anxiety attacks

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 2/10/2009 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Since I had fibro I get panic attacks often when driving.  It is at a point that I don't drive no more and when I try I get half way and turn around and go home.  I got laid off from my job last year so I have been home since.  I got two kids and my husband has to take us where we need to go.  He is understanding but I don't feel good about myself depending  on him always.  My doctor gave me xanax which I take sometimes but I don't like to take it and drive.  With fibro we hardly ever feel good sitting at home without going out.  I just feel like my kids and husband are going to suffer because of this disease.  If it not our joint hurting,  it is our stomach problems or rib pain.  I just want a life that I can function like I use to.  Anyone else with these problems?

Amber Jo
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I had panic attacks for years. I took Ativan for my seizures which helped, and since I took it on a regular basis I got used to it and was able to drive even if I had taken it. Sometimes anti-deppressents helps panic attacks. You should ask your doc about that. I personally can't take antidepressents. They make me depressed!? And I think we all want a life that we can function like we used to. All I know is find the right meds, and do the best you can. I think not feeling good about yourself is something we all have to figure out. Right now I am in the same boat. I feel useless, but I have faith that I will be able to overcome, and find a way to deal with fibro. I think it just takes time.
Fibro, Hemiplegic migraines, Seizures, Abnormal Heart rhythms, Sleep apnea..... Trilepital 1200mg, Keppra 1000mg, Ativan 3mg, Klonopin 3mg as needed, Oxycotin 20mg 2x daily, gabapentin 600mg, Altenenol 50mg.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ann and welcome. I had this problem for years and was determined it was not going to take my freedom away. For me getting in my car and going where ever I want when I want is the ultimate freedom. I too am on xanax and that didn't even work sometimes while driving but then I got to the bottom of what a panic attack is. Anxiety causes the body to release too much adrenaline which causes physical symptoms (heart pounding, throat feeling like it is going to close etc.) that causes more anxiety and more adrenaline to be released which causes even more physical symptoms etc til your in an all out panic attack. By the way I never stopped driving I was too stubborn to give into it. So I started telling myself over and over when the feelings would begin that it was just physical feelings, which it is. I have never had another panic attack since but I still had some anxiety when driving.
I was really into genealogy and wanted to make a four hour trip to do research. I sat one day and reminded myself of all the things I had done over the years and trips I had taken by myself by many means of transportation and I so wanted to be that person again. So I planned my genealogy trip and left early one Mon morning and I told my DH I didn't know how far I would get, I might only get 10 miles from home but I had to try. I took a secondary highway with lots of small towns along the way so I could stop if I had to and give myself an out. Our cell phones were not working well that day so I didn't even have contact with my DH for most of the trip. When I got to the town I was going to and seen the motel I was going to be staying in I started crying I was so happy with myself for being able to overcome that anxiety. I have since made several trips by myself and it is a piece of cake now. I'm still on xanax and I still don't like driving on interstates cause the traffic moving so fast is too much for my mind for some reason but this winter I have had to make many trips on the interstate back and forth to the hos for my DH and a couple of nights I was so tired all I could do was focus on my son's tail lights to get home and was always so happy to see my exit but I did it. I've never had great night vision driving.
So please don't give into the anxiety when driving or you will be housebound for the rest of your life. Always give yourself an out if it is too overwhelming and talk to yourself and talk to the anxiety and put it in it's place.
luv and hugs
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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't mind the driving - I just am having a harder and harder time leaving the house. Virtually any outing will cause extra pain. We went to a friends for dinner on Sat night and we were out for 4 hours. I had a terrible night that night.

In trying to decide if I want to do something, I have to tell myself I am going to have pain, but you know, I'd rather have some pain from doing something that I want than from doing nothing at all.

I woke this morning with horrible pain in my left leg today, for no good reason. Sure wish I could say I had been out dancing with myhusband last night!

Therapy is often suggested for fibro sufferers - I think this is one of the reasons why.

Good Luck.
Still learning how to manage my Fibromylagia, and all the lovely gifts it brings.   
I had severe spinal stenosis, had fusion done on C5-7, and my life has changed. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 2/10/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello there Ann!!
And welcome to there Healing Well Fibro Forum!!!
I'm riddled with anxiety problems, too! The anxiety always brings on a fibro flare for me and I just plain hate it when that happens. Today I had some problems that brought on a bunch of anxiety and I can already feel it in my hips.. next thing you know.. BAM, I'll be down and out for a while.
I don't have a problem with driving.. thank God, since I'm the only driver in the family (hubby's legally blind so he can't drive). But I do have a terrible fear of driving in bad weather.. snow - sleet - rain - fog. I just can't do it. Fortunately he understands that fear and doesn't give me a hard time about it. He also knows when I have an anxiety issue it usually brings pain.. so thank God (again) he doesn't push me to drive when I'm uncomfortable about it.
I just wanted to let you know I understand your problem... but I agree with Marlee... sometimes you just HAVE to push yourself and you'll be surprised how far you can go. There's nothing worse than being a prisioner in your own home.
Be well.. and warm hugs,
Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

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