . . I began to tremble with all of those old symptoms and scary thoughts racing through my head, but I remembered to stay in the moment and realized that it was only anxiety. I knew then that I would be just fine because I've conquered my health anxiety and agoraphobia as much as I could. I calmed down, smiled at the clerk and got into my vehicle to drive back home without panicking. And today I drove into town by myself to the post office, meeting an old teacher/cousin there, so we had a great chat and I came home very confident and happy :)

I hope my story will inspire you to realize that you can do anything you set your mind to my friend. I know how scary it is and I can go out now, be around a lot of people, and for the most part, I just don't care anymore. If something happens it will, and more than likely about 99.9% of the time, I understand it is just my darn anxiety talking. . . So as Kitt would say, "Kick them stinkin thoughts to the curb." :)

Take care and good luck! I want to see your success story on here in the future :)

Post Edited (Green Grove) : 2/18/2009 11:22:06 AM (GMT-7)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   

Sira,

I have to drive the freeway as I have no choice today and it will be right in the middle of rush hour.  I am afraid and trying so hard to stay in the moment.  So your not alone.  Even after all the times I have done it I still get afraid.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Sira
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
good luck kitt, drive safe.
I need to drive on the freeways of Los Angeles and it can be really scary.
hugs
sira

paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 2/18/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I also have highway/freeway anxiety. I haven't driven on one in over 5 yrs. I'm not sure how I will get over that fear, but I feel that someday I will, probably with therapy. I rarely have occasion to need the freeway so it's not interfereing with my life very often. Right now I concentrate on not losing any more ground than I already have. I live in a small village with almost everything I need right in town and I do get anxious driving when I'm not in my comfort zone (my little village). I make sure that I purposely drive places out of that zone, because I refuse to let my anxiety gain anymore of a hold in me. All the previous suggestions are wonderful. I like listening to relaxing music and if I start getting panicky I do deep breathing exercises, positive self talk and I open my window. Fresh air always makes me feel less anxious. Good luck and if anyone figures out a sure fire way to overcome freeway anxiety let me know! I haven't pushed myself to "just do it" like I would for other fears, because the thought of not being able to just pull over freaks me out. I know I will have a full blown panic attack (just the thought of it makes me anxious) and I'm afraid I won't be able to see straight, etc

ineedhelp2009
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/19/2009 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I have stopping driving over bridges and on highways over 10 years ago. I only drive from my house to my job and then home again. This past week though has been torture doing that now as I am getting panic attacks at red lights. I feel like I am going out of my body and I scream real loud (thank God the windows are down) and then I feel numb all over. I just switched over from taking a 25mg. Librium to a .5 Klodopin 3x a day. The Klod makes me feel even more dizzy and lightheaded when I drive (did spilt the pill in half and take 4 halves every 4 hours for the past week.) Last night I took a whole .5 Klod as I thought maybe I should be taking the dose the Dr. told me to take. (yes, I have a phobia taking medicine too.) Anyway, when it came time for me to drive the car this morning, I was spazzing out and wanted to just run into my house and be safe. But I can't take off of work for fear I will lose my job. So I stayed in the car and started the drive and I was panicing the whole time that I couldn't take it anymore and reached for my old pills (librium) and took one of them thinking maybe i am going through withdrawl and that is why i am getting worse driving. It did stop me from being dizzy but now that I am at work behind my desk and typing this it feels like my fingers are so heavy and my left ear is red and i cant catch my breath.

i don't know if this was the right place to type all this so please let me know if i should have posted under another topic. being new here i dont know my way around just yet and just want to be normal......i am so afraid. tomorrow i have blood work at 9am and i am afriad of that. i feel like just going to the er for them to find out what is wrong with me. the last time i did that though was back in oct. and they gave me and ekg as my blood pressure was 250 over 160. they put me on iv and gave me ativan and then my bp went back down to 130/85. They told me i was suffering from an anxiety attack. my blood pressure on tuesday at the doctors was 156/106. He also gave me a script for a beta blocker but i am afraid to take that and want to work my bp down naturally. but with these stinking panic attacks and equilibrium probs i dont know which end is up.

thanks for letting me talk here. any feedback will be helpful.

Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/19/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Ineedhelp2009,

Welcome to HW and our Anxiety/Panic Forum. You have made a great choice in stopping here to the best Peer Support Forum on the net! I would seriously reconsider taking the beta blocker that you were prescribed by your doc, because it seems to me that your BP is high enough to warrant a prescription drug to help control it. You should make and appt. with you doc, and talk with him/her about this issue and that you want to start lowering it naturally as well. There are many ways that your doctor can show you to do :)

Take Care and Good Luck!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 

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